South City Kids Get Coding Experience Thanks to Google, AmeriCorps VISTAs, and our Local Boys & Girls Club

South San Francisco, CA    September 1, 2016 South San Francisco resident Mark Johnson contributed to this article

Coding Class at Boys & Girls Club, Orange Park Photo: Go-Fund-Me

Coding Class at Boys & Girls Club, Orange Park
Photo: Go-Fund-Me

Last evening Channel 2 News did a segment on ‘South San Francisco kids could code their way out of poverty’ highlighting this joint venture aimed to help our local students learn valuable skills. The Google Coding Corps started as a summer program for youth ages 9-14 (4th-8th graders) with the amazing help from two full time volunteers, Preston and Michael, who are serving as AmeriCorps VISTAs. (AmeriCorps VISTA is the domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps) “A computer science graduate earns 40 percent more than a regular college graduate, so we’re trying to give kids the tools they need to break the cycle of poverty,”  AmeriCorps volunteer Preston Chan was quoted as saying.

Currently the program is seeking to expand to other local South City sites through their partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Northern San Mateo County. Currently this coding class has been available at the Orange Park location. With the communities help, they look to bring this program to the BGCNSC at Sunshine Gardens Elementary School and Paradise Valley Club House. The Boys and Girls Club continues to find innovative ways to keep our kids engaged in the world around them, helping to prepare them for tomorrow’s careers through today’s fun filled educational programs, activities and events.

The group is seeking 20 Chromebooks which will allow them to expand this program and a Go-Fund-Me account has been set up and has reached half way to their goal of $5,000. The twice a week class is FREE for the students and as stated, this is run by volunteers. It is important that the rest of our community step up to help in anyway possible, donate and/or share. From the Go-Fund-Me site, which was created in July 2016 says:

We are Preston and Michael, two full-time volunteers serving as AmeriCorps VISTAs. AmeriCorps VISTA is the domestic counterpart to the Peace Corps aimed at fighting poverty in the United States.

We are currently serving a year with Google Code Corps, a collaborative effort between Google, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and AmeriCorps VISTA. Google Code Corps aims to fight poverty using computer science education as a tool to enable and empower underserved youth.

This summer we had the amazing opportunity to impact over 130 underserved youth with our computer science program at our host site at the Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County in South San Francisco. Building upon our success, we are looking to expand our program to multiple sites, and we need your help!

Currently, we do not have the capacity to match the number of interested participants. With your assistance, we would like to purchase twenty Chromebooks with accessories such as headphones and power strips.

We are incredibly thankful for any help or support that we receive, as we continue our mission of combatting poverty in the United States. This equipment will allow the computer science programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of North San Mateo County to thrive even after summer has ended.

It is exciting to see our students benefit directly from the world renowned companies that call our City and our region home. The Gene Academy that Genentech has created and the Google Coding Corps that is being offered and expanded, will have a profound life long effect on our youth.


For more on helping to fund this cause CLICK HERE

For more on Google’s Coding Corps CLICK HERE

For more on the Boys & Girls Club of Northern San Mateo County CLICK HERE

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