Three Things CodeVA is Doing for Virginia

It’s not Rocket Science. It’s Computer Science. CodeVA launches!

CodeVA is centered around bringing computer science to Virginia by serving teachers, kids and communitites. Our current projects include:

 

1) Teacher Training

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CodeVA is partnered with Code.org  to implement computer science teacher training here in Virginia. Currently, there are only a handful of computer science teachers in the state. We are changing this.

This summer we are working with 8 Virginia public school districts training more than 30 teachers. These teachers are starting new computer science programs in their schools, nearly doubling the number of computer science teachers in Virginia by Fall 2014.

Next summer this program expands

Even as our teachers begin teaching in the Fall, CodeVA will begin expanding its district partnerships, actively seeking out more school systems and teachers for this training.

In addition, this Fall we start working with Virginia elementary school teachers, offering them guidance and resources that will allow them to begin integrating computer science lessons into their classrooms. 

2) Enrichment Programs

Anyone can code. We believe every child in Virginia deserves the opportunity to learn this important 21st century literacy skill. Education and industry leaders seek to increase STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, but without also teaching students computer science, these efforts are a bit like teaching works of classic literature to students who have not yet been taught to read.

We’re teaching students the common language of STEM. Even as CodeVA brings computer science into schools, we also are bringing computer science to the kids of Virginia though engaging events, camps and programs.

These programs launch on June 30 with an online program that lets any kid start coding. This program free and open to kids of all ages.

Starting July 21 CodeVA welcomes its first classes of kids to its half-day enrichment camps in our new space, 300 E Broad St in Richmond's arts district.

Through generous donations from local businesses, we will also be able to offer scholarships to dozens of local kids during our inaugural summer of kid activities.

3) Advocacy

While we often look to New York and Silicon Valley when we think of computers, the fact is the highest concentration of computer science jobs are right here in Virginia.

We're seeding Virginia for entrepreneurship and business.

The only way for all kids to have access to computer science is through partnerships with business, schools, colleges and local communities across the state. We are working with policymakers, actively engaging them to educate them about what Computer Science is and what it does for industry, economic development and community wealth building.

Virginia is starting a dialog about why we need computer science available for every child, and its successes will serve as a model for other states.

That started this past legislative session with the passing of House Bill 1054, signed into law by Gov. Terry McAuliffe in April, that allows computer science to count at the discretion of the individual localities as math, career-technical education or science credits toward a high school diploma. This simple policy change, through the careful implementation by the State Board of Education, will offer school districts across the state an incentive, but not a mandate, to offer Computer Science classes.    

Moving forward CodeVA will continue to actively engage state and local leaders. Our partners and supporters in this effort include Virginia Commonwealth University, BridgingRVA, the Math Science Innovation Center, Virginia Advanced Study Strategies, RIchTech, the Northern Virginia Technology Council, Code.org, McGuireWood, Zenith Bank, the Central Virginia Computer Science Teachers Association, the national Computer Science Teachers Association, Black Iris, Dobey Designs, TechHatch, TechEm Studios and 804RVA.