ATLANTA, Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, as part of the White House's Computer Science for All Summit, Google, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) announced computer science programming for six underserved communities and youth around the country. The announcement commits an additional 11 AmeriCorps VISTA members and seven AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates to supporting this effort in the following areas: Harlem, New York; San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; Dorchester, Massachusetts; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Omaha, Nebraska.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Google and the Corporation for National and Community Service's Code Corps program will connect with more than 5,500 Boys & Girls Club kids and teens over the next year as part of the organization's partnership. The Code Corps program aims to inspire and train the next generation of computer scientists utilizing full time trained staff through the AmeriCorps VISTA program.
"Today's kids and especially teens are digital natives, living in a world that is tech centric," said Jim Clark, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "With millions of jobs on the horizon in computer science and technology, it's imperative to introduce these skills to underrepresented youth at an early age to ignite passions for in-demand industries so they can achieve a great future. We thank Google and the Corporation for National and Community Service for investing in this program and its impact on our Club members."
This year, the Code Corps program will recruit and train 40 AmeriCorps VISTA members and Summer Associates to build capacity for technology programming at local Clubs around the country. AmeriCorps VISTA members will train local volunteers at select Clubs on Google's CS First curriculum. The program will connect 5,500 Boys & Girls Club kids and teens to computer science and equip them with the skills needed to be successful in one of the most in demand and fastest growing fields.
Google's CS First curriculum aims to make computer science fun and accessible to all. Through modules based on interests, it incorporates videos and Scratch programming to enhance skills in coding. Since its inception, the curriculum has reached more than 450,000 students throughout the country.
Google Code Corps has made a significant impact for Boys & Girls Clubs. To date, the program has served more than 4,800 students throughout the nation including over 22,000 hours of coding since the inception of the program. 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.
"Most kids these days are immersed in technology, taking a liking to computer science before they even realize, or care about, the great opportunities technical skills can open up for them as they grow into adults," said Google's Director of Education & University Relations Maggie Johnson. "Code Corps was built to help underrepresented youth transform their passion and interest for technology into tangible skills and expertise, and teach them what a great equalizer that can be along the way."
AmeriCorps VISTA Code Corps is a program through STEM AmeriCorps, an initiative announced by President Obama in 2013 to encourage public-private partnerships to expand national service and STEM career education for K-12 students. AmeriCorps VISTA members at Boys & Girls Clubs have collectively served over 25,000 hours at Clubs, recruited volunteers in each local area, and many have brought resources to their assigned Club including computers and tablets for programming. Today's announcement comes as AmeriCorps prepares to induct its one-millionth AmeriCorps member on October 7th.
"We are thrilled to continue our work with Google and Boys & Girls Clubs of America to inspire students and give them the skills they need to pursue careers in science and technology," said Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. "Through this public-private partnership, these AmeriCorps VISTA members will help young people gain access to technology skills critical to their future and usher in a new generation of creative, innovative young leaders."
Clubs participating in the partnership this year include:
Boys & Girls Clubs of Dorchester (Dorchester, Ma)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Wake County (Raleigh, N.C.)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Portland Area (Portland, Ore.)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Harlem (New York, N.Y.)
Boys & Girls Club of North San Mateo County (San Francisco, Calif.)
Boys & Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley (Silicon Valley, Calif.)
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands (Omaha, Neb.)
As part of Back to School Week, the White House hosted a summit on 'Computer Science for All' to mark progress on expanding computer science (CS) education since the President's call to action in his State of the Union eight months ago, and celebrate new commitments in support of the effort, which included Google, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and CNCS investments.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 150 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,200 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. They provide a safe place, caring adult mentors, fun, friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Priority programs emphasize academic success, good character and citizenship, and healthy lifestyles. In a Harris Survey of alumni, 54 percent said the Club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at http://www.bgca.org/facebook and http://bgca.org/twitter.
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.
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SOURCE Boys & Girls Clubs of America