Housatonic Community College’s (HCC) STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) program has partnered with Bridgeport Organization for Youth Sports Inc. (BOYS, Inc.) to bring “Saturday Academy” academics into the lives of at-risk youth, disadvantaged school-aged girls and boys in the Bridgeport regional community and surrounding areas.
Starting on Saturday Oct. 8, scholars can engage in ongoing STEAM activities similar to the camp program held on HCC’s campus, this past summer.
The HCC outreach effort aims to help close the academic achievement gap for young scholars in the Greater Bridgeport area by providing academic training in problem solving and creative thinking.
HCC’s Assistant Biology Professor Robin Avant is the STEAM Program Coordinator. Robin organized a STEAM task force to align with President Paul Broadie’s vision of needing “children to explore and create”.
Robin agrees with Dr. Broadie and “wants to get the young, at-risk kids off the streets by working with Bridgeport Organization for Youth Sports Inc. so they will always have a safe place to go and learn. Often, at this age, kids feel lonely and don’t know who to call on, or they turn to the wrong things and choose the wrong answers. We want them to know they can come to our Saturday Academy and summer camp on the HCC campus.”
Early this summer, Bridgeport Organization for Youth Sports, Inc. awarded Robin the “Jettie Tisdale S.T.E.A.M Award” for her demonstrated ability as a community leader in the implementation of STEAM curriculum at their Inaugural Youth Empowerment Gala in June. Shawn D. Byrd, Executive Director of the Bridgeport Organization for Youth Sports, Inc. and Robin worked closely during this summer to implement the 2016 HCC STEAM Saturday Academy and Summer Camp. Having coached neighborhood sports for many years, Shawn wants his scholar-athletes to excel in the classroom as well. “Sports are easy for most kids; they want to come out for that. I want them to be self-sufficient in academics too. Mentally, they’re hesitant and feel they can’t do it. We need to build their self-esteem until they’re willing to tackle anything,” he said.
For more information, call Robin Avant, 203-332-5984 or email: or visit the www.bptyouthsports.org .