A nonprofit is inviting the borough’s young women and girls to be the tech leaders of tomorrow.
At the Queens Library’s Central branch in Jamaica, nonprofit group Girls Who Code donated 800 copies of its newest book, “Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World,” to be added to library shelves borough-wide.
The book, which was officially released on Aug. 22, is the first of 13 books the nonprofit is slated to release about computer science and coding with publisher Penguin Books. A fiction book, “The Friendship Code,” was also released that same day.
Author and nonprofit founder Reshma Saujani hopes the series of books, which will feature a combination of real-life coding examples, relatable characters and profiles of women in tech, will inspire a new generation of young ladies to learn to code.
“We know we can reach so many more girls, which is why we’re so grateful that AT&T has graciously donated books to the Queens Library,” Saujani said. “Their donation allows thousands of girls without access to computers or computer science to explore coding. Nationally, 16 percent of our free after-school clubs are hosted in libraries, and that’s where many of our girls go to get access to the internet and computers. Together, we’re bridging the opportunity gap and changing the culture to help girls access the jobs of the future.”
Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott thanked the nonprofit for their thoughtful donation and support.
“There is a growing demand throughout our system for coding classes and instructional materials, so the timing of the arrival of ‘Learn to Code and Change the World’ on our shelves couldn’t be better,” Walcott said.
Women represent one of the single largest untapped sources of talent in the technology field, according to the nonprofit. While there were 500,000 computer jobs in the United States in 2016, only 7,000 women nationwide graduated with a computer science degree. Further, in 1995, women made up almost 40 percent of the computing workforce. Today, that number is less than 25 percent.
Girls Who Code works to close the gender gap in technology through its summer immersion programs, clubs and education and will reach 40,000 girls in every state this year. To learn how bring a coding club to your local school or get involved in a program, visit their website.
— Tara Brady (@TaraBrady) August 22, 2017