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Libraries Ready to Code Opens Call for Applications: Hour of Code Mini-Grants

In advance of Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), an annual event to get students excited about coding, ALA is opening a call for applications for $300 mini-grants to school and public libraries to facilitate an Hour of Code activity for youth using Google’s CS First Hour of Code activity.


“We hope these grants will build excitement for CSEdWeek and encourage libraries to start or grow their own computational thinking programs” said Marijke Visser, senior policy advocate in the Public Policy and Advocacy Office and the ALA lead on the Ready to Code team. “Last year more than 200 libraries participated during CSEdWeek creating so much buzz for library computing programs we created a trending topic @ALALibrary! We are also encouraging libraries to check out the resources and learning themes on the Ready to Code website.”


Libraries Ready to Code, an ALA initiative sponsored by Google, aims to ensure libraries have the resources, capacity, and inspiration to embrace activities that promote computational thinking (CT) and computer science (CS) among our nation’s youth.


CSEdWeek is held every year in recognition of the birthday of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). While organizations celebrate the week in many different ways, highlighting issues related to promoting CS Education for K-12 students, its centerpiece since 2014 has been Hour of Code to inspire educators in and out of the classroom to host events to celebrate computer science.

“Hour of Code is a great opportunity for youth to explore computer science. This year’s theme is all about using coding for good, so in this CS First activity, youth can use their imagination to turn a real-life hero into a superhero using code,” said Hai Hong, Google’s CS Education Outreach Lead. “No computer science background is required to lead the activity.”


Successful applicants will plan their own CS First Hour of Code activities using tools and inspiration provided by Ready to Code. During CSEdWeek, participating libraries will facilitate an activity, share video, photos, and tweets using #ReadyToCode, #CSFirst, and #CodeYourHero. Applicants will hold one additional CS First activity before or after CS Education week.


“After CS Education Week, we’ll share highlights from what we learn from the mini-grant recipients,” said Visser. “Libraries will be able to demonstrate that their work overall connects to the Libraries Ready to Code themes that we have found to be critical for facilitating youth learning – broadening participation, incorporating youth interests and emphasizing youth voice, engaging with communities, engaging with families, and demonstrating impact through outcomes. We also are looking for libraries that are able to reach large percentages of their youth population or spread awareness in their community in creative ways, such as videos or use of social media.”


To apply for the $300 Ready to Code mini-grant, visit the Ready to Code website for more information. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis with the final deadline for submitting an application on November 18. Up to eligible 450 libraries will be awarded mini-grants. The mini-grants will be disbursed following CS Education Week and after selected libraries successfully submit a brief report on their activities to confirm they were conducted.


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