A nonprofit group aiming to arm kids with tech and digital skills to meet the demands of today’s economy has launched its newest program in Delaware.
Philadelphia-based “Coded by Kids” (CBK) rolled out their program last week at the Kingswood Community Center in Wilmington. The mission of the nonprofit is to create pathways for future success by providing free tech education to underserved school-aged youth.
“The Riverside area around Kingswood is tucked off to the side of the city and often forgotten,” said Kingwood Community Center Executive Director Logan Herring. “It is extremely meaningful for us to be the first in Delaware to host such a quality and reputable program – it’s rewarding and validating.”
Students in the program will learn the kind of technical skills that are increasingly essential for current and future employment opportunies in a range of fields. This includes receiving after-school computer science instruction from experienced industry professionals who will teach web development and design, code writing basics and startup entrepreneurship training.
The program is offered weekly for two one-hour sessions. But Kingwood and CBK are prepared to meet a growing demand for the program.
Capital One has committed to $150 million over five years to support programs like Coded by Kids across the country. “There is a digital skills gap in America, and the world is changing very fast and more rapidly ever year,” said Joe Westcott of Capital One at the March 14th kickoff ceremony. “It’s not surprising that our traditional education system is struggling to keep up.”
The ceremony also included Governor John Carney, State Senator Anthony Delcollo, Wilmington City Councilwoman Rysheema Dixon, and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer.
Meyer shared his enthusiasm for bringing Coded by Kids to Wilmington’s Riverside community. “We’re all consumers of this technology today, but there are very few people who are producers. And the producers are the winners. The producers are the ones who have no problems getting jobs. And it all starts with programs like Coded by Kids.”
Kingswood’s Herring is excited about the program’s potential to unlock opportunities. “Coding requires a proficiency and can demand a livable-wage job and lucrative career, without necessarily having to spends thousands and thousands of dollars on a degree. It’s about providing our youth with options. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg; they all had to start somewhere.”