KANSAS CITY MO. — A Kansas City nonprofit organization, aSTEAM Village, this week launched a free Virtual School for students and adults, along with a low-cost online certification program.
"Since the coronavirus hit, schools have been canceled and students are at home. Many parents are working from home or lost their jobs and are at home searching for a new career," said William Wells, aSTEAM Village founder and executive director. "We have free online tools and one low-cost online certification program for teens and adults."
Free Virtual School for Parents Becoming Teachers or Students on their Own Learning Quest
Wells said aSTEAM Village was already developing a Video School for grades K-12 before the coronavirus pandemic.
Social studies in grades three through 12 and sixth-grade math bundles are currently available at no cost.
From the aSTEAM Village website, simply click on Virtual School/Online Learning and choose math or social studies. Users will be asked to type in their name and connect.
Concepts are explained in print and through videos.
"Parents are once again becoming the teachers," Wells said. "Studies show that parent involvement leads to greater student success, and we believe our Video School provides parents the tools to know if their child has mastered the core concepts and is ready to advance or if the child needs to review a concept."
Children also can participate in the Video School on their own, Wells added.
$19.99 Online Certification for Teens and Adults
If users click on certification prep classes from the aSTEAM Village website, modules will allow adults and teenagers to prepare for industry certification, enabling them to work in information technology and computer science, Wells said.
"Because so many more people are at home, businesses are moving to online access and they need workers to be able to run their platforms," he said.
The cost for online certification modules is $19.99. Topics include computer fundamentals; web and graphic design and video production; IT support; personal production; leadership and management; and several others.
Bernice Cottrell's 12-year-old grandson, Riley, is a student at Hazel Grove Elementary School in Lee's Summit. He said he wants to be an engineer and is taking the IC3 5 Digital Literacy Certification module.
"I love it," Bernice Cottrell said. "With us being out of school these three weeks, he's getting new knowledge and he's self-paced and he's going beyond what he already knows."
"I would say to any parent that this is a very valuable program to move their child to 21st century learning, employment and beyond the next two or three years," Cottrell said. "This program definitely gets them on the track to move forward."