Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee (BGCMT) is thrilled to offer for the second year, Code Academy, free to all youth in Middle Tennessee. Code Academy uses curriculum developed with Apple to teach foundational concepts of computer coding that prepares youth for a future career in computer science. The purpose of Code Academy is to ensure all children and teens have opportunities to develop skills essential for the future of work through curated experiences.
Code Academy exposes local youth to computer coding concepts and app design through Apple’s “Everyone Can Code” curriculum which educates through a mixture of games, hands-on activities and instructor-led teaching. In this week-long program, instructors lead groups made of 3-5 students to design an app that solves a need in our local community, culminating at the end of the week in a celebration where each group will present their app to a panel of judges. No prior coding experience necessary to join this free program.
Code Academy is one of many new digital initiatives that BGCMT is focused on as they look to double the youth served (from 5,000 to 10,000) by 2026. The aim of this program is to provide all Middle Tennessee youth the opportunity to learn one of the most important job skills of the future, regardless of previous experience or income level.
“Not only does coding provide an array of career opportunities,” said Eric Higgs, President and CEO of BGCMT, “coding teaches our youth creative problem solving and clear communication skills that can lead to success in many other areas of life.” BGCMT launched Code Academy during the summer of 2021. Since, more than 400 youth have participated and 65% reported an increased interest in STEM careers at the conclusion.
Through its Community Education Initiative, Apple partners with Boys & Girls Clubs in more than a dozen US cities to make coding education free and accessible by providing iPad, its free Everyone Can Code and Everyone Can Create curriculum, and ongoing professional support from Apple educators.
“We believe education is a powerful force for equity, and think every student should have the opportunity to learn to code to gain critical skills for the jobs of today or tomorrow,” said Stacy Erb, Apple’s director of Community Education Initiatives. “We are proud to partner with Boys & Girls Clubs of America across the country to create opportunities for kids and teens to learn, create, and engage in their communities, and look forward to seeing more projects from the bright minds of Middle Tennessee.”
“We’re grateful to Apple for their partnership and leadership in this area,” said Melissa Smith, Director of Digital and Blended Learning. “The community focused apps we see coming out of this program are truly impressive; our youth are quickly learning to turn a passion into a tangible product.”
Code Academy is free for all students, grades rising 5th-12th, and includes meals. Devices are provided with the help of Apple. Sessions run weekly through July 22nd, Monday-Friday from 9am-1pm, with a new class of participants each week. Classes are available in both Davidson and Williamson counties and are limited to a maximum of 15 students to provide in depth coaching from our instructors.
“Learn to Code 2” is being offered for youth who participated in 2021 or have prior coding experience; those classes are noon-4pm, Monday-Friday, with a new class beginning each week. There is also a “Creatives” course using Apple’s Everyone Can Create curriculum for the creative student, and an advanced course for high school students with extensive coding knowledge.
For more information and to sign-up, please visit bgcmt.org/CodeAcademy.