As we all grind on through this difficult Winter and pandemic, we at Laptop Upcycle have been exploring other opportunities for local students to become engaged in technology enrichment beyond the twice weekly limited and distanced lab sessions we support.
Today we are excited to announce a partnership with TechConnect, a fellow 501c3 nonprofit based in Summit, NJ, to offer free online coding classes for students locally. TechConnect was founded in early 2020 to help bridge the digital divide for students impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their goals are very similar to ours and we encourage you to visit their web site and learn more about them.
For the local Laptop Upcycle community, our partnership with TechConnect will provide access to cutting edge online coding resources, and importantly an existing and vibrant support community for those who wish to enroll in the courses.
Anyone who has explored online courses often encounter roadblocks in the form of lack of community and support which all too often results in waning interest in the class. The TechConnect team has an existing infrastructure in place to remedy this issue and we at Laptop Upcycle will also be ready to help where we can, given the interest level and community meetup guidelines.
The TechConnect team offers three (3) different course categories based upon each of these 3 languages, Scratch, Python, and Java. Scratch can be learned by many young students even in elementary school. Python and Java are a bit more challenging, but many middle schoolers pick those up very quickly. Note that Java is even more complex than Python, but we know there are those in our schools that are ready for it. If parents need assistance in helping to decide where their students should start, feel free to contact us directly.
The process to get started coding is very simple. You visit the TechConnect site and create a free account with them. Then you select the “Classes” link on their site and pick the course you wish to begin. It’s that easy. Note on the Classes page you will also see links for the support resources, an online forum, other resources, and the schedule for weekly Zoom meetups to engage with other students.
We’re excited to offer this resource to our community and we hope you take advantage of it.
The Laptop Upcycle team!
PS - If your kids need a laptop to start coding or you know someone who does, you know we can help with that!
Valentine’s Day might be considered the ultimate Hallmark Holiday, but we think it's the perfect opportunity to showcase the Laptop Upcycle people that make the love happen in our lab:
Yep, these are the students who get a laptop. They’re so grateful and thrilled to be in school and online with a computer that is their own.
Drivers delivering laptops throughout COVID and instructors working with our interns.
Our community donors
Single laptops and providing gift cards and cash when we need it most.
Our foundation donors
The Don Katz and Leslie Larson Foundation, Montclair Foundation, Best Buy Community Grant, and The United Way of Montclair for the support funding, the grants and the lab space.
Our high school interns
They're showing up every Thursday and Sunday, enthusiastically learning and earning community service hours (and fixing laptops, cables, and more).
Our corporate donors
Guardian Data Destruction, Pfizer, Essence Global Advertising and Ukodit for donating laptops and computer bags.
Can you tell we love our Laptop family - our interns, volunteers and donors! And the kids! How do we know the efficacy of our program? Just read the appreciative notes from students, parents and teachers. It’s AMAZING how much love comes with a working laptop.
During February, please consider showing us the love with a laptop donation, your time or $$. And, we’ll send you a Hallmark-worthy thank you (and tax receipt you'll really love)!
The whole, really grateful, Board of Laptop Upcycle - 8 dedicated people working tirelessly to keep laptops coming in the door, running our student internship program, writing emails, social media, submitting grants and so much more.