‘Computers for Kids’ SWNA, Washington, DC

By Vic & Bonnie Sutton

The graduation of the latest cohort of students in the ‘Computers for Kids’ initiative, in Southwest Washington, DC, brings the total number of youngsters who have benefited from the program to 130.

‘Computers for Kids’ started in 2007 as an initiative of the Youth Activities Task Force of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA).

Thelma Jones, who chairs the Task Force, introduced a graduation ceremony at the James Creek Community Center on 4 August 2018.

She reminded the parents, guardians, friends and relatives who attended the event that two sessions of the program were held each year, a winter program of eight one-hour, after-school classes and a summer program of six classes lasting ninety minutes.

The students use the computer lab at the James Creek Community Center to learn the basics of computers and how to use them, and tackle studies in Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and accessing the Internet to search for visual resources. This group of students also started to study cryptology, using the resources of the Chicago-based ‘CryptoClub’ project.  

The whole program is run by volunteers.

The big prize for students who graduate from the program is the gift of a refurbished desktop computer, arranged by Perry Klein who chairs the SWNA technology task force.

The speaker at the event was Lisa M. Matthews, herself a former scholarship recipient of the Southwest Neighborhood education and scholarship task force. She drew on her own experience to remind students that technology changes the way we learn, the way we work and the way we play.

Jenelle Leonard presented the students with their graduation certificates, and asked them about the computer games that they played. Well-designed educational games, she pointed out, could have a significant impact on learning outcomes.

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