Girls Who Code Program Hopes to Change Future in Computer Science


STILL IN ROANOKE COUNTY … THE SOUTH COUNTY LIBRARY KICKS- OFF IT’S SECOND “GIRLS WHO CODE” PROGRAM SERIES NEXT WEEK. THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO CLOSE THE GENDER GAP IN COMPUTER-SCIENCE CAREER FIELDS AND CREATE A LARGE NETWORK OF FUTURE WOMEN ENGINEERS. 3 W-F-X-R’S BREANA ALBIZU IS LIVE IN ROANOKE. BREANA GOOD MORNING…TELL US MORE ABOUT THE PROGRAM. 3 ?GOOD MORNING…THE SIX ROANOKE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCHES, LIKE THE SOUTH COUNTY ONE BEHIND ME, HELD INFORMATION SESSIONS ALL LAST WEEK IN PREPARATION FOR THE PROGRAM AND ONE OF THE INSTRUCTORS TELLS ME THAT THE PROGRAM’S FIRST SESSION WAS SO SUCCESSFUL THAT SOME OF THE GIRLS ARE RETURNING FOR THEIR SECOND PROGRAM SERIES OF THE YEAR.GIRLS WHO CODE IS A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION WHOSE MISSION IS TO CLOSE THE GENDER GAP IN TECHNOLOGY AND CHANGE THE IMAGE OF WHAT A COMPUTER PROGRAMMER LOOKS LIKE AND DOES. ACCORDING TO THEIR WEBSITE, THE GENDER GAP IS GETTING WORSE, WITH FEWER THAN 1 IN 5 WOMEN GRADUATING IN COMPUTER SCIENCE. THE ROANOKE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY IS ONE OF MANY FACILITIES THAT ARE OFFERING THIS FREE, TEN WEEK PROGRAM TO YOUNG GIRLS FROM 3RD TO 12TH GRADE. EACH OF THEIR LOCATIONS HAS THEIR OWN CLUB, AND GIRLS ARE LEARNING MANY THINGS FROM BASIC CODING TECHNIQUES, TO DEVELOPING APPS AND PROGRAMMING GAMES. THE PROGRAMS PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION HAVE SERVED OVER 185 THOUSAND GIRLS SINCE THEY STARTED IN 2012 AND THEIR ALUMNI ARE DECLARING MAJORS IN COMPUTER SCIENCE AT A RATE 15 TIMES THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. I SPOKE WITH LINDY MANUEL, THE YOUNG ADULT DIVISIONAL LIBRARIAN AT THE SOUTH COUNTY BRANCH OF THE RONOAKE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, MORE ABOUT THE PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAM.I SPOKE WITH LINDY MANUEL, THE YOUNG ADULT DIVISIONAL LIBRARIAN AT THE SOUTH COUNTY BRANCH OF THE RONOAKE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, ABOUT SOME OF THE GIRLS’ EXPERIENCE FROM THEIR FIRST SESSION. I SPOKE WITH LINDY MANUEL, THE YOUNG ADULT DIVISIONAL LIBRARIAN AT THE SOUTH COUNTY BRANCH OF THE RONOAKE COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY, ABOUT HOW THEY WANT THE PROGRAM’S GAMES TO BE ACCESSIBLE TO THE ENTIRE LIBRARY. 3 “IT’S DESIGNED TO INTRODUCE CODING STARTING AS YOUNG AS THIRD GRADE ALL THE WAY UP TO THROUGH TWELFTH GRADE AT THE HOPES OF GETTING MORE GIRLS INVOLVED IN CODING, COMPUTER SCIENCE, ESPECIALLY IN THE MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL AGES WHERE THAT INTERESTS DROPS OFF SIGNIFICANTLY.”THE LIBRARY WAS ACTUALLY APPROACHED BY THE GIRLS WHO CODE NATIONAL ORGANIZATION BECAUSE OF THEIR SPECIAL TECHNOLOGY AND A VARIETY OF ROBOTICS PROGRAMS THAT THEY OFFER THROUGHOUT THE YEAR. LINDY ALSO TELLS ME THIS FRIDAY, THEIR CLUB WILL BE DEBUTING THEIR COMMUNITY PROJECT FROM THE SPRING SESSION CALLED “MY ROBOT READING FRIEND”. THE GIRLS MANAGED TO PROGRAM THE LIBRARY’S HUMANOID ROBOT, WHOSE NAME IS PEPPER, TO INTERACT WITH CHILDREN AS THEY READ TO HER, WHICH HOPES TO HELP THEM WITH THEIR READING SKILLS AND IMPROVE THEIR CONFIDENCE IN A COMFORTABLE ENVIRONMENT FOR THEM. STAY TUNED BECAUSE IN THE NEXT HOUR YOU’LL HEAR FROM LINDY AGAIN ABOUT…LIVE AND LOCAL, IN ROANOKE, BREANA ALBIZU, W-F-X-R NEWS. 3 BREANA THANK YOU…THE TEN-WEEK PROGRAM BEGINS MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9TH. 3 ABOUT ONE HUNDRED-30 EMPLOYEES AT NORFOLK SOUTHERN’S ROANOKE FACILITIES WILL SOON LOSE THEIR JOBS. A STATEMENT FROM

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