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Business & Innovation

Black Girls Code launch free coding academy for 7-10 Year-Olds

todayApril 3, 2024

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Black Girls Code and GoldieBlox Launch Free Coding Academy for 7-10 Year-Olds
Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones with Kalani Jewel at Launch of Code Along Jr. in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Black Girls Code, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Black girls with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in technology careers, and GoldieBlox, a multimedia company that creates content and products to make STEM fun and accessible for all kids, especially girls, who have been underrepresented in STEM fields, have joined forces to inspire and educate the next generation of Black women leaders in technology through the free, video-based coding academy, Code Along. The latest iteration of Code Along—Code Along Jr—is hosted by child actress Kalani Jewel and was designed for the organization’s youngest participants, aged 7-10.

Code Along Jr. features six tutorials that provide practical skill-building and inspiring role-model videos using Scratch, the world’s leading coding platform for kids. The program adds to Black Girls Code’s existing global library of free coding tutorials, which include Black girls and young women as instructors to inspire future generations, fun and impactful projects with easy-to-follow lessons, and surprise guest role models showcasing diverse career paths.

Black Girls Code aims to place one million girls of color in tech by 2040, and this partnership with GoldieBlox is a significant step towards achieving that goal.

Successful Launch Event in Los Angeles

Code Along Jr. launched at a live event in Los Angeles in March, which drew nearly 200 participants. The program builds on the success of the original Code Along initiative, which is highly effective in increasing young girls’ interest and confidence in coding. A 2023 study revealed that Black girls who watched Code Along videos were twice as likely to agree that “people like me belong in the world of technology and computer science” and can “easily learn code.”

Changing the Face of Technology

“Together, we can change the face of technology,” said Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones. “Kalani, as a vibrant and energetic 12-year-old, is the perfect host for Code Along Jr. She shows girls that tech is fun, not scary. She reaches them at their level and shows them they can do anything. This is so important because tech is at the center of everything we do, and Black girls have much to offer as entrepreneurs, executives, creators, and artists of the future.”

Debra Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox, added, “GoldieBlox lives at the intersection of technology, play, and girl power. A partnership with Black Girls Code on Code Along Jr. is a natural fit for us. We are thrilled to help expose girls to the magic of tech-enabled creativity and support them on their learning journey.”

Reaching Girls at a Critical Age

It is critically important to reach girls before their spark of curiosity can be dimmed by outside forces. By middle school, many girls begin to doubt their ability to succeed in science and math. A study by Junior Achievement shows only 9% of girls ages 13-17 are interested in STEM careers.

To participate, young coders can subscribe to the Black Girls Code YouTube channel and follow the organization on social media for the latest updates on Code Along and Code Along Jr.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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