CodeNow is a new initiative to teach foundational computer science skills to under-privileged young people. It has received privileged publicity by being featured on the White House blog.
The post by Director of the Office of Public Engagement Jon Carson is the first in weekly blog series highlighting non-profits dedicated to improving their communities and it great to discover that its about a computer education initiative.
CodeNow was set up by Ryan Seashore and in an interview with TNW he explains that when he came up with the concept he was shocked to find only a few organisations were teaching programming to young people and none with the same aims of reaching "underserved youth".
Coding is the language of the future. If we want our youth to be competitive globally we need to teach them be tinkerers and look under the hood of technology.
Programmers are modern-day artists constantly shaping the world we live in. The boundaries are as endless as their imagination.
The organization teaches high school students the basics of computer programming and computer science in free, extra-curricular, off-campus trainings and boot camps with the objective of narrowing the current digital divide. Each student who completes their program receives a netbook, mentoring and assistance finding internships.
The pilot launched in DC in August. Two more weekend trainings and a four-day boot camp are planned by the end of 2011 and in 2012 CodeNow will expand to four cities.
Let us hope that this scheme can flourish and spread further to help combat both youth deprivation and the acknowledged technological skills gap. After all we have long known that coding is the language of the present but it is still good that CodeNow is making a long needed effort to try to ensure that it is also the language of the future.