WASHINGTON, DC – Google and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) completed the Code as a Second Language (CSL) course in eight cities using CS-First curriculum at middle and high schools in an effort to engage, introduce and teach computer coding to Latino high school students. Google and HHF will present the students with certificates of completion.
“In order to provide America with a value proposition through Latino youth, we need to work backwards from what America needs most,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF. “Today and in the future, the need is the STEM fields and especially in technology, yet only one out of 10 schools teaches computer coding. We believe the next great innovator will be a Latino or Latina, perhaps sitting in the classrooms we are teaching across the country. We are proud to partner with Google to launch this important effort to help provide our community but moreover our country with a stronger workforce and more innovative minds going forward.”
Cities and schools included:
- New York City, NY – The Young Women’s Leadership School of Astoria
- Chicago, IL – Joyce Kilmer Elementary School
- Los Angeles, CA – Sacred Heart High School
- San Jose, CA – Silver Creek High School
- Austin, TX – Burnet Middle School
- Atlanta, GA – Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy
- Washington, DC – Cesar Chavez Prep Middle School
- Miami, FL – SLAM Sports Leadership and Management Academy
“Our CS First program is designed to help anyone teach kids the basics of coding. Whether you're a teacher, coach, or volunteer, the program and CS First clubs help inspire kids to see themselves as creators of technology, rather than just consumers of technology. Partnering with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation to bring CS First to schools across the country has helped drive impact in communities,” said Maggie Johnson, Director of Education and University Relations at Google.
CS First is a free program that increases student access and exposure to computer science (CS) education through after-school, in-school, and summer programs. All clubs are run by teachers and/or community volunteers. The materials are completely free and available online and are targeted at students in grades 4th-8th.
The CSL concept is that in order to thrive in America’s workforce, Latinos need to learn the language of code the way they learned English. CSL instructors, or CSL Fellows, are members of HHF’s Latinos On Fast Track (LOFT) Network and “eco-system” of talent. CSL effort included: identification of key performance indicators (KPIs) in collaboration with school; baseline survey of students knowledge to test progress throughout CSL course; guest speakers from tech industry; eight, 1-2-hour sessions depending on school schedule; hands-on assistance for students working on course material outside of class time; soft skill development such as leadership and collaboration; work-based learning such as building actual products and present them to peers; and certifications upon completion. The students will also be funneled to the LOFTnetwork.org for ongoing on-line instruction and connected to other students, mentors, networking, resources, STEM-related events, and later potential internships and full-time positions with Fortune 500 companies. CSL is also being implemented in up to 30 schools in Los Angeles as well as other cities around the country. This summer, CSL is being taught at the Mexican Consulate in San Jose and Washington, DC, as pilots for a broader effort to teach immigrants how to code from the time they arrive in the United States. To learn more about CSL or to request CSL come to a school or community, visit www.loftcsl.org.
About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation
The Hispanic Heritage Foundation inspires, prepares, positions and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. HHF’s award-winning LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program is divided into 10 “Tracks,” or fields including Innovation & Technology, Science, Healthcare, Engineering, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Education, Public Service, Media & Entertainment, and Latinas. HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and has offices in Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the LOFT Institute is housed at Michigan State University (Visit www.HispanicHeritage.org.)
Contact: Alberto Avalos, Alberto@LOFTinstitute.org, 323.397.9862