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The Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) After-School Program is a successful and replicable community-based after-school technology- and content- based education program. The program enables middle- and high-school aged youths in underserved communities to acquire tools necessary for personal and professional success. The strategy of embedding technology learning within content-rich studies gives students a context and purpose for exercising their developing technical skills. Computers equipped with Internet access and Encarta Africana are placed in MLK host sites and serve as the cornerstone of the programâ s activities. In the after-school setting, young people acquire knowledge about people of African descent worldwide from Encarta Africana, and at the same time acquire the cyberskills they will need to navigate to success in the 21st century. The MLK Program has two principal goals: 1) To bridge the â digital divideâ between computer haves and have nots in America by using content that is meaningful and relevant along with the creative application of technology; and 2) to provide content about the history and culture of Africa and of people of African descent to central city youths.
The Baltimore City Mayorâ s Office for Children, Youth, and Families (M.O.C.Y.F.) has embraced a partnership with the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University to launch the Baltimore City Encarta Africana/Martin Luther King, Jr. After-School Initiative â to bridge the digital divide.â The M.O.C.Y.F and the Du Bois Institute are seeking AmeriCorps*VISTA members to assist with efforts to sustain the newly formed MLK Programs; to scale the Baltimore City Encarta Africana Roving Instructor Initiative amongst After-School programs located throughout Baltimore City; and to enhance programs that provide at-risk youths a faith-based mentor who will develop a relationship to reduce the likelihood that the youths will engage in any criminal, delinquent, or violent behavior.
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