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10/3/2012 2:36:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Photo by Kacie Thrift
Cashmere School District volunteer, Candi Int-Hout, shows fourth grade students how to use HTML coding to make a web page. Two summers ago, Int-Hout started a technology camp for Vale students and continues to educate the kids about computers during the school year.
Photo by Kacie Thrift
Local volunteer helps fourth grade students learn about computers
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

Candi Int-Hout has been volunteering with the Cashmere School District since her children started school in 1995. A year and a half ago, the elementary school started a reading program and Int-Hout was asked to be a volunteer. Her response, "I rather do computers."

Glenn Johnson took Int-Hout's request seriously and let her run a pilot with a few fourth graders in the spring of 2011, using a program called Photo Story 3. After a few months, Int-Hout realized the students were picking up on the material. Johnson then asked her if she was willing to do a week-long summer camp for students involving technology.

This started Vale Tech Kids, a summer program for upcoming fourth graders to work with computers and learn more about technology. For the summer camp, Int-Hout uses a free Microsoft program called Photo Story 3 to teach students how to make a story come to life with digital pictures and a computer.

Each student brings in 20-25 pictures from a family vacation, an event, or basically anything they want their digital story to be about.

"They don't just put a bunch of pictures together for a slideshow," Int-Hout said. "They go through and crop pictures, transition each picture, add captions and things like that."

The students also learn how to use a thumb drive, rip and store music from a CD, and record their voice for their photo story. The students who enjoy the summer camp have the opportunity to work with Int-Hout throughout the school year as well. The 2011 Tech Kids created teacher biographies, and learned how to build a website through HTML coding.

"Last year, I worked with a few in the fall and a few more in spring," Int-Hout said. "Once they get the idea they have to put the code in brackets and they learn simple codes like color, size, bold etc., they learn to link the story they made during summer camp."

By the end of the year, the fourth graders use everything they learned from Int-Hout to make a "end of the year" video for all of the Vale students to watch.

Int-Hout usually works with only a few kids at a time, but because of all the previous smoke issues, she volunteered to come in during recess and allow Tech Kids to work on making a webpage to link their photo stories. Even though the smoke cleared and recess was back on last week, a group of students wanted to stay inside and spend their recess learning about technology.

"I think they learn a great deal of computer skills by doing this. When I first bring them in I ask if they know what a thumb drive is and they don't really know. Pretty soon they learn it holds their data and it can be used to transfer data. They learned to put captions on things and learned to position it, they used keyboard and mouse skills to move things around,' Int-Hout said.

When Int-Hout is not volunteering for the school district she is a transcriptionist for education researchers. She said, in her job, she is on computers all day long and has learned a lot about computers from work. She learned the majority of her HTML knowledge when she worked on the middle school website years ago.

Last year, the Tech Kids used their new computer knowledge to make photo stories on activities Vale students participated in such as Salmon Festival, Barn Beach Reserve Scavenger Hunt, and more. They would make photo stories out of events students participated in so parents were able to see what activities the children had been doing.

Parents have also become involved with the Tech Kids program by helping their children with their story idea and taking the pictures to creatively show the story. One student did his photo story on water and his father helped him take his pictures to create the story.

Int-Hout said her goal for this year is have the new group of Tech Kinds continue doing stories on what happens over the school year.

"I'm hoping these kids will be equally excited to come in and make stories," she said. "They learn to use this program and just take off."

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 548-5286 or

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