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Boys & Girls Club members to receive prize in Atlanta

Posted by Gail Waterhouse  June 9, 2010 10:00 AM

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The following is a press release from the Boys & Girls Club of Middlesex County:

For the 8th Annual Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals, Boys & Girls Club members across the country were encouraged to follow in the footsteps of notable Boys & Girls Club alumni such as Denzel Washington, Mario Lopez and Usher, and BE Creative in depicting the greatness within their Club.

David Thelemaque, Carlo Gerton, and Guerschom Jean-Louis were encouraged to engage in unique forms of artistic expression to create a digital piece of art in the Movie Tech category. Their entry, entitled Stay in School, not only creatively captured this theme, but it brought home the top honor for the Northeast region in the 13-15 age group. Now on behalf of Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County (BGCMC) and the Washington Street Clubhouse, Thelemaque, Gerton and Jean-Louis will vie for the national title and an expenses-paid trip to Atlanta to learn about real world application of the skills learned through the program.
 
The Digital Arts Festivals are a dynamic component of the national Club Tech program, a partnership between Boys & Girls Clubs of America, founding sponsor Microsoft and Comcast with the goal to provide youth with the skills needed to thrive in a technology-driven world.
 
In contests held locally, regionally and nationally, the Digital Arts Festivals celebrate the creativity and technical abilities of area Boys & Girls Club members. Members are encouraged to combine these elements to generate a digital masterpiece in one of four categories—photo illustration, music production, filmmaking and graphic design. Members created artwork that reflected this year’s theme “BE CREATIVE.” From magazine ads and bumper stickers or billboards, to clay animations or PSAs and digital music, the artwork was judged based on age, artistic merit and demonstrated technological skills of the members.
 
Thelemaque, Gerton and Jean-Louis worked closely with Club staff and in collaboration with Somerville Community Access Television (SCAT) to create the award-winning project.
 
Located in Everett, Somerville, Medford and Cambridge, BGCMC has served its communities for more than 37 years and provided programs for more than 5,000 boys and girls in the areas of character and leadership development; educational enhancement; career preparation; health and life skills; the arts; and sports, fitness and recreation.
 
“Through the Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals, our members showcase their ability to create and innovate given exposure to advanced technology,” said Mechilia Eng, Executive Director. “With the support of Microsoft and Comcast, our youth are learning the essential digital skills necessary to succeed in a technology-driven world.”
 
“Technology know-how is almost always expected in the world today. Thus, it is important that we help spark the imagination, and help our youth discover potential career paths so that they will be well-prepared for the future. The Club Tech Digital Arts Festival does just that. It helps develop members’ creativity and allows them to play with the limitless possibilities of their imagination,” said Karen McDonald, vice president, Program & Youth Development Services at Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “The experience gained from this event will help carry our young people through grade school into college and into the career world.”
 
Through Club Tech, members are introduced to the world of clay animation, robotics, game design, digital movie making, photo illustration, graphic design, music production and Web design. Youth follow an interactive, age-appropriate curriculum and complete various projects throughout the year.
 
National teen winners receive an expenses-paid summer trip that includes sightseeing and job-shadowing experiences. In years past, winners have visited the headquarters of Microsoft in Seattle, Best Buy in Minneapolis and Boys & Girls Clubs of America in Atlanta to get a behind-the-scenes peek at potential careers.
 
This year, teens (ages 13-18) will venture to Atlanta for four days and four nights of fun-filled educational and career exploration experiences. Winners in the youth division (ages 6-12) will receive $500 per category to the Club to hold an event or day trip to honor their national winners.
 
The Festivals are just one way that Boys & Girls Clubs of America, founding sponsor Microsoft and Comcast hope to technologically enable more than 4.2 million youth served by some 4,000 Clubs nationwide and abroad through Club membership and community outreach. Club Tech also provides software, develops and delivers curricula, and provides program management and computer training for staff and youth. The sponsorship allows Clubs to integrate technology into every aspect of the organizations’ fabric, from overall management to core programs.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s Club Tech Program
Club Tech was created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) and Microsoft (www.microsoft.com) in 2000 to technology enable Clubs worldwide, transforming Clubs from “swim & gym” to “point and click.”  Partnering with long-time supporter Best Buy Children’s Foundation (www.bestbuy.com) and Microsoft, BGCA provides technology program access to some 4.8 million youth served through a network of more than 4,000 Clubs.  By leveling the “virtual playing field,” kids of all ages and circumstances now have access to the same resources and skills to help them discover their world; expand creativity; perform better in school, and eventually take their technology know-how into the workplace.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County Program
Founded in 1973 to serve 20 boys in Somerville, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Middlesex County (BGCMC) is now a multi-community, multi-facility-based agency. Over the past decade, BGCMC has expanded its services to meet the needs of youth in adjoining communities. The BGCMC provides a safe haven after school, when members are most likely to become involved in negative behavior and unconstructive activities.   Programming, activities, staff mentoring, and Clubhouse framework help reinforce healthy relationships, a strong moral compass, and academic achievement as important values. BGCMC’s target audience is at risk youth engaging in negative behaviors such as drug use, gangs, delinquency, or early pregnancy. More than 5,000 youth and teens, ages 6-18, are served by the five Clubhouses in the communities of Cambridge, Somerville, Everett and Medford.

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