Supporting Westchester Libraries

On Friday, April 7th, The Westchester Library System (WLS) hosted a breakfast at Doral Arrowwood in Rye Brook as an event to celebrate libraries all around Westchester.

The event started off in a lovely, large event room where breakfast was served to the attendees. As mostly everyone had arrived, guests were greeted with an opening speech by WLS Executive Director Terry Kirchner. Terry shortly after focused his attention on the event’s Honoree.

The DAE’s President & CEO Rob Kissner was recognized by Westchester Library System and County Executive Rob Astorino for ongoing collaboration and support for libraries all over the county. Rob as well as other DAE Staff members were in attendance to see him accept his various awards including a Proclamation from the county of Westchester stating that April 7th shall henceforth be recognized as Rob Kissner day.

After Rob’s recognition, guest speaker and Etched in Sand author Regina Calcaterra gave an audience-attention-grabbing speech about her childhood and how integral of a role libraries and other public facilities played in her life.

All in all the event was a huge success largely in part by those who attended to support WLS. It is also important to recognize all of those who work for libraries in Westchester and beyond for their time and dedication to maintaining these sacred public properties.

After School STEM Programs in Westchester

Written by Cristina Calabrese, Director of Operations & Founding member of The Digital Arts Experience

When The Digital Arts Experience (The DAE) of White Plains opened its doors in July 2012, our main purpose was to provide After School & Summer Tech Camps to kids and teens throughout Westchester County.

As The DAE began to expand upon the courses taught inside our facility, so did the demand for us to bring our programs offsite as well. With this came the idea for our Mobile Classroom, The DAExpress (The Digital Arts Express).

The DAExpress was created to provide the most cutting edge technology in a state of the art learning environment available to the Westchester community.

Inside The Digital Arts Express, or The DAExpress.

Inside The Digital Arts Express, or The DAExpress.

Able to accommodate up to 10 students at once, The DAExpress is designed to act as one of our classrooms on wheels. With this mobile computer lab, we can offer nearly every single class that we teach in our White Plains facility, anywhere in Westchester, Southern Connecticut and Rockland.

The DAExpress is equipped with 10 brand new Mac Book Pros, a Makerbot Replicator 2 3D printer, and the best digital teaching tools. We bring The DAE to you!

Since its inception in September, we’ve run classes and programs with nearly 15+ unique local schools and organizations, including:

  • Children’s Village of Dobbs Ferry
  • Don Bosco Community Center
  • Greenville School
  • Greenwich Academy
  • Greenwich Country Day School
  • Heathcote Elementary
  • JCC on the Hudson
  • Rye Arts Center
  • SAR Academy
  • Seeley Place
  • Solomon Schechter School of Westchester: Upper & Lower School
  • Westchester Hebrew High School
  • Westchester Library System
  • Westfield Day School
  • White Plains YMCA
  • White Plains Youth Bureau

…and more! We also run private, custom classes that we bring right to your door.

Students at Solomon Schechter show off their final projects in Scratch coding!

Students at Solomon Schechter show off their final projects in Scratch coding!

In addition to that, we don’t always use our Mobile Classroom when we travel to schools. Often times we will drive over and use the school’s computer room or media lab and provide classes out of there. In many cases, schools and organizations do not have the necessary equipment to provide such classes on their own. That is one of the reasons that The DAExpress came about.

The DAExpress allows us to bring everything: instructor, class content, and equipment. And the best part is – we come to you! Topics that we teach include:

  • 2D & 3D Animation
  • 3D Minecraft Animation
  • 3D Printing
  • Game Programming with Java
  • Graphic Design
  • Introduction to Computer Science with Python
  • Scratch Coding
  • Stop Motion Animation
  • Visual FX & Video Production
Animation Instructor Nicholas Sceusa teaching 3D Minecraft Animation using a powerful 3D Animation program, Blender.

Animation Instructor Nicholas Sceusa teaching 3D Minecraft Animation using a powerful 3D Animation program, Blender.

We can also provide Professional Development to school staff. In short, there is a lot we could do with our Mobile Classroom. As time goes by, we discover new and unique uses for it. We are excited to keep it “rolling” and see where the future takes us!

Do you know of a school or local organization in need of After School STEM related programming? Contact us at info@TheDAE.com or feel free to visit our website www.TheDAE.com to learn more.