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Girls Who Code Club spring session result of college, city partnerships

Staff report 

SALISBURY — A partnership with Catawba College and Livingstone College for the Salisbury Girls Who Code Club’s spring session is the first time that local education institutions have joined with the city to provide the STEM-related youth project.

The spring club — in which middle-school girls will learn computer coding basics such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript — will begin Feb. 5 and run from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the city’s Customer Service Center at 1415 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Ave.

The free, 12-week program will be held every Monday after school through May 7, except during spring break and the Presidents Day holiday.

Transportation will be provided from Knox Middle School and back to Miller Recreation Teen Center. After-school snacks will be provided.

All participants, facilitators and volunteers will receive a Salisbury Girls Who Code T-shirt.

Two Catawba College professors will be featured instructors over multiple classes. Livingstone College information technology student volunteers will assist as guest facilitators to help the young women with 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 City Manager Lane Bailey. “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 Livingstone President Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr. “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, 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 (a) powerful motivator to the girls they will teach to code,” Lewis said.

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 ages 10 and older. Limited seats are available. Registration is required and is first come, first served.

Girls can sign up for the program at www.fibrant.com/GirlsWhoCode until Friday.

For more information, contact Claire Karriker at 704-638-5304 or ckarr@salisburync.gov.

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