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10/30/14 - New After School Programs and Professional Development Bring Digital Literacy to More City Students with Grants Totaling $414,000


David Marcus, (212) 889-3963,
Amy Wolf, (212) 686-0010 x234,

New After School Programs and Professional Development Bring Digital Literacy to More City Students with Grants Totaling $414,000

New York, NY (Oct 30, 2014) Nearly half a million dollars in grants from the Hive Digital Media Learning Fund will help teens and adolescents use digital media and technology to get in shape, prepare for college, and share their voices on political and civic issues.   

The programs help students use technology to learn, create, and apply new skills. Educators also will be trained to use digital tools to educate young people in and out of school. One project, for example, lets kids create hands-on projects with guidance from professional scientists and engineers. Another uses digital “playlists” of physical challenges to get teens to exercise; our grant supports its roll out to 22 YMCAs.

The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund was started by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust in 2011 so that, together, kids, teachers, scientists, and artists can design new and exciting ways to learn, create, and participate beyond the classroom.  

In addition to MacArthur and The Trust, donors include the Altman Foundation; Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust; Mozilla Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; and David Rockefeller Fund.

After four years of incubating cutting-edge digital media programs, the Fund is helping grantees spread their work locally and nationally.  “Our grantees, who come together to regularly learn from each other through Mozilla’s Hive NYC Learning Network, are laying the groundwork to change how middle and high schoolers learn in New York City,” says Kerry McCarthy, New York Community Trust program officer. “We want to expand the programs to reach more students and educators throughout the City and beyond.”

“This round of funding reflects Hive growth and opportunity—some grantees will explore new ideas and partnerships, while others will hone, exploit, and expand what has been created to date,” says Leah Gilliam, Director of Hive NYC. “By bringing together groups with different missions and approaches, together with The Trust we’re helping organizations address local challenges and changing how young people across the City learn.”

Alison Overseth, executive director of the Partnership for After School Education noted, “The unique learning opportunities provided through digital learning are critical to preparing young people to thrive in the 21st Century. We look forward to helping ensure that the groups in the Hive network have the capability to expand and deepen their reach so that every young person in the City has the opportunities and supports they need to thrive as adults.”

These 17 grants, totaling $414,000, were made in October 2014:

With $39,000, Bank Street College of Education is working with The LAMP to develop online workshops that help teachers throughout the City integrate digital media and students’ interests into their lesson plans.  

Center for Urban Pedagogy is using $10,000 to design an interactive application that educators can use to engage teens in civic and social justice issues, and train them to conduct interviews with policymakers, community members, and peers.   

With $10,000, teens at City Lore will create comics augmented with digital graphics, text, sound, and video. They will work with international multimedia publisher Rattapallax.

Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum will use $10,000 to create a system of digital badges—in design or architecture software proficiency, for example—that high school students can use when applying to schools affiliated with the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design.

Participants in Eyebeam’s “Playable Fashion” program combine fashion, technology, coding, and game design skills to create video games with wearable controllers. A grant of $40,000 will help it expand the program to more after school programs.

Groundswell is using $10,000 to help teens design a mobile game based on murals across the City. They also will organize a series of events where other kids can play, test, and suggest changes to the game.  

Iridescent’s “Curiosity Machine” website features hands-on activities for kids to tackle real-world challenges in engineering and science. More than 20,000 teachers and students have used the program to date. A $40,000 grant will help align the lessons to national educational standards, making it easier for middle school teachers to use them in the classroom.

With a grant of $40,000, The LAMP is developing a plan to promote and distribute “Media Breaker” a video editing and media literacy teaching tool. By reaching more educators, this program will allow more students to think critically about what they see on television and online.

MOUSE is using $10,000 to document and evaluate professional development workshops that help students explore and learn web literacy skills, and will align existing activities with the Common Core learning standards to increase their impact and utility for educators.

Middle school students in the New York Hall of Science’s “Collect, Construct, Change” program use mobile phones to gather and study data about urban pollution. With a $40,000 grant, the Hall will develop a plan to spread the program to other nonprofits, especially those helping low-income City teens.

With a $40,000 grant, New York Public Radio will create a plan to provide schools and after-school programs with a series of short animated videos that teach teens about journalism and multimedia storytelling.

Partnership for After School Education is using a grant of $15,000 to help nonprofit organizations in Hive NYC evaluate and understand how to share their digital media and technology programs to reach more schools, after-school programs, and young people.

With $40,000, THE POINT will work with the Knowledge House to train young “Tech Fellows” that will run focus groups with teens in the Bronx and upper Manhattan. They also will develop digital resources for other nonprofits to run 10-week courses that equip more young people with technology and business skills.

Rubin Museum of Art will use $10,000 to develop a summer program with the Museum of Mathematics, in which teens will learn about Himalayan art and build math and coding skills by producing three-dimensional mandalas.

With a grant of $10,000, Tribeca Film Institute will refine the curriculum for its filmmaking and multimedia production program—which currently serves girls and young women at Riker’s Island—so that it can reach more disadvantaged and court-involved young people across the country.

$10,000 will help students at Wagner College work with Tech Kids Unlimited to teach young people with disabilities or special needs how to build websites, mobile games, and other digital media projects.

The YMCA of Greater New York’s “Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity Program,” or Y-MVP, encourages teens to exercise with digital badges that recognize and reward the completion of weekly “fitness missions.” With a grant of $40,000, the Y will revise curriculum and training materials and plan expansion of the program to all 22 of its local branches.


The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund
The Hive Digital Media Learning Fund was started by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and The New York Community Trust in 2011 so that, together, educators and young people can design new and exciting ways to learn, create, and participate beyond the classroom. Other donors include the Altman Foundation; Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust; Mozilla Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; and David Rockefeller Fund.

The New York Community Trust
Since 1924, The New York Community Trust has been the home of charitable New Yorkers who share a passion for the City and the suburbs—and who are committed to improving them. With its donors, The Trust supports an array of effective nonprofits that help make the City and suburbs vital and secure places to live and work, while building permanent resources for the future. The New York Community Trust ended 2013 with assets of $2.4 billion in more than 2,000 charitable funds, and made grants totaling $141 million.

Hive NYC
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. More than 50 organizations, including museums, libraries, after school programs, code clubs and informal learning spaces come together to 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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