Project Share matches NCSSM students with third graders

Central Park School for Children third graders celebrate Project Share at a Dec. 3 event at NCSSM.

Dawnn Breynae recently hosted a successful Project Share event involving 16 third grade students from Central Park School for Children in Durham, NC, their families, and 8 NCSSM iMentors. Breynae, a digital media specialist in NCSSM’s Distance Education and Extended Programs division, created the Digital Outreach Scholars, or iMentors, out of her “love for community outreach and a passion for working with students of all ages,” says Jamie Lathan, dean of Distance Education. 

During the 2015-2016 academic year, Breynae collaborated with Chanel Carroll, a third grade teacher at Central Park School for Children, to integrate technology and mentorship into the third grade curriculum. Carroll’s students and the NCSSM iMentors, fulfilling their work service time, wrote fiction stories together and animated them using the online software, Scratch.

On Thursday evening, December 3, the third graders and the iMentors showcased their work for family and friends on NCSSM’s campus. The young students stood on the stage of the ETC Lecture Hall and read their narratives. Durham Mayor Bill Bell, attending the event to support his third-grade granddaughter, said he was “very proud of his granddaughter, and extremely impressed with Ms. Breynae and the NCSSM iMentor students,” Lathan says. Parents commented that they were grateful that their children had NCSSM students as mentors. Carroll said that students worked a little harder when they knew they were meeting with their iMentors.

Congratulations to the iMentors: Jonathan Fisher, Kireet Panuganti, Malik Knolton, Nicholas Kuzma, Dory Li, Tanasha Owens, Claire Amon, and Youngmin Shin. Adam Bowker, Nimit Desai, and Ian Bunner are senior iMentors who volunteered their time to train the current iMentors.

“We are thinking big to help shape future computer software engineers, writers, mathematicians, and inventors,” Carroll said of her work with Breynae. “Project work paired with Science and Math students — what a great combination!” 

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