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New Bedford 21st Century educators learn Scratch

John Gomes and Lawrence Burns were asked by Andrew B. O’Leary, Director of Federal and State Funded Programs, to create a 4-week introductory online Scratch course for teachers participating in the New Bedford Public Schools 21st Century after school program.

This NBPS program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for New Bedford children. Teachers at these learning centers help students meet state and local student standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math.

Through 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grants, money was awarded during the 2011-2012 school year (Fiscal Year 2012) to fund programs at more than 180 sites in more than 50 communities across the Commonwealth according to Karyl Resnick, the MADESE 21st CCLC Coordinator.

The 21st Century Program offers students a broad array of enrichment activities that can complement their regular academic programs; and offers literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

Karen Brennan was extremely helpful during the early design phase of the course. The sessions centered on key questions: · What is Scratch? · What is Scratch good for? · What is good Scratch?

Each week the participants completed a reading assignment(s) and viewed several Scratch video tutorials. A completed “challenge” project was uploaded to the Moodle sever and shared with the group.

A new cohort of 21 educators from Fall River, Wareham, Barnstable and Randolph has recently enrolled in this same introductory course.