Greetings and Happy October to all! We have been busy in the Lab and out in our community as the school year has kicked in to full gear. Happily, our weekly lab sessions continue to be well attended and we have a new group of energetic young adults under the tutelage of Mike and Ed.
In our post-pandemic world, the number of direct distributions to students of laptops (Gets as we call them) has decreased from last year. We're not entirely sure what is behind this, but we are working hard to find new channels for Gets by working with our local partners and contacts within the schools. Here are but a few of our recent successes as we look to expand our outreach and expand our education programs.
The United Community Corporation and the Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs (Newark, NJ) - Just this week we met with the team at the West Side Park complex in Newark to provide 18 laptops for their shared work space in the community center where they will host after school programs for students and training programs with their other partners. Yolanda Loney, the Director of Youth, Family, and Senior Services was excited for our support and we look forward to more activities with her team.
Late this past Summer Laptop Upcycle gained a new partnering organization, the Urban Health Collaborative (TUHC). Summer interns Yanice (Yah-niece) Toone and Sofia Bari, under the tutelage of board members Jon Bonesteel and Frances Smith, did outreach projects and snagged this new contact. Pictured above is Zaire Ali, Director of TUHC, picking up 10+ laptops and 5 monitors slated for community education and student tutoring.
Again, this past Summer, we kicked off an exciting partnership with the Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District's Youth Arts Collective (YAC). The LPCCDYAC (that's a long one) is an arts meets tech education program for youth aged 10-17 that will provide them with knowledge and employable skills needed to be successful in the 21st Century. Lincoln Park Coast Cultural District's YAC is aligned with our mission of planning, designing, and developing a comprehensive arts and cultural district in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of downtown Newark. The program is managed by BRND Marketing Group LLC and the lead facilitator is Malik Whitaker of Cement Gallery. The students represent every ward in the City of Newark, attend public and charter schools and are as diverse as the city itself. Most are from single parent homes. We have students that are bilingual; some have admitted to using art to heal their depression and social anxiety; at least two are currently living in a shelter with their parent; one is diagnosed as legally blind; we have a student athlete and there is at least one learning disorder. Yet - art is the common denominator. Most importantly, thanks to Arts Ed Newark, we are able to feed them lunch during the class time of 9am-12pm and for some, this is their first meal of the day.
Laptop Upcycle donated 16 laptops to the YAC for a class in Newark where the students used the laptops to learn:
- Orientation and Intro to Illustration
- From Illustration to Painting
- Graphic Design and 2D Character Design
- 2D Character Design to 3D Animation
- Exploring Special Effects (SFX)
- 3D Printing and Rendering
- Fundamentals and Basics of NFT
After successfully completing the class, the students (with their parents/guardians in attendance) were given the laptops to keep and use for school this Fall. Our Co-founder, Jon Bonesteel, was there to wish them well and deliver the laptops. Thanks so much to Kimberly Ford from the YAC!
Last, but certainly not least, we've been busy with local Montclair organizations and have made some great progress. No photos yet, but soon, we promise.
We could say more, and we will soon. For now, a great big hug and thanks to all our partners!