Chatham County Public Libraries Receive Funding to Develop Youth Coding Programs

Chatham County Public Libraries (CCPL) has received $500 from the American Library Association (ALA) to help plan and implement coding activities during Computer Science Education (CS Ed) Week 2018 (December 3-9) and beyond. Sponsored by Google, CCPL is one of 250 school and public libraries from across the country to receive this micro grant as a part of ALA’s Libraries Ready to Code initiative.

Library Director Linda Clarke said, “In addition to books and literacy, we see computational thinking and computer literacy as vital 21st Century skills. As a learning hub in a fast-growing county, Chatham County Public Libraries aim to engage users of all ages in technology use and learning.”

Using the micro grant funding, library youth services staff intend to pursue more opportunities to educate youth in basic coding across all three branches, using a variety of coding toys purchased with grant funds.

“Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities,” said Google program manager Nicky Rigg. “We are proud to include Chatham County Public Libraries in our CS Ed Week activities this year. We hope these libraries will join the growing number of libraries excited to offer CS programs that help youth create, problem solve and develop the confidence and skills to succeed in their future careers.”

“ALA is pleased to provide microfunding to Chatham County Public Libraries and other Ready to Code libraries,” said ALA President Loida Garcia-Febo. “We hope this microfunding will not only generate enthusiasm for CS Ed Week, but spark year-round programming to develop critical thinking and digital skills youth can draw on over a lifetime.”

The 250 libraries selected for CS Ed Week funding will each host activities based on Google’s free CS First curriculum, which uses video-based instruction to introduce CS to kids through block-based coding. Libraries will pursue projects that reflect Ready to Code themes critical for advancing youth learning, especially for building computational thinking literacies. The Ready to Code team estimates that the CS Ed Week funding will support more than 60,000 youth all around the country taking part in coding activities throughout the week.

To celebrate Computer Science Education Week, Chatham County Public Libraries will offer two Google CS First SCRATCH-based coding classes for children ages 7+. Programs will be held on Monday, December 3, at 4:00 pm at the Chatham Community Library in Pittsboro and Thursday, December 6, at 4:30 pm at the Wren Memorial Library in Siler City.

Classes are free, but registration is required. Please contact the library at (919) 545-8085 to sign up.

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