With classes wrapped up for the school year and summer school beginning, the St. Joe Code Club is gearing up for its own program to encourage the development of junior developers in the area.
The club plans to host two five-day sessions open to second- through fifth-graders in the area.
The club originally was started in 2018 by parents in the community to help bring awareness to the importance of teaching coding early in a child’s life. Its first session, which lasted about nine weeks in January, was held at Cathedral and saw significant interest as 22 kids participated and finished the session.
“It went great. It was just kind of an experiment, a pilot program, and we thought, ‘Well, that went well, so let’s try to do another one in the summer,’” Lute Atieh, a member of the St. Joe Code Club, said.
The program partners with code.org, an organization that provides resources and lesson plans for each session. Classes utilize games and videos to help make the experience fun for those involved.
“They’re sort of learning without realizing they’re learning,” Atieh said. “The goal is really to introduce the code process and the logic behind how you code. It’s not necessarily designed to turn every child into a computer programmer. There’s really a lot of benefits to introducing this type of thing to your child at a young age.”
With a teacher to lead the program and parents to act as lab techs, kids work with robots and tablets to learn the ins and outs of coding through each lesson.
In the future, Atieh hopes the program grows to include more in-depth, complex lessons for older students.
The first session will run Monday through Friday, June 3 to 7, and the second from Monday through Friday, June 10 to 14. Each session will take place from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at the Meierhoffer Community Room, 5005 Frederick Blvd.
Parents can register at stjoecodeclub.com. The cost is $150 per student, per session.