2018 Phillip B. Lindy Award Winners – the Julia de Burgos and Villanova Computer Science Collaboration
At our K-16 Summer Institute, PHENND had the privilege of honoring Julia de Burgos K-8 School and Villanova University with the fourth annual Phillip B. Lindy Award for Excellence in K-16 Partnerships. This award pays tribute to the legacy of Phil Lindy, and aims to recognize collaborative K-16 Partnerships. The 2018 Lindy Award was presented to the Julia de Burgos and Villanova Computer Science Collaboration. Phil Lindy valued collaboration and communication among diverse stakeholders in order to maximize impacts.
In today’s ever changing world, it is rare that you find partnerships that last decades, but the Julia de Burgos – Villanova collaboration has been going strong since 1998. The partnership began with Dr. William Fleischman, Professor of Computer Sciences, refurbishing laptop computers to fill the technology needs of Julia de Burgos. Since then the program has expanded, and Julia de Burgos students spend four Saturdays every year on Villanova’s campus.
After navigating SEPTA to make their way to the Mainline, 7th and 8th grade students spend their Saturdays learning computer programming and coding with the guidance of Villanova student mentors who are computer science majors. At the end of the program, the Villanova students deliver refurbished laptops to Julia de Burgos, so the students can continue to have the access to technology needed to be successful in high school. When they come, the Villanova students are welcomed at de Burgos with a celebratory ‘Friday Fiesta’ with home-cooked meals, student speeches of appreciation, and thank you letters.
The partnership embodies the K-16 June Institute theme of ‘College Access and Success.’ Students learn much needed math skills needed to be successful in the 9th grade (a strong indicator of being on track to be college ready.) The partnership also fosters motivation to pursue careers in the STEM related fields. By providing students with the opportunity to be on campus, learn new material, and explore career options, the students begin to see that college is not only accessible but a real possibility. One former student commented, “Mister, after being on campus all this time I feel I could get used to this.”
At the Lindy Award presentation, Mr. Andrew Guyon, teacher at Julia de Burgos, exuded passion for his students and gratitude for partnerships that have helped his students flourish and achieve their college dreams. Dr. Fleischman, spoke of the many Villanova students who have been positively impacted by participating as mentors in the program. The partnerships will use the $1,000 award to help kick-start a FIRST LEGO Robotics League. PHENND is excited to continue to honor the legacy of Phil Lindy through this award, and is looking forward to another 20 years of the Julia de Burgos – Villanova partnerships.
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