Boys & Girls Clubs of America Celebrates Decade of Digital Inspiration

10th National Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals Build Skills for Future Photographers, Animators, Filmmakers and Designers

ATLANTA, Oct. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ten years ago, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) called on its young members to create Websites and design stickers that paid homage to their personal heroes. Today, the organization celebrates a milestone in preparing America's future photographers, designers, filmmakers, and animators through the 10th National Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20050921/CLW030LOGO)

This annual competition gives young people the opportunity to gain valuable skills in technology, collaboration, storytelling and artistic expression. Sponsored by founding partner Microsoft and Comcast, Boys & Girls Clubs members are able to explore photo illustration and graphic design techniques, digital film editing, stop-motion animation and music composition. This year the AMD Foundation will sponsor a game design category for teens. All entries will be judged locally, regionally and nationally based upon creativity and technology expertise.

"Through the Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals, Boys & Girls Club members of all ages and backgrounds gain access to technology training and advanced software that may not be readily available in school and at home," said Dan Rauzi, senior director of technology programs, BGCA. "By taking them step-by-step through fun and engaging process, we teach members the key digital literacy skills they need without them even realizing how much they are learning."

According to a study by the University of Washington, programs like the Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals that provide kids with access to technology outside of school can be an important complement to the learning that happens in the classrooms. Researchers found Boys & Girls Club members not only learned the fundamentals of computers, but also how to harness technology in a way that made them more literate in current affairs and other topics that spill over from school and from home.

For Boys & Girls Clubs members like Daniel Flores, the competition can serve as a way to realize career aspirations. As a National Club Tech Digital Arts Festivals Winner in the graphics design category, Flores received a trip to Denver for a behind-the-scenes look at potential arts and technology careers. Afterwards he began his own business and completed design work for Comcast.

"I wanted to create a business that helps other companies market and promote their ideas by developing websites, logos and print making," said Flores.

He and many former winners have also been recognized as 'Faces of the Future,' a national BGCA campaign dedicated to honoring the stories of tech-savvy youth. Over the next 10 months leading up to the final announcement of 2011-2012 national winners, BGCA will prominently feature past winners and program participants on www.bgca.org.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America's Club Tech Program
Club Tech was created by Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Microsoft in 2000 to technologically enable Clubs worldwide, transforming Clubs from "swim and gym" to "point and click" destinations. Partnering with longtime supporter Comcast, BGCA provides technology program access to some 4 million youth served through Club membership and community outreach at nearly 4,000 Clubs. By leveling the virtual playing field, kids of all ages and circumstances now have access to the same resources and skills to help them discover their world, expand creativity, perform better in school, and eventually take their technology know-how into the workplace.

SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America



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