Ready, Set, Code!

The American Library Association (ALA) is administering a new grant program funded by Google to promote computational thinking (CT) and computer science (CS) for pre-school through high-school students at public libraries. Grants of up to $25,000 will be awarded to libraries in small, rural, suburban and urban communities. The ALA advises that applicants do not need to hire a grant writer. Rather, applications will be reviewed on the basis of Request for Proposal that will guide libraries to explain their vision and programming.

Students at Lakeview Elementary in Norman, Oklahoma, explore coding (photo: Paul Allman).

Marijke Visser, Associate Director of the ALA and a member of the NTCA Smart Rural Community Advisory Council, explains, “Through our Ready to Code work, we know libraries with coding programs can really make a difference for kids who may not have other options to build computational thinking skills, skills necessary for when they graduate high school and head to college or into the workforce. We are especially excited about what the Ready to Code grant can mean for our small and rural libraries and the communities they serve. All kids, regardless of background or where they live should have access to the opportunities library coding programs can open up.”

A total of $500,000 will fund this pilot program. Recipients will receive funding from the ALA along with operational and consulting resources from Google. The funding may be used for devices, staffing, marketing and other costs.

Information about the program, as well as the application, can be accessed at the ALA website.

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