Mayor, Metro Action showcase Youth Technology program

Members of the Metropolitan Action Commission technology camp demonstrate to Mayor Megan Barry what they have learned in the camp.

Members of the Metropolitan Action Commission technology camp demonstrate to Mayor Megan Barry what they have learned in the camp.

Area youth of the Metropolitan Action Commission technology camp participated in Nashville’s celebration of the National Summer Learning Day with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

The youth demonstrated how they created video games through coding and animation using the Scratch software, which is a program for creating interactive stories, games and animations. The students also unveiled five logo renderings that reflected what they believed would be important elements for Mayor Barry’s 2017 Summer Internship Program. The students also explained their computer hardware skills by showing her a computer they were rebuilding.

“We believe our technology camp is in line with the vision that Mayor Barry has for Nashville’s youth which is to provide meaningful opportunities for them as well as provide opportunities for them to earn income,” said Dr. Cynthia Croom, the Metro Action Commission executive director.

Metro Action’s technology camp provides hands on experience in the field of technology for youth from low-income families in the eight-week technology camp for teens ages 14-17 from Head Start and Early Head Start families. Through a partnership with the Nashville Technology Council, students receive daily instruction on information technology as well as visit area IT companies such as HCA, BNY Mellon and Hewlett Packard to first-hand innovation experience in technology.

“Research shows that summers without quality learning opportunities put our nation’s youth at risk for falling behind. It can also lead to a rise in violence,” said Croom.

The students also visit area universities and colleges to understand the academic requirements as well as how technology is used in that setting as well as soft skills such as resumes, career attire and interview skills.

Metro Action receives funding through the Tennessee Department of Human Services (DHS) to cover the cost of the camp, which includes an $800 stipend for each student.

The partnership with the Nashville Digital Inclusion program provides a laptop for each student to use during the program, which will be given to them at the end of the program.

Daily meals were provided through the USDA Summer Food Service Program, also funded by DHS.

National Summer Learning Day (NSLD) is an advocacy day to elevate the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer.NSLD is a partnership with the White House Summer Opportunity Project, which is designed to give young people access to their first job and encourage investment in programs supporting summer learning and meals for America’s young people in the summer.