Local non-profits come together to offer innovative new educational programs this fall
$75,000 total is being divided amongst five community-based projects that will provide new programs for youth across the GTA. The emphasis is on creative, hands-on approaches to teaching tech and digital skills, helping youth become active makers, creators, innovators and storytellers.
Building a Toronto digital learning network
“Today’s announcement is part of a larger effort to bring together leading Toronto community groups, educators and non-profits,” said Mozilla’s Executive Director, Mark Surman. “Libraries, after-school programs, museums and hacker spaces are providing cutting-edge access to digital learning for youth across the city. This is an opportunity to come together as a network to work and learn together.”
The new network, called Hive Toronto, includes collaborators like the Toronto Public Library, Boys and Girl Clubs of Canada, the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Story Planet, MakerKids, the Textile Musuem of Canada, FabSpaces, CareerMash and Golden Horseshoe Green Tech. It’s the first Canadian chapter in a growing global Hive network that now includes New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and London, UK.
Helping youth become digital creators
In 2012, the Ontario Trillium Foundation, an agency of the Ontario Government, provided a $365,000 grant to help develop Hive Toronto.
“Hive Toronto has created a great approach to help young people become more than just information consumers,” said Andrea Cohen Barrack, CEO of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. “This funding enables youth to take their knowledge and enthusiasm to the next level by becoming developers and innovators themselves. We love the collaborative approach being taken with this program.”
New offerings coming this September
The five projects receiving funding today include:
- Remix the City — Led by the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, these weekly workshops will teach 400 youth digital skills through exploring local neighborhoods with mobile video.
- Digi Story Making — hosted by Story Planet, a non-profit that offers free drop-in literacy skills through its Sci Fi-themed storefront, this workshop series will help youth become peer mentors while making creative use of technology to tell their own interactive stories.
- Making Makers — Co-led by Kids Learning Code (an off-shoot of the popular Ladies Learning Code and Girls Learning Code organizations) and MakerKids, participants will get access to advanced maker technology and digital tools — plus help “teach the teachers” by developing workshop modules and training conferences for educators.
- Wide Open Wednesdays — this monthly workshop series hosted by The Textile Museum of Canada will celebrate maker culture in the GTA, bringing together digital media and physical making by focusing on key principles like openness, sustainability and self-sufficiency.
- Sustainable Communities Tech Camp and Pop-up — Led by Golden Horseshoe Green Tech, this week-long camp in Hamilton will provide hands on learning for youth-at-risk, combining tech skills with environmental sustainability and community-building. It will also include two interactive science fair events where campers will mentor other youth.
- Learn more about the five projects. With details on how to get involved.
- Get more involved with Hive Toronto. Become a member, volunteer or get more involved. The application for new member organizations is open until September 16.
- Teach digital skills and web literacy. These free Mozilla Webmaker teaching kits, lesson plans and educational resources make it fun and easy.