By Patrick Donachie
Google has teamed up with Queens Library to offer computer science classes for children at 26 different locations this summer. The borough is the first in the city to enjoy the program.
The launching of the Google CS First program was celebrated during an event held in the Children’s Library Discovery Center at 89-11 Merrick Blvd. in Jamaica Tuesday afternoon. Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins, Queens Library President and CEO Dennis Walcott and William Floyd, Google’s head of external affairs, were all on hand to tout the new programs designed to introduce and stimulate children’s creativity and innovation through free computer science clubs.
“Computer science skills are critical to the success of our youth and our country. By 2020, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be one million more computer science jobs than graduating students who qualify to fill them,” Floyd said. “Google is proud to work with the Queens Library to educate and empower this next generation through CS education.”
The Google CS First classes will be run by Queens Library staff and will be open to students in grades 4 through 8, according to the pre-registration site for the classes. Any and all skill levels will be welcome.
The CS First program consists of seven different topics, including Animation, Art, Fashion and Design, Friends, Game Design, Music and Sound and Storytelling. Students can see a full listing of classes and pre-register at the Queens Library website, and additional classes and sites will be identified and announced in the fall.
Queens Library is also enhancing its teen apprentice program. Teens will receive high school credit and get training in teaching computer science to children, after which they will assist the students enrolled in the summer Google CS First programs. At the event, Walcott lauded the intellectual opportunities and economic benefits that the new classes would afford Queens youth.
“Offering children computer science activities in a relaxed, informal setting will stimulate their natural curiosity and help develop skills that will be useful to them throughout their academic and professional lives,” Walcott said. “The public library is the perfect place for exploring.”
Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona