Tap In Leadership Academy awarded mini-grant

Exciting news!  Tap In Leadership Academy — a Mix IT Up! partner organization — was awarded a digital divide mini-grant.  This mini-grant will allow Tap In to make a number of exciting changes that will make its computing lab an even greater resource for the Tap In community.

First of all, we’re going to be able to make some needed changes to our lab to make it a better environment for our young scholars.  During Tap In’s 2012 summer enrichment program, the temperatures skyrocketed, and all of our fans were in use trying to cool off the scholars who participated in strenuous activities, like dancing and sports.  Unfortunately, that left our computer lab very toasty, and few of the scholars were excited about spending much time working in such a warm environment.  This mini-grant will allow Tap In to purchase a number of fans to keep the lab cool in the summer, making the space more useful to the scholars in our program.

As we make improvements to the space, we’re also looking to add some new furniture.  We have some lovely computer desks from Martin Wolske and his Introduction to Network Information Systems class.  Though these desks are great for the space, they are also quite tall, particularly for some of Tap In’s smaller scholars.  Most scholars must stand, rather than sit, while using the lab’s computers. The mini-grant from the city will also allow us to equip the lab with some taller stools, which will allow scholars to work with the computers at a more comfortable height.

A scholar stands (possibly standing on the edge of the desk) while working on a computer

A scholar stands in front of a computer desk

Scholars usually stand, rather than sit, while using computers in Tap In’s lab.

Finally, the mini-grant will also allow Tap In to try something new.  Tap In believes in working with all family members to nurture the success of the youth in its program.  The organization has led a number of workshops for parents in the past as part of its Family Enrichment Program.  With this mini-grant, Tap In will be able to hire a workshop leader to expand on this program by designing and leading a series of computer skills workshops for parents and guardians.  Unlike the other public computer classes available in the community, this series will specifically address computer issues that family members have, ranging from filling out FAFSA and ACT forms, to finding quality homework help information, to learning about online privacy issues for their children.

We’re very excited about the opportunities presented by this mini-grant, and can’t wait to see how these projects turn out!  We’re also currently looking for a leader for the workshop series, so if you know of anybody who would make a great information literacy instructor, be sure to point them towards the position’s job posting (.pdf).

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