Google, ALA Kicking Off $500,000 Coding Grants Next Month
Google is sponsoring a $500,000 competitive grant program through the American Library Association that will fund projects in 25 to 50 school and public libraries around the country in order to "ensure expert library professionals are prepared to develop and deliver programming that promotes computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) among youth...."
The grants are part of the Libraries Ready to Code program's third phase. Libraries Ready to Code is a collaboration between the ALA and Google that aims, in part, to provide "coding opportunities for youth underrepresented in CS education and careers — especially girls, African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans," according to ALA President Julie Todaro.
Awards will include cash, which can be used to purchase equipment and to fund "staffing, marketing and other costs associated with piloting and rapidly iterating on a CS educational toolkit developed in partnership, by libraries, for libraries," according to the ALA. The awards also include consulting and "operational support" from Google.
"It is essential to provide libraries with the resources they need to engage youth and prepare them for the future," said Nicky Rigg of Google's CS Education team in a prepared statement. "Libraries are the cornerstones of our communities, and we're proud to partner with ALA in an effort to bring the best of what we have to offer to communities across the country."
"All kids benefit from coding activities– not only those planning to work in technology-specific fields," said Marijke Visser, associate director of ALA's Office for Information Technology Policy and project manager for Libraries Ready to Code. "The CT skills youth develop through coding activities prepare kids for success no matter where they head when they leave high school. Ready to Code librarians help kids connect their interests to learning opportunities in college or to careers they may not have even considered, especially for youth from diverse backgrounds."
The new grants are not yet open. Proposals will be accepted between mid-July and August. The program will be administered by Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA).
Further details will be available at ala.org/tools/readytocode.