Coded by Kids is making progress in Delaware - Technical.ly Delaware

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Apr. 24, 2019 1:29 pm

Coded by Kids is making progress in Delaware

The organization aims to make coding more accessible to kids in Greater Philadelphia – now including Northern Delaware.

James Spadola of Coded by Kids at Super Meetup 2018.

(Photo by Holly Quinn)

Coded by Kids, the Philadelphia nonprofit working to strengthening youth computer science skills (and whose founder, Sylvester Mobley, recently won the coveted Philadelphia Award), made its Delaware debut in 2018, when it launched its Kingswood Community Center program in Northeast Wilmington.

James Spadola, Delaware’s director of business development for CBK, shared the organization’s progress in the First State with Technical.ly. Little more than a year later, here’s how the nonprofit’s operations are going in Delaware:

  • CBK has increased its presence in Wilmington and New Castle; in addition to Kingswood CC, it has programs at Latin American Community Center, Freire Charter, William Penn High School, and Summer Collaborative, impacting around 100 kids.
  • For the first time, Delaware students – from PS Dupont Middle and William Penn HS – entered Ctrl-Shift, CBK’s annual coding competition in Philly, happening May 4. As part of the competition, CSC in Wilmington hosted the students for a mentoring session on their projects.
  • Red Clay Consolidated School District selected CBK to run its Summer STEM camp this July. A summer pilot program with the Boys and Girls Club and West End Neighborhood House in partnership with the Division of Social Services is in development.
  • St. Ann School in Wilmington will have a  CBK camp in June, open to any student from the area for a $175 fee.
  • Delaware partners have increased to assist CBK’s local growth, including the Laffey McHugh Foundation, BlackRock, Discover, CapitalOne, Navient, and County Executive Matt Meyer through the “NCC Cares” grant program.

“Overall, we are very happy with our growth in Delaware,” Spadola told Technical.ly. “Schools, funders, and community centers have welcomed us with open arms.”

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In addition to offering more school programs in Red Clay and Colonial School District in the fall, CBK will start a pilot at PS Dupont Middle in the Brandywine School District.

This year, the nonprofit had a key operational shift. Previously, it worked with sponsors to pick schools or locations for new programs, but now Coded by Kids picks its partners and locations based on its own expertise on “what makes a good partner and what doesn’t,” Mobley told our sister site Technical.y Philly.

(Associated with the restructuring, Coded by Kids laid off a pair of staffers at the beginning of March.)

One area of the organization that remains unchanged is its focus on diversity. Mobley said addressing tech’s lack of diversity will be key to push for more social equity.

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