Teaching low-income kids in the US how to program
January 30, 2014 10:24 AM   Subscribe

What resources are there in the US that enable kids to take, say, a 3-6 month training course in programming, and then help with entry-level job placement after successful completion of the program? I used to live in Argentina and became familiar with http://program.ar/ which does this (very well) there, and want to find some similar programs in the United States.
posted by carlodio to Education (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
What age group are you identifying for "kids"? In the US, there are still some highschool vocational programmes, though I think very few are done "very well."
posted by DarlingBri at 10:34 AM on January 30, 2014

What about guiding them through nodeschool?
posted by oh pollo! at 10:46 AM on January 30, 2014

I used to volunteer at Boys Club/Girls Club. It wasn't for programming, but they were extremely grateful for any volunteers and it looks like they offer programming classes.

Some programming classes are also offered in public middle and high schools as electives, for free. (These are not part of vocational programs.) In our high schools, you get 4 electives, and you can start taking the programming classes as soon as you are also enrolled in an Algebra class.

In public high schools, the vocational programs are available to students in their last 2 years of high school, and for IT-related courses they get prepared to take Cisco certifications (CompTIA A+, CCENT, and so on) -- not programming.
posted by Houstonian at 11:18 AM on January 30, 2014

Hidden Genius Project does this in Oakland. The job placement part is what you'll have a hard time finding in most US programs.
posted by kelseyq at 11:25 AM on January 30, 2014

BlackGirlsCode has after-school programs and workshops that engage youth from diverse backgrounds:

"BlackGirlsCode is devoted to showing the world that black girls can code, and do so much more. By reaching out to the community through workshops and after school programs, BlackGirlsCode introduces computer coding lessons to young girls from underrepresented communities in programming languages such as Scratch or Ruby on Rails"

Not sure if their programming explicitly links to job placement, however.
posted by elephantsvanish at 12:45 PM on January 30, 2014

Thanks for these answers. By "kids" I mean really either HS graduates who aren't going to college or HS non-graduates who are thinking of getting GEDs or have a GED. This actually tells me there is a significant opportunity to build something that is similar to the programAR vision.... thanks for this. I think my vision is a broader, slightly more job-placement focused version of The Hidden Genius Project, but that's a great place to start and I'm going to contact them.
posted by carlodio at 9:49 AM on January 31, 2014

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