Immersive learning experiences in our Sports & S.T.E.A.M Collective Explore

Sports & S.T.E.A.M. Collective

Our Sports & STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) Collective provides active-learning opportunities for children and youth who are often marginalized from participation in public and private programs by economic and social factors. For more information on any of these programs, please contact BL-ASHE Director Rose Hunter, at

Intergenerational Family Coding Lab

Piloted in 2019 with a grant from Self Development of People (a special Ministry Of The Presbyterian Church), this program seeks to help multi-generational families overcome the systematic conditions of poverty, by creating fluency in digital technology, and a pathway to employment and economic self-sufficiency. 

During a series of six, three-hour computer labs, participating families start by learning fundamental computing and internet basics, before an introduction to computer programming, using the MIT-developed Scratch Coding Program. The program concludes with training in the Javascript coding language, career path research, and an introduction to e-commerce.

With parents leading the way, this program helps participants learn to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively — essential skills for life in the 21st century. 

The Black History Literary Center

The Black History Literary Center (BHLC) is the result of a wonderful collaboration and donation from Stan and Donna Colson. Mr. Colson is a prolific children’s author, writing under the pen name Douglas Quinn, and Mrs. Colson is an artist, illustrator and Early Childhood Educator.

Starting with their generous donation, The Stan & Donna Colson Negro League Baseball Collection, has grown to include over 2,500 books about Negro Leagues Baseball and other relevant topics of African American and local history. The majority of the collection has been carefully curated for young learners, from preschool, through young adulthood. Our library includes everything from toddler-appropriate picture and board books to reference materials for the most serious Negro Leagues Baseball research projects. 

Currently available by appointment, the BHLC will eventually be a feature of The Buck Leonard History & Learning Center at The Mitchell House. Here, we will empower young writers and artists with the inspiration, resources and support they need to contribute to the legacy of the Negro Leagues.

Baseball Ice Cream & Books

Empirical research validated by leaders in early education, shows that children residing in low wealth, at-risk living environments (like much of Edgecombe and Nash counties) are less likely to receive the early childhood language and cognitive enrichment experiences that create a positive foundation for lifelong learning. Developed by BL-ASHE Director Rose Hunter (MA, EDU), the Baseball, Ice Cream and Books (BIBS) pilot is an organic, community-based, parent/child program that promotes early childhood language, literacy, and best practices for learning. 

Based around an extensive in-home, read-aloud program that uses ice cream and nutritious snacks as motivation and reward,  BIBS is offered primarily to preschool aged kids and families of the Buck Leonard RBI Baseball League. From Mother Goose, to Negro Leagues Baseball, children will listen to at least 30 age-appropriate storybooks, read and re-read by their parents in the comfort of their own homes. The program includes several other hands-on learning “episodes”, from library visits, to exploring the ballfield. 

S.T.E.A.M. Excursion Program

Aimed at making learning fun, our excursion and field trip program enables children to gain tangible learning experiences by observing and engaging with STEAM in real-world settings. Whether it’s exploring a honeybee farm with a local farmer, observing the inner-workings of the wastewater treatment plant, or participating in activities at science museums, we know that out-of-classroom, hands-on, and observational learning opportunities are critical to the healthy cognitive development of our youth.

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