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11/3/15 - New Grants Totaling $875,400 Bring Digital Media Learning to More NYC Youth

David L. Marcus, 212-686-0010 x224,
Amy Wolf, 212-686-0010 x234,

11/3/2015 (New York, NY) – A group of funders is making 12 new grants, worth nearly $900,000, to help young people across New York City to use digital media and technology to compose and record original music, research civic and political issues, and reduce pollution in their communities.  

“In the last decade, digital media and the web have become fixtures of everyday life—especially for teens,” says Kerry McCarthy, senior program officer at The Trust. “Hive projects harness the power of these technologies to keep young people engaged in learning and education, and introduce them to new interests, ideas, and career pathways.”

The money comes from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund, a donor collaborative housed in The New York Community Trust that supports innovative, technology-rich teen programs developed by the Hive NYC Learning Network (a consortium of local libraries, museums, and other youth-serving nonprofits that is managed by the Mozilla Foundation). In addition to The Trust, contributors to the Fund include the Altman Foundation; Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Mozilla Foundation;  Stavros Niarchos Foundation; and an anonymous donor.

Now in its sixth year, Hive has made more than $7 million in grants to nonprofits across the city. This round of grants, totaling $875,400, will substantially expand projects the Fund has previously incubated.

The YMCA of Greater New York, for example, will create a mobile app for its “Y-MVP Teen Fitness Challenge” program. Past grants from The Trust allowed the Y to develop the technology and curriculum for this youth fitness program, which uses digital badges and the principles of game design to encourage teens at more than 20 local branches to get and stay in shape. The new app will be available for free on sites like Google Play and the iTunes app store, letting young people everywhere use Y-MVP whenever and wherever they want to exercise.  

“A recent evaluation of Y-MVP revealed that it substantially increased the moderate and vigorous physical activity levels of participants, as compared to peers in a control group,” said Lori Rose Benson, vice president of healthy lifestyles for New York City's YMCA. “These results suggest that the program will have significant impact on overall health enhancement, obesity prevention, and chronic disease prevention. We are deeply grateful for the Hive's investment in our vision—from the initial pilot stage to this new grant.”

The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund made the following 12 grants in October 2015:

  • With a grant of $100,000, Carnegie Hall will help teens across the City use digital media to compose, produce, and share music.
  • With $50,000, Code/Interactive will teach young people in the South Bronx how to design and promote digital and web-based projects that address critical social issues.
  • A grant of $73,000 will let Grand Street Settlement adapt “gadgITERATION”—a program created by Parsons The New School for Design that gets youth to make creative projects using electronic circuitry, recycled toys, and other materials—and implement it at seven sites in Brooklyn and lower Manhattan.
  • With $100,000, Iridescent will start an after-school program that gets teens and their families to tackle real-world challenges in engineering and science.  
  • The Knowledge House is using $20,000 to take South Bronx middle school students on trips to media and technology organizations across the City; engage them in technology-driven projects; and introduce them to professionals working in film, computer science, and other fields.
  • A $20,000 grant to the Lower Eastside Girls Club will get teen girls coding and sharing their work on GitHub, a social network for software developers.  
  • With a grant of $100,000, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation will bring two projects—Eyebeam’s “Rap Research Lab,” which engages participants in research on rap and hip-hop; and Global Action Project’s “Media History Timeline,” which gets teens to explore the relationship between media, social justice, and public policy—to 10 City parks.
  • New York Public Radio is using $100,000 to train educators from the Police Athletic League and Global Kids to teach young people about journalism and multi-media storytelling.
  • The Partnership for After School Education is using a grant of $17,500 to help Hive NYC members prepare to spread and scale their digital media projects, and serve more local teens and educators.
  • With $25,000, the Police Athletic League will replicate the New York Hall of Science’s “Collect, Construct, Change” program at two of its Bronx facilities, allowing more teens to use tablets and smartphones to gather and study data about urban pollution.  
  • With a grant of $19,900, Wagner College will train Staten Island teachers and teachers-in-training to help special needs youth create podcasts and digital animations.
  • A $250,000 grant will allow the YMCA of Greater New York to develop a digital app for the “Y-MVP Teen Fitness Challenge,” which gets teens to exercise by using digital badges to recognize and reward the completion of weekly fitness missions, like biking, swimming, or using free weights.

The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund was started by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust in 2010. It brings together New York City’s museums, libraries, and youth-serving nonprofits, to design hands-on digital media projects that get kids excited about learning. In addition to MacArthur and The Trust, contributors to this fund include the Altman Foundation; Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust; Mozilla Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; and an anonymous donor.  

Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and its suburbs—and who are committed to improving them. The Trust supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make the City a vital and secure place to live, learn, work, and play, while building permanent resources for the future. The New York Community Trust ended 2014 with assets of nearly $2.5 billion in more than 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $157 million. The Trust welcomes new donors. Information at

Mozilla Hive NYC Learning Network (Hive NYC) is a city-wide lab where educators, technologists and youth-development experts build innovative, connected learning experiences for young people. Its members include museums, libraries, after-school programs, code clubs and informal learning spaces. Together, they share best practices, learn from one another, and create an ecosystem of programs, tools and events that prepare young people for success in the digital age. Information at


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