I mentioned the coding project I had on DonorsChoose. In under 48 hours, I had it fully funded. It was amazing, and I was impressed. The majority of donors were parents of students attending the elementary school where the club will be run. They were looking forward to seeing what the club would do for the students, and where it would lead.
Then today I returned to the elementary school for my usual two days. I found many more interest papers waiting for me. By the end of today, I had counted 36, ranging from K-5 (the grades the students will be in next year). I had other students tell me that they wanted to join, but their parents didn’t sign the paper in time. No worries there. All official sign-ups will take place in August so they have plenty of time to mull it over and join.
Many teachers have told me that they are also looking forward to seeing the club get started. They knew which students had returned papers of course, and they were glad that these children would be given a way to explore and create, and perhaps develop better skills for class.
It is not skills for class I am worried about. I am worried about the long term, and the options available to many of these students currently. Many come from a low SES background, and haven’t been too far out of the county. These students have not had some of the same experiences as their more wealthy peers, and so every chance they can get is an amazing opportunity. This club will show them a career field that is growing every year, and one that has a high need for workers. If these students stick with the club and find that coding is something for them, they just may end up being the next innovative programmer. They may not. Who knows?
One thing’s for sure though: with this club, they have a chance to find that out!