NYC Parks Media Labs

Adult Program


35-30 35th St

Astoria, NY 11106

A.R.R.O.W. Media Lab

produced by

NYC Parks Media Labs

35-30 35th St

Astoria, NY 11106

Digital Literacy

NYC Parks Media Labs’s A.R.R.O.W. Media Lab is a profiled program in the Plugging In Report.

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Who is served: New York City residents

Number of participants served annually: 10,337 (4230 adults)

Location: New York City

Frequency/Duration: Varies, 6-8 weeks, once or twice per week

Curriculum: Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite, multimedia production, computer literacy, web design

Skill level: Basic

Outcomes: Participants can receive certifications including Microsoft Office Specialist, Adobe Certified Associate

Partnerships: Educational Video Center, Pathways to Graduation, the Girl Scouts, MakerSpace NYC, NYC Salt Photography Program

Cost: Free (Membership required, annual fee of $25-$150)

Sources of funding: New York City Department of Parks and Recreation

What makes this program stand out? Media Labs makes digital literacy, office suite, and tech design training available to New Yorkers through Parks Department recreation centers. With 5 locations in the Bronx, 6 in Brooklyn, 12 in Manhattan, 6 in Queens, and 1 in Staten Island, Media Labs help make basic tech training accessible throughout the 5 boroughs. Most Media Labs have offer both open hours and programmed media education courses for a range of age and skill levels, including programs for job seekers. In total, 22 locations have Tech Opps programs—instructor-led courses which offer industry-standard certifications in Microsoft and Adobe software.

The Labs also offer workforce development courses that focus on online job searching and resume writing.”We empower our communities and the voices in those communities to become producers of content and to be more of the storytellers,” says Keenan Houser, program developer for Media Education of classes offered through the media labs.

What do participants need to succeed?To participate in a Media Lab class, a recreation center membership is required. For some programs, participants must commit to attend all classes.

What does the organization need? More STEM and coding programs at Media Lab locations around the city equipped with interdisciplinary instructors who are trained technologists.