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14
Sep

Girls Who Code expands to all 50 U.S. States with free Clubs program!

Non-profit to triple program to 1500 Clubs

New York, NY (September 14, 2016) – Girls Who Code, the national nonprofit working to close the gender gap in technology, today announced that it is expanding its free after school Clubs program to all 50 states this year, making it the largest computer science program for girls in the U.S.! Girls Who Code announced this milestone as part of the White House Summit on Computer Science for All today. In all, Girls Who Code will have reached a total of 40,000 girls across the country by the end of the academic year, more than tripling the size of their current footprint.

Girls Who Code Clubs are free after-school programs for 6th to 12th grade girls to explore coding in a fun and friendly environment. They can be hosted in schools, universities, community centers and libraries. Clubs teach girls to use computer science to impact their community and provide a supportive sisterhood of peers and role models to sustain their interest. At the core of a Girls Who Code Club experience is the “CS (Computer Science) Impact Project,” where students learn to use computer science to solve a problem relevant to their classroom and community. To complete the CS Impact Project, Clubs girls learn the Core4 computer science concepts that form the basis for all computer programming languages. The Core4 concepts of loops, variables, conditionals, and functions are critical whether girls want to build a mobile application, a website, or program a robot. No prior coding experience is required to participate in a Club.

“Well before college, young girls have begun to opt out of computer science. While girls’ interest ebbs over time, the largest drop-off happens in the middle and high school years,” said Girls Who Code Founder and CEO, Reshma Saujani. “One of the reasons is that students don’t have the opportunity to explore computer science before college. They see “brogrammers” – guys in hoodies coding out of their basements – in the media and think ‘that’s not for me’ before they’ve even had the chance to try. Our Clubs model allows for girls across the country to learn to code early and see how they can use it to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.”

What began as one program for twenty girls in New York City in 2012 has grown into a national movement, engaging thousands of middle and high school girls across the country to pursue futures in computer science. 65% of Clubs girls say they intend to major or minor in Computer Science because of Girls Who Code.

“In elementary school, I was exposed to computer programming by my dad. As I got into middle school, though, it became challenging to find a comfortable place to explore my interest in coding – if I joined a Club outside of school, it was almost guaranteed that I would be the only girl in the class.” said Cassie Mahakian, a Girls Who Code Club student. “When my school launched a Girls Who Code Club, there was finally a place where I could be part of a supportive community and expand my knowledge of coding. Thanks to Girls Who Code, I’m starting my freshman year of high school with a computer science base from which I will be able to pursue a future in tech and blend it with music, my other passion. ”

Through their programs, Girls Who Code is building the largest pipeline of future female engineers in the United States and has partnered with 60 top companies to provide internship and job opportunities to Girls Who Code alumni. The organizations sponsoring Clubs programs are Dell, Deloitte, ESPN, Infosys Foundation USA, Prudential and Target.

To visit a Club in your area, please contact Claire Cook: claire@girlswhocode.com. For information on how to bring a Club to your community, visit www.girlswhocode.com/Clubs.

About Girls Who Code

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. Through its Summer Immersion Program and Girls Who Code Clubs, the organization is leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Additional information is available at www.girlswhocode.com.