The Level Up! Youth Computer Literacy Program was launched in Fall 2014, at our Israelite Baptist Church site. Through a NOLA Access Initiative grant Liberty City was able to establish an updated computer center, offering us the opportunity to expand on program offerings. Level UP! reaches students during our after school and summer academic sessions with computer literacy instruction, addressing the digital divide. The program provides both access to information and communication technologies and training in the knowledge and skills needed to use them.
A report by STEMconnector.org estimates that 8.65 million workers will be needed in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) related jobs by 2018. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 71% of those jobs will be computing-focused. It is vital that children learn how to use a variety of technologies to help them think critically, problem-solve, and work cooperatively. Youth must be prepared to take advantage of the employment opportunities offered by our digital age.