Catawba, Livingstone Colleges to take part in Salisbury Girls Who Code effort

Catawba, Livingstone Colleges to take part in Salisbury Girls Who Code effort

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From the City of Salisbury: Two Salisbury higher educational institutions, Catawba College and Livingstone College, will assist with guest instruction of the Salisbury Girls Who Code Club (GWC) spring session. The partnership is the first of its kind where the local educational organizations have joined forces with city departments to instruct public, private and home-school youth together on a STEM-related project. 

The spring GWC Club, in which middle-school aged girls will learn various computer coding basics such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, will begin Monday, Feb. 5, 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Customer Service Center, 1415 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. 

This free, 12-week program will be held every Monday after school through Monday, May 7, except on spring break and Presidents' Day Mondays. Transportation from Knox Middle School and back to the Miller Recreation Teen Center, and after-school snacks will be provided. Non-Knox Middle School students will be responsible for transportation. All attendees, facilitators and volunteers will receive a Salisbury Girls Who Code T-shirt.

Two Catawba College professors will be featured instructors over multiple classes, while Livingstone College information technology student volunteers will assist as guest facilitators to help the young women with their webpage and capstone projects.

"The disparity between females in the computer technology field versus males, particularly in computer coding, is one reason we brought the Girls Who Code Club to Salisbury," said W. Lane Bailey, city manager. "Recognizing that technology is the future, we are in a unique position to bring these programs to our community, which is home to Fibrant, our high-speed broadband utility. But what makes this club session even more special this time around is that we are able to work with two respected institutions to benefit our young girls."  

"We are delighted to be able to participate in this program that will help bridge the gender gap in the field of computer science," said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Livingstone College president. "Any opportunity to level the playing field is a great one, and is a part of our role as an educational institution."

Catawba College President Brien Lewis lauded the program and complimented the two Catawba faculty members, Drs. Pamela Thompson and Katherine Baker, for their willingness to participate.  "In these two individuals, we see a desire to 'pay it forward' to the next generation of females who will follow in their footsteps as information technology leaders and educators. Their willingness to say 'yes' and be involved will be powerful motivator to the girls they will teach to code."

According to the Girls Who Code website, "Club girls learn the concepts of loops, variables, conditionals and functions that form the basis for all programming languages — whether they want to build a website, an app or a robot."  

Since its founding five years ago, Girls Who Code has hosted more than 30,000 students and 15,000 clubs in all 50 states. The program was founded in an effort to bridge the technology gender gap.
The Salisbury Club is open to girls 10 and older. Limited seats are available. Registration is required and is first come, first served. Girls can sign up for the program through www.fibrant.com/GirlsWhoCode through Friday, Feb. 2. For more information, contact Claire Karriker at (704) 638-5304 or ckarr@salisburync.gov.

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