Hatch Youth’s DigiHatch project was one such winner. The project will engage youth by combining digital literacy instruction with LGBT history and heritage, as well as creative expression through a series of classes to held here at the Center. Over the course, each youth will learn to create a blog or website of their own, giving voice to their own opinions and perspective by incorporating original prose, poetry, art, graphic design or content of their choosing. Select volunteers and staff will lead the course.
The Comcast grant will provide Hatch Youth with the necessary tools, equipment and connectivity to reach at least 40 over the coming year. Those equipment (computers, tablets and visual equipment) will remain with Hatch and allow us to continue digital literacy and creative programming in the years to come.
Though previous generations have gotten by with limited technological proficiency, it is an expectation for all youth who are entering or preparing to enter the job market. Not every person born in the “digital age” has regular access to the Internet at home, or uses it. A majority of regular Hatch Youth participants are from low-income households in which connectivity may be intermittent and devices to access it scarce, shared among the entire household, and/or low-performing. Others may overuse computers or spend an inordinate amount of time on one specific type of technology (i.e., gaming or social media), which can impact educational performance and create “blind spots” regarding other common technologies. Research suggests that variety and moderation of technologies is important to becoming digitally-literate.