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LIS451 Spring 2011

Executive Summary

Organizational Opportunity, Need, or Problem

What organizational opportunity, need, or problem is being addressed through this project?  How will technology support and enhance existing programs, or enable new programs within the organization?  What specific populations do these programs serve?  How will technology help the programs better serve these populations?


Tap-in academy is an organization founded by Sally carter aimed to benefit the children ages 9-17 of Champaign and  Urbana. Tap-in runs an after school enrichment program as well a summer enrichment program, both  held at the McKinley Foundation located on the University of Illinois campus. Their mission statement, taken from their website is as follows:

“The mission of TAP In Leadership Academy (TAP In) is to educate, equip, and empower youth living in marginalized, urban communities to enhance educational achievement, leadership development, and cultural awareness.

By providing children with an equitable opportunity for intellectual, social, and emotional growth, it is TAP In Leadership Academy’s long-term goal that all of its scholars are admitted to and complete a four-year college or university program.

TAP In Leadership Academy’s vision is to cultivate better scholarship and responsibility in youth to become contributing leaders in their families, their communities, and in the world.”

The summer enrichment program provides meals for the scholars, including a snack. The curriculum, according to their website is the following:

“In the mornings, scholars are engaged in culturally-integrated literacy curriculum (CILC). University professors and professionals implement solid curricula tailored to our scholars’ interest. Social skills are strengthened through daily cultural enrichment activities. In the afternoons, scholars explore computer programming, media studies and cultural art, as well as music, drama, and dance. Fridays are set aside for Field Studies. Scholars learn from guest speakers and presentations; visit museums and parks; and engage in service- learning projects while developing leadership skills.”

What we  have found out about Tap-in is that it is really all about the kids. The program isn’t curriculum driven like school is, but rather it is student driven–meaning the goal of the program is for each to kid to pursue and maximize their natural skill and talents, as well as prepare them for college. This said, it is necessary that we have hardware and software that kids will have to use in high-school and college. This means exposing the kids to Windows, Microsoft Office, MacOS, etc. But also, we can use open-source software for enrichment.

One thing the kids are especially interested in is photography. Sally hopes to make photo-editing software available to the students and possibly video-editing software. Unfortunately, both are expensive. We think that we will end up just ordering copies of Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Project Summary

Briefly, what is to be accomplished by the end of the semester?  What are the main outputs to be created by the students?  What needs to be accomplished by the organization prior to final delivery of the products?


Our goal as a group is to set up a mobile and versatile computer lab that can meet tap-in’s ICT needs  for this upcoming summer and beyond.  Broken down, this means that we want to help set up a lab that Sally and the kids can then make their own. A lot of what we are doing is helping Sally decide how to best spend money for ICT acquisitions. Running through use scenarios with Sally has really helped in this process. We find talking about the Tap-in curriculum is an asset, but talking about the kids that go to Tap-in is really what has been most guiding.