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Kids Celebrate Their Tech Savvy At Government House Expo

Amhara Simmiokjier and Laurie Cedeno demonstrate the cell phone application they designed.Boys and Girls Club members on Tuesday showed off what they had accomplished over the summer taking part in the Governor’s Technology Exploration Summer Initiative.

The exposition was held at Government House in Christiansted.

Sekoia Rogers, special assistant to the governor, said the program was designed to expose children to technology at an early age and give them a chance to prepare for their future. The children created a mobile phone application, designed a web page and experimented with photography.

Gov. John deJongh Jr. said he wanted to build on the summer reading challenge program, with the next step being an introduction to technology.

“These children are like diamonds in the rough,” deJongh said. “We just have to give them opportunities.”

He said the program was a great way to engage the youth in technology. The instructors were locals, he said, which shows the youngsters the instructors are just like them and that they, too, can be successful doing what they love.

Reanna James, left, Urika Alexander and Ulissa Alexander show Gov. John deJongh Jr. photos on the web page they helped design. There were 11 children that took part in the four-week program held in the Boys and Girls Club Christiansted facility.

Laurie Cedeno,12, said she was really happy she could participate during summer camp at the club because she could concentrate on creating the application and not worry about her schoolwork.

“The best part was seeing the application come together in the end,” said 12-year-old Ebony Toussaint.

Shomari Moorehead, director of Crucian Point, and his employees helped plan and teach the projects. Moorehead said if the students enjoy what they are doing he encourages them to continue in software design. George Armstrong Jr., a graphic designer and photographer, and Richardson Edwards, software developer, were the instructors.

“Some of the kids were in awe of what they could do and accomplish,” Armstrong said. “They loved the creative freedom they were able to put in.”

O’Neil Canton, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Virgin Islands, said the children involved were serious about and committed to the program. He added that to take part they even gave up some fun activities like field trips, but he is going to treat them to a pizza or pool party.

The Governor’s Technology Exploration Summer Initiative was held in partnership with the Department of Education 21st Century Community Center Grants Program.

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