WV coding project for girls responds to President Obama's call on Computer Science for All

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – “Coding is like entering a new world made specifically for creative people,” Cierra Mathews, a 16­year­old participant in a Charleston­ area collaborative honored by the White House today.

Project Code Nodes, in collaboration with the West Virginia Partnership of African American Churches (PAAC), is being announced today at the White House as part of a summit titled Computer Science for All, which marks progress on expanding computer science (CS) education opportunities throughout the U.S. ​ ​ White House FACT SHEET link.

The announcement comes because of the Project’s innovative grassroots plans to teach 70 girls in after school “coding clubs” located throughout the Kanawha Valley how to express themselves creatively through computer coding.

Project Code Nodes, inspired and supported by the national Girls Who Code organization, works with local, state, and national partners to encourage more women, minorities, and rural students to enter the tech industry, one of the fastest growing sources of new jobs in the country. Currently there are 30 girls participating in four clubs (Institute, Downtown, Kanawha CIty and Rand) with plans for more clubs throughout the state as local sponsors are identified.

“We’re using national curricula ­­ from Girls Who Code, MIT, and IDEO ­­ to train our next generation of tech artisans and inventors right here with young women in West Virginia,” says Ysabel Bombardiere, founder of Project Code Nodes. ​ “Through local and state partnerships with PAAC and 4­H, and mentorship from NASA West Virginia Space Grant Consortium, girls in underserved communities in Kanawha County are gaining a unique educational opportunity that could change their lives. We look forward to bring Project Code Nodes to other counties as well.”

Edna Green, ​ Director of the PAAC Communities Closing the Gap Afterschool Programs ​adds, “PAAC communities are here to support the whole child, so they can develop to their full potential. ​ Project Code Nodes is the truest form of community access, placing enrichment opportunities in environments that have already established the care and encouragement necessary for student participation and success.”

Project Code Nodes and PAAC will celebrate the launch of three new clubs today by hosting the press at their first meeting at 4:30 p.m. at the Institute Church of the Nazarene located at 208 Washington Ave. in Institute.

Event Webcast: Sept 14 ​ th ​ from 1pm­3pm at ​ https://www.whitehouse.gov/live .

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The mission of Project Code Nodes is to empower kids to express creativity and imagination, and explore their capacity to innovate, through development of relevant technical skills, like computer programing. ​ More information can be found at ​ projectcodenodes.com.

Girls Who Code is a national organization who's mission is dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. More information can be found at ​ girlswhocode.com.

Partnership for African American Churches (PAAC) ​ works to close the gap, and ​ operates three Kanawha County based afterschool and summer 21st Century Community Learning Centers for youth grades K through 12. More information can be found at ​ paac2.org, Edna Green can be reached at ​ egreen@paac2.org ​ and 304­768­7688.