Benefit brings students, community a high-tech future


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CraftingEducation Academy founder/CEO Slayde Kerner mentors students in the nonprofit’s leadership academy.

CraftingEducation will host a black tie gala fundraiser at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30 at Tradewinds Restaurant at the Duran Golf Club in Viera. Brevard Brass will provide the entertainment and there will be opportunities for prizes, including cash and a free golf cart. Tickets are $55 each and can be purchased by going to Eventbrite.com and searching “CraftingEducation.”

The mission of the CraftingEducation Academy is to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning fun and accessible for kids just like Slayde Kerner, the company founder. Normally, so-called “coding camps” and other tech-heavy workshops can cost families $1,000-plus.

“We have a main location and also travel to schools in order to teach through our mobile unit. This gives all students the opportunity to take part in the program, especially underprivileged students,” Kerner said.

At the age of 14, Kerner is not only the founder of the tech nonprofit, charitable business that opened its doors for students in January at Suntree Station Plaza at 7025 N. Wickham Road. He's also raising up other young teachers like himself to expand the reach to more students.

The CraftingEducation plan includes a leadership academy for students ages 12 to 17 who will essentially learn the software from Kerner and then be qualified to teach the courses. Students in the leadership academy who complete the year’s duties will receive a partial college scholarship, funded by the nonprofit. Kerner’s sister, Seville Kerner, 12, will also be instrumental in the leadership academy training. Youths as teachers is key, said their mother, Susan Sears.

“It’s really nice to have a kid as an instructor, it’s like having a mentor,” Sears said. “There’s more momentum and they can all learn together that way.”

Slayde Kerner began teaching his classmates the technical ins and outs of popular console and mobile application games at age 12. When he started ninth grade at Viera High School this past fall, teacher Heather James encouraged Kerner to take his talent and teaching abilities to the next level. 

In addition to classes like MinecraftEdu, the Wickham Road location will offer a 3D printing course. 

CraftingEducation gives the kids an opportunity to work with many different programs like Adobe, 3D printing, MinecraftEdu, web design and much more in the near future,” Kerner said. 

Initially, the classes at CraftingEducation are being offered as after-school courses, but there will eventually be some school-hour options for home-schooled students. There will be summer camp options too.

For more information on donating to CraftingEducation or enrolling in the courses, go to craftingeducation.com or the Facebook page CraftingEducation Academy, or call 321-926-4848.

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