Florida Public Library receives grant to develop youth coding programs

| 01 Nov 2017 | 07:08

    — The Florida Public Library has received a $2,100 grant from the American Library Association to design and implement coding programs for young people.
    FPL is one of 28 libraries in 21 states, out of more than 400 applicants, chosen to receive a grant funded by Libraries Ready to Code, an initiative of ALA sponsored by Google to promote computer science and computational thinking among youth.
    “We are thrilled to receive this grant and know that it will offer a vital and visionary program to our local kids," said Library Director Madelyn Folino. "Librarian Sara Verneuille and Library Assistant Maria Martinez collaborated on writing the grant and developing this project and their initiative is to be congratulated. We have been very lucky in winning grants to supplement taxpayer support and this program will be a novel and excellent addition to that record.”
    FPL provides a full range of programs for youth of all ages and many local students are to be found in the library after school using library computers, laptops and iPads to play games and do homework.
    First sessions begin in NovemberThe activities of the grant will build on past Hour of Code programs in two six-week sessions for grades 6-8 on Wednesdays and grades 4-5 on Thursdays.
    The first session will run from November to January and the second from February to March.
    A total of 36 youth can be served by the program which relies heavily on collaborative activities and teamwork.
    “Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities,” said Google program manager Nicky Rigg. “We are proud to include Florida Public Library in our cohort of Ready to Code grantees and support them with the knowledge and skills to do what they do best: empowering youth to create, problem solve and develop the confidence and skills to succeed in their future careers.”
    Libraries as centers of innovationALA President Jim Neal said “As centers of innovation and information, libraries are the ideal place for youth - especially those underrepresented in tech jobs – to get CS skills they need to succeed. ALA is pleased to provide these new resources to Florida Public Library and other Libraries Ready to Code grantees to help young people cultivate problem solving skills, in addition to coding, that are at the heart of libraries’ mission to foster critical thinking.”
    Florida’s program will involve games, learning computer logic and language, building original games with LittleBits Kits, coding these creations and developing the curriculum to be followed for the second session. It will offer structured and high-interest learning for students and give them the skills to pursue coding on their own.
    Essential informationRegistration is required for this program through the event calendar on www.floridapubliclibrary.org or by calling the library at 845 651-7659.
    Questions about Libraries Ready to Code may be directed to Maria Martinez or Meg Sgombick.
    Florida Public Library serves residents of the Florida School District in the towns of Warwick and Goshen and more than 60 percent of residents hold library cards which may be obtained free at any time during business hours.