North End Childrens Project
North End Children's Project
The North End Children's Project is dedicated to providing XO laptops and support to the children in the Urban Village of the North End of Middletown, Connecticut.
We are accepting donations of unneeded G1G1 XO laptops for an arts and educational after-school program. These G1G1 XO laptops would be donated to the North End Action Team (NEAT), an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit in Middletown, and from there distributed to North End children. This may enable the entire G1G1 donation to be considered a charitable contribution -- as always, please check with your tax professional.
To date, we have Sixty XO's pledged, and they are being used in the classroom, at home and in an after-school program. Ultimately, we would like to provide one to each student (220) at the North End's own Macdonough Elementary School for structured classroom use and take-home time. We only have enough to hand them out to one grade this year, but that is a great start!
How Will My Donation Impact the North End Community?
This year, laptops will be given to each child in the third grade at Macdonough Elementary and will also be used in the after-school program run collaboratively between NEAT and Macdonough School. By providing kids in the program with a learning tool that is so flexible, students are able to expand the way that they think and learn. AND, because the computers are available for students to take home, students can share their learning with their families, increasing parental involvement in learning, one of the main goals of the school and NEAT. These laptops give students a way to interact with their parents in a learning environment that is disarming and approachable, and allows the children an opportunity to teach their parents, developing confidence and empowerment. Since these machines are in the home, it also allows access for the other members of the family, and provides the tools of connectivity and familiarity to enhance NEAT's leadership development goals.
Access to technology is limited by income for many families, creating barriers to jobs, opportunities and education. The goals of the program are to create an educational tool for the children involved, but also to help the community become empowered.
About the North End and the North End Action Team
The North End Action Team (NEAT) is a grassroots community organization dedicated to the revitalization and social capital development of the North End neighborhood of Middletown, CT. The organization serves the entire North End neighborhood (3,000+ residents) and has a democratically elected leadership group, committees, programs, and initiatives related to the improvement of the neighborhood. Average attendance at monthly meetings is 35 people with special community conversations attracting up to 80 participants. NEAT’s leadership group includes a majority of residents, representatives of North End stakeholder groups, and representatives of municipal departments, and community organizations.
NEAT ‘s grassroots activities began in 1997 in response to broad disinvestment, neighborhood violence, widespread poverty, and blight in the low-income North End section of the city. NEAT has served to provide an infrastructure through which residents and stakeholders have defined issues, developed a community agenda, and advocated for the neighborhood’s interests. A neighborhood plan, The Middletown Report, developed in l998 during a 2-day community conversation in collaboration with Wesleyan University and the Yale Urban Design Workshop has served as a guide to NEAT’s community agenda that has included the development of the partnership with Wesleyan U. to create the Green Street Arts Center, the expansive rental and homeownership housing development plan on Ferry, Green, and Rapallo, the Ten Point Community Policing Plan, and numerous youth development programs.
NEAT’s mission is to develop a constituent voice to identify neighborhood priorities, convene process, and develop solutions that lead to the development of the North End as a socially and economically vibrant neighborhood in which there is reciprocal benefit from stability to both families and neighborhood. The focus has been on sustainability, including economic and leadership development, and on prevention, including progressive public safety, code enforcement, housing development, property management, collaboration building, and youth and family programs. The OLPC project is intended to improve access to technology for children of the North End, to improve our neighborhood school, which has traditionally underperformed within the district, and to create programs which are unique to this neighborhood, making incentives for families to stay and decreasing transiency.
Please contact Izzi Greenberg at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in donating an XO, or helping to acquire more laptops, or volunteer with setup. NEAT's telephone contact info can be found on the NEAT web-site.