One cause that is important to many of us on the Relay Engineering Team are initiatives to expand CS and, in particular, to #teachkidscode, at public K-12 schools. Not only do we feel that computational thinking is an incredibly valuable skill for all sorts of professions (not just software engineering), but the intersection of education and technology is a natural fit given relaygse's mission and our specific role in the organization. (Here’s a photo of some of the Relay Engineering team leading a codeorg #HourOfCode event at The #ParkSlope School psms282 this past December).
Our friend fred-wilson has a great post today about the #TEALS program - http://avc.com/2014/04/teaching-computer-science-to-high-school-students-on-the-way-to-work/. As Fred mentions, we’ll be hosting the first of two info session at Relay on April 15. By way of background, our CTO, rob-underwood, is a TEALS volunteer this year at Uncommon High School in Crown Heights. Says Fred about this initiative:
I know there are a lot of software engineers in NYC who read this blog. I am very grateful for all that you do for the companies you work for (including many, maybe all, NYC based USV portfolio companies). So it’s hard to ask you to do even more. But I can promise you this. Teaching kids to code is rewarding. It is important. It makes me feel good. And I think it will make you feel good too.
It’s been incredibly rewarding and fulfilling to be a TEALS volunteer this school year at UCHS in Crown Heights. Watching the kids grow and grasp important CS and coding concepts is just great. I love going out there.
As Fred says so eloquently this is a critical effort we all need to get behind, both here in NYC and around the country (and globe for that matter). The readers of this blog are busy people with a ton on their plate. But each of us need to each make time to do this. It’s just that important. We make time for the things we value. We need to make time for this.
Relay GSE, and the Relay Engineering Team in particular, are thrilled to be hosting the first TEALS info session on 4/15. We look forward to welcoming you to Relay and continuing to support TEALS, CSNYC, and similar programs that #teachkidscode. We salute the work that folks like Fred, Evan Korth, Cindy Gao, Nathaniel Granor, and Kevin Wang are doing to make this happen.
Finally, in Brooklyn we have had success working through and with local Community Boards (6 in particular) and Community Education Councils [e.g. cec13brooklyn] to advocate for more CS (e.g., more programs like TEALS) in schools. If you’re interested in learning more, don’t hesitate to ping me — I think working with CBs and CECs is something that can be easily replicated throughout the city.
No matter what else you do today, sign up for one of the info sessions and make plans to volunteer for TEALs or a similar program.
We urge you to volunteer for TEALS or another of the many great programs bringing technology, computer science, and coding to public schools. For more info, check out the CSNYC web site and/or TEALS web site. If you’re interested in volunteering but not sure just how to best help, you can submit your info on this CSNYC Google form.
We hope to see you at Relay on April 15th!