According Bold Idea Founder Robyn Brown,
“Technology runs the world! More than ever, it is imperative that our students learn how the world around us works. As important, students must learn how to create and interact with the technologies we depend upon daily – especially computer code, the building block for all technology.
“Knowing how to code puts students at the forefront for career opportunities in technology. Computing occupations are the #1 source of all new wages in the U.S. and make up over half of all projected new jobs in STEM fields, making computer science one of the most in-demand college degrees. Teaching students crucial technical knowledge is no longer an elective – it is mission critical to position them for future success.
“Bold Idea accomplishes this for Dallas ISD students during quality, out-of-school time. The ideaSpark Coding Clubs teach 3rd to 8th grade students computer coding and critical-thinking skills through hands-on learning and mentoring with industry professionals. Students are supported by Bold Idea’s community of 125+ mentors who work in technology roles at companies like Alkami Technology, Texas Capital Bank, State Farm and Pariveda Solutions. Students are better prepared for the careers of the digital future, can compete for higher paying jobs, and gain increased economic potential.
“On North Texas Giving Day, Bold Idea is asking the community to level up their giving to help Dallas ISD students level up their computer science skills. The organization’s fundraising goal is $15,000, and funding will be used for the Coding Clubs program in Dallas ISD in the 2021-2022 school year.
“This includes establishing Coding Clubs at three new school partners in lower-income neighborhoods, allowing more students the opportunity to learn vital computer science skills with the guidance of technology mentors.
“Through donor support, students participate at no cost, enabling Bold Idea to serve a wider group of students, including communities of color who have been disproportionately impacted during the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn.
“The COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected computer science learning for girls and students of color. Already challenging to access, the pandemic cancelled many after-school or weekend opportunities for computer science learning. Even as virtual options began to appear, students in low-income communities disproportionately lacked access to broadband and quality laptop computers.
“In response to these challenges, Bold Idea stepped up over the past year to establish new Coding Clubs at Dallas ISD schools. Students learned computer science and interacted with technology mentors via video conferencing software in their school computer lab or at home using school-owned laptop computers. Bold Idea also donated 23 gently-used laptops to students who lacked access to a computer at home.
“Nadia, a 6th-grade Hispanic student in Dallas, has participated in Bold Idea for two years. Nadia said about the Coding Clubs, ‘Before Bold Idea, I never really thought about computer science much, but now that I’m doing it, I think it’s really cool to make my own game. The mentors really help you step-by-step and get through it. I think it’s great.’”
* Photo credit: Robyn Brown ** Graphic provided by Bold Idea *** Photo credit: Ben Davis
In 12 years, Communities Foundation of Texas’ North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $375 million into the North Texas community. In 2020, more than $58.8 million was raised through more than 106,000 donors benefiting over 3,200 area nonprofits.