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Canary Wharf backs Code Club to teach kids coding for free

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The Code Club partnership will teach thousands of Tower Hamlets kids to code

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After-school coding club network Code Club is to be sponsored by Canary Wharf.

In one of the largest private sector-led initiatives in Britain, the partnership will aim to provide coding classes to 75% of Tower Hamlets’ primary schools within the first year.

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A class of their own

Code Club is a 1500-strong UK network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11.

As part of the agreement, announced at an event at Canary Wharf Group’s Level39 Technology Accelerator, technology professionals from the surrounding financial services and business community will be encouraged to volunteer and deliver the classes.

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An area in need

The partnership’s goal, if achieved, will mean establishing 50 clubs in the borough of Tower Hamlets, teaching a total of 600 children.

Tower Hamlets has the worst child poverty of any area in Britain, with 42% of children living below the breadline.

Yet a report released yesterday reveals that since 1997 schools in Tower Hamlets have gone from the UK’s worst to some of the world’s best.

Code Club

First launched in June 2012, Code Club makes projects to teach children how to program by showing them how to make computer games, animations and websites.

Teaching is done through a fun game called Scratch (devised by MIT) which teaches children the fundamentals of computational thinking and programming.

Volunteers go to their local club for an hour a week and teach one project per class.

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Talent shortage

Sir George Iacobescu, Chairman of Canary Wharf Group plc. said:

As Canary Wharf continues to grow, more businesses are looking for advanced IT skills.

We are determined that local young people will get the best possible chance of securing jobs in this hugely exciting sector.

Red carpet

Code Club are among 10 organisations and individuals to win at the Technology4Good awards 2013.

The TechEd company won the Digital Skills Award for its work teaching 9-11 year olds across the country how to code.

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Reaching overseas

Celebrating its first birthday in June by announcing the launch of Code Club World, which aims to give every child in the world the chance to learn to code.

With the support of Google, CodeAcademy and Mozilla, Code Club World provide open-source project materials and a volunteering framework to support the running of after-school coding clubs internationally.

New projects will be written every school term and posted to a Github page in French, German, Portuguese, Ukrainian and Turkish (with more languages to follow).

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