Tech club project teaching computer skills to local children

Junior Tarab Ajjan helps two students from Aunt Maggie’s Kitchen Table with learning computer skills.

By CARLY WANNA, Gazebo Editor

Right now, you’re using a computer, browsing the Stratford Gazebo.

But what if that computer didn’t have Wi-fi? Would you just stare at the screen? Maybe drag your mouse around or draw infinite numbers squares with the cursor?

Thanks to the Stratford Tech Club, the children with Aunt Maggie’s Kitchen Table can put their computers to better use than most of us. Last year, the tech club refurbished more than 60 computers from Stratford and distributed them to children in Aunt Maggie’s Kitchen Table, an organization that works with children at risk in Anthony Homes, one of Macon’s public housing projects.

This year, the tech club decided to take their philanthropy a step further. Since the computers do not have access to Wi-fi, the tech club pioneered #programyourfuture.

Through the program, Stratford high school students teamed up with Wesleyan students to teach programming to the children of Aunt Maggie’s Kitchen Table.

On a recent Saturday, students learned how to program in order to teach the young people such skills.

“Learning how to program a computer today is extremely valuable and there’s no way that it’s going to become less valuable,” said Mike McCue, instructional technology specialist at Stratford. “We are showing them that computer programming, which does not necessarily require expense…can be fun.”

More than 15 volunteers attended last the seminar to learn “Scratch,” the program they will teach the children, aged 8 to 15, over the next few weeks.

“It’s always good to know how to program, to be able to know what you’re using instead of just being a mindless user,” said senior Chris Jellum,  a member of the tech club.

The tech club hopes to continue projects in conjunction with Wesleyan under #programyourfuture

Sophomore Alex Smith, left, and freshman Lucas Brewer, center, are involved with the tech club’s community project #programyourfuture