Since 2014, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Google have partnered together to provide Club youth and teens with computer science programming. The partnership program, titled Code Corps, aims to inspire and train the next generation of computer scientists, specifically minorities and female youth and teens, by utilizing full time trained staff through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
The partnership engages Club youth and teens through Google’s computer science curriculum, CS First, which strives to make computer science fun and accessible to all. Through modules based on interests, CS First incorporates videos and Scratch programming to enhance skills in coding. Since its inception, the curriculum has reached more than 378,000 students throughout the country. BGCA has also engaged Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS) to assist in program implementation, specifically around volunteerism and sustainability. AmeriCorps VISTAs are placed at each Club site to help ensure program impact and success.
Since the inception of the partnership, BGCA has served more than 4,800 students, achieving over 22,000 hours of coding. Additionally female Club members make up half of CS First participants, which is important considering only 18 percent of women nationally receive degrees in computer science. Code Corps also reaches underrepresented populations in computer science with nearly 68 percent of program participants at Clubs are either of African-American or Hispanic descent.
BGCA is looking forward to continuing this partnership with both Google and CNCS in order to engage more Club youth and teens in the education of computer science, hoping to inspire them towards possible career paths and further education in STEM related fields.
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