With an aim of closing the gender gap in technology, Girls Who Code has been spreading across the country in recent years. Starting this month, Girls Who Code clubs will be offered at Swanton Public Library.
It was only a matter of time before the Girls Who Code initiative came to the Swanton Public Library, according to Morgan Rinckey, SPL library assistant.
The Northwest Regional Library System, which Swanton Public Library is a part of, has promoted the program to local libraries.
“SPL wanted to partner with Girls Who Code because it is a great opportunity for girls (and boys!) to learn the beginning steps of coding and to continue their interest in computer sciences,” said Rinckey. “There are a lot of young girls who are interested in working with computers, but these aspirations aren’t always encouraged. So we are offering this program to help encourage girls to pursue what they are interested in at an early age.”
There will be two separate clubs offered at the library – one for students in grades 3-5 and one for grades 6-12. The first meeting of the club for girls in grades 6-12 will be Thursday, Jan. 17 from 4-5 p.m. The first meeting for grades 3-5 will be Saturday, Jan. 19 from 1-2 p.m.
“This club stands out from other groups because everything will be decided on by the girls. An adult isn’t going to be leading the activities, the girls will choose everything that we do, and they will lead the meetings.” said Rinckey.
The younger group, grades 3-5, will be reading “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World” and doing group activities.
“For the older group, grades 6-12, they will decide on a community focused initiative they want to concentrate on, and they use their coding skills to bring that topic to light by creating a website, an app, or whatever they choose to work on,” Rinckey said.
No computer science experience is necessary to join the clubs.
Those interested can register for the free club by visiting the library, calling 419-826-2760, or signing up online at www.swantonpubliclibrary.org. Swanton Public Library is located at 305 Chestnut St.
The Girls Who Code initiative now reaches almost 90,000 girls in all 50 states.
“I want to get girls interested in learning, and even if they don’t want to pursue a career in a STEM field, there is so much they can learn from this club,” said Rinckey. “They will learn transferable skills like leadership, communication and analytical skills, and critical thinking. It is a group that I would have liked to be part of in high school, and I encourage all parents to talk to your kids about this program.”
Reach Drew Stambaugh at 419-335-2010