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We can hack it! Beep: Every Brooklyn kid should learn to code - Brooklyn Paper

We can hack it! Beep: Every Brooklyn kid should learn to code

She can hack it: PS-MS 282 studen Miah-Simone Browne shows off her computer skills.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Brooklyn needs to get with the program!

Every kid in the borough must have the opportunity to learn how to write computer code so they can score high-paying tech jobs when they grow up, says Borough President Adams, who unveiled a new plan on Monday that he claims will ensure all youngsters in Kings County become fluent in the language of gizmos.

“Our future is being written in zeroes and ones, and coding will help our young people write that future, while adding several zeroes to the ends of their salaries,” said the Beep, who launched his Code Brooklyn initiative at PS-MS 282 in Park Slope on Nov. 2.

The first phase of Adams’s plan is to get every school involved in the Hour of Code — a week in December where kids across the world take 60-minute-long tutorials that walk budding code monkeys through writing their first computer game.

More than 200 Brooklyn schools have already signed up for the Hour of Code, but Adams won’t be satisfied until all Kings County’s educational institutions involve their scholars in the code-a-thon.

“We’re working towards 100-percent participation,” said Adams’s press guru Stefan Ringel.

The next step of the Beeps’s plan is to audit all the tech infrastructure that currently exists within Brooklyn schools — figuring out exactly what gadgets they require to provide students with the computer savvy they’ll need to succeed, and then giving to them.

This summer, Adams designated nearly $14 million of his capital funding for tech stuff in schools, and next year he plans on following up with an even larger grant for silicon-based educational tools, according to Ringel.

“Based off that analysis, you’ll see sharper increase in funding than what you’ve seen already,” he said.

Adams also vowed to act as a liaison between schools and the city, making sure funds Mayor DeBlasio has designated for training teachers in tech skills get to the schools and educators that need them the most.

Finally, the Borough President said that he will work with state Sen. Diane Savino (D–Coney Island) and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon (D–Cobble Hill) to draft a state law mandating computer science classes in all schools.

The pols say the lessons are essential for making sure the Brooklynites of tomorrow are prepared to serve their robot overlords.

“Technology is changing so rapidly that by the time this year’s kindergarteners graduate high school, ‘college or career readiness’ will demand coding skills because robots will be making most of our goods,” said Simon. “We need to prepare our children for a job market that will be dominated by computer science-related fields.”

Brooklyn tech-sperts interested in volunteering to help teach Hour of Code classes can learn more at volunteer.codebrooklyn.org.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.

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