computers_web.jpgMIAMI — A new program which builds on the role libraries play as places of innovation and exploration is headed for the North Dade Regional Library. This innovative program will teach teens to use technology as a way to tell their stories and engage with the world around them in powerful and new ways.

YOUMedia Miami will start by teaching teens basic computer literacy skills. It will offer workshops that will help kids to think critically and creatively about their lives and community. For example, kids will be able to sign up to learn how to publish an autobiographical digital story, use technology to visualize their favorite books, create short animated films or their own video games. Adult mentors will guide them at every step along the way.

“Digital skills are a prerequisite for 21st century citizenship and libraries are ideal places for young people to acquire these skills,” said Jorge Martinez, director of information technology at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which is supporting the program with a $805,755 grant. “YOUMedia Miami takes digital a step further, by equipping kids to use technology to be inquisitive, and to experiment with who they are, and what they and their communities can become.”

“The Library System appreciates the support of the Knight Foundation in helping us realize this innovative and very timely program,” says Library System Director Raymond Santiago. “We are excited to be able to provide teens this unique learning experience.”

Currently under construction, the YOUMedia Miami space is set to open this winter. The program was first launched at the Chicago Public Library.