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DLA Librarian Sparks Interest in Coding

Students at Dual Language Academy showed off their computer skills by competing in a world-wide coding event.

Librarian Jessica Samaroo ignited a passion for coding when she signed up the school for a global event called Hour of Code, which is designed to "demystify code" and foster student interest in computer science.

Some students at DLA were working with Google to learn code, so the Hour of Code event was a great opportunity to expand it school-wide.

On December 6th, 2018, during Computer Science Education Week, all the students gathered to watch a presentation from a diverse group of Google volunteers. Afterward, everyone split up to their classrooms and began coding. Each grade level had a different assignment.

The pre-K and kindergarten students used Osmo kits to get a basic understanding of how to code through a game.

"They had to be able to make their person, and they had to show he needs to go forward three steps. So, we would have the directional arrow, the action they wanted that person to make, and how many," Jessica explained.

The 2nd and 3rd graders coded a dance party through code.org, a nonprofit that seeks to increase access to coding.

The 4th and 5th graders learned how to change out the Google Doodle using the CS First program, which is now available in Spanish.

A couple of months later, DLA found out their coding event was selected to win a prize from Root Robotics. They were one of only 50 schools in the nation to receive the prize - a classroom robot kit valued at $1,200.

Jessica said they are already planning to participate in Hour of Code again in 2019.

"Our kids loved it. Our teachers really, really enjoyed it. It was a fun day," she said.

To see photos from the Hour of Code event, visit the DLA Facebook page.