Author: Lawrence Schofer

August 21, 2019 – Mt. Airy Arts Garage

Speakers: Kathy Robinson and Arleen Olshan (Director) of Mt. Airy Art Garage.


Mt. Airy Art Garage is 10 yrs old. It was first housed at the Weavers Way garage. It began with a holiday art market and received strong community support – 100s of people came to first meetings. They moved into11 West Mt. Airy Ave. where they renovated the building and remained for 6 years, and is now located in a small storefront on Germantown Ave. They have worked with both schools and businesses – rain barrel project.


Mt. Airy Art Garage has been delivering art programming to local schools for 8 yrs. Many schools do not have art programs. They want to teach teachers how to do this and bring it back to their schools. This year they will create their 4th mural with Emlen. They work with 10-15 4th and 5th graders on Friday’s from12:30-3. Students learn art terms and techniques. The Art Garage partners with Lovett Library for exhibitions. The students are first instructed in watercolors, and then acrylics. The classroom teachers select which children will take the class – based on talents or other needs. There is also a poetry component to the program where students create art around poetry. There is no art teacher at Emlen. The budget at Emlen is $3,000, but there are supplies that are still usable from past years.


Mt. Airy Art Garage raises money through fundraisers. They have an annual budget of $50,000.

July 31, 2019 Coded by kids

Sylvester Mobley, CEO of Coded by Kids


Mr. Mobley served in three branches of the military. He deployed to Iraq but also received a broad spectrum of technology training and he found his calling. He noticed a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in tech. It’s an industry of great economic growth, but large swaths of people are being left out. More people from underrepresented groups are moving from middle class to poverty than the other way around. Tech allows people in poverty to move forward economically, and stay there.


He started Coded by Kids. A systemic approach to make sure that EVERY kid has access to tech education. Without that, we cannot build an equitable society.

Wants all young people to get a higher ed degree in tech. Data says that’s what’s needed.

The teens work on real projects. Learn to work together as a team and to discover what it takes to work on a tech start-up. Teens compete in pitch competitions.

Regular classroom teachers are not up to the task. Tech centers often have more resources than they need. They don’t know what to do with tech.

Coded by Kids offers workshops for teachers. It’s hard because tech is always moving forward.

He works a lot with elected officials and policy makers.

Coded by Kids is structured like a youth spirts organization. Kids stay with it, form relationships, and gain mentors.

Funding sources: corporate sponsors – vested interest. Foundations. Earned revenue stream from contracts.

Competitive coding competition. Work in teams on projects. Team wins $5,000.