Phattime’s Learning Network:
Empowering Our Youth
by Stephanie Jeannot & Alvin Rogers
When the weather gets nice, most of our youth find their energy being dissolved into playing in the courtyards and having uproarious fun with friends.
Who could blame them? This winter has been so brutal and long, it makes sense why they would find pleasure in enjoying the great outdoors after hours, now that the evenings are dressed in warm sunlight. Yet, there are many other young people who have found refuge in mentors such as Alvin Rogers and Dan Johnson of the Phattime "the learning network" a 501(3c).
Phattime harnesses the power of social media and digital media platforms to empower urban youth. Phattime bridges cognitive learning principles with social networking methodologies: students have a personal space, which can be uniquely designed; students are able to invite friends to their network. Designed specifically for community organizations, The Phattime portal allows for shared information: student grades, attendance and test scores between teachers, parents and students. Parents can view student grades, attendance and dialog with teachers securely over the web.
"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family" [Kofi Annan]. To know the power of transformation is to open doors to true intellect and the future. All students, well off or low income, ought to have access to information, and skills. It is essential that they explore their own assumptions and feelings about a particular topic or situation.
Phatttime "the learning network" has made their center of interest, to open new opportunities of learning to those who seem to have been cut off from access to empowerment. Under the guidance of coordinator, Ian Holly, this program had its first pilot run at Graham Windham's Beacon Center located at 301 west 140th street in Harlem. Like Rogers and Johnson, Graham Windham's mission is to "help under-served children overcome obstacles on the path to self-sufficiency by giving them the skills to succeed.
With their pilot program, Rogers and Johnson, have found an interesting way of delivering Mobile App Development using Cloud Technologies to Harlem Youth. They have taken those interested in positive change by the hand and geared them with tools that can definitely move mountains.
It's been said that you create great men while young. These kids show their greatness beyond the typical classroom, gaining advantage in this booming technological world and embrace the education with true interest. Opportunity is not always fair gain or easy access, but this is Phattime's purpose; affording intellectuals of the future, right where access to this information is deserved.
What would make this program even better would be funding. This grassroots organization feeds the youth with priceless information, worth more than wealth in itself. In truth, "obtaining intellectual capital is the key to American competitiveness and prosperity - Those with intellectual capital will qualify for professional positions those without it will find themselves working as cashiers, clerks, or custodians" [E. D. Hirsch].
This is what makes Phattime a great organization; they benefit "humanity." For more information on this organization, visit their website at http://www.phattime.com