Black Girls Code and GoldieBlox Launch Free Coding Academy for 7-10 year-olds: "Code Along Jr." Hosted By Kalani Jewel

April 2, 2024

Launched at a live Los Angeles event, new tech tool targets young learners

LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Black Girls Code and GoldieBlox are partnering to inspire and educate the next generation of Black women leaders in technology through the free, video-based coding academy, Code Along. This latest iteration of Code Along—Code Along Jr—is hosted by child actress Kalani Jewel and was designed for the organization's youngest participants.

Code Along Jr. launched at a live event in Los Angeles in March, that drew nearly 200 participants. It builds on the success of the original Code Along program, which has been shown to be highly effective in increasing young girls' interest and confidence in coding. According to a 2023 study, Black girls who watched Code Along videos were twice as likely to agree that "people like me belong in the world of technology and computer science" and that they can "easily learn code."

"Together, we can change the face of technology," said Black Girls Code CEO Cristina Jones. "Kalani, as a vibrant and energetic 12-year-old, is the perfect host for Code Along Jr. She shows girls that tech is fun, not scary. She reaches them at their level and shows them that they can do anything they want. This is so important because tech is at the center of everything we do, and Black girls absolutely have a lot to offer as entrepreneurs, executives, creators, and artists of the future."

"GoldieBlox lives at the intersection of technology, play and girl power," said Debra Sterling, founder and CEO of GoldieBlox. "A partnership with Black Girls Code on Code Along Jr. is a natural fit for us. We are thrilled to help expose girls to the magic of tech-enabled creativity and support them on their learning journey."

It is critically important to reach girls before their spark of curiosity can be dimmed by outside forces. By middle school, many girls begin to doubt their ability to succeed in science and math. A study by Junior Achievement shows only 9% of girls ages 13-17 are interested in STEM careers.

Code Along Jr. reaches girls earlier and uses Scratch, the world's leading coding platform for kids. This season features six tutorials that provide practical skill-building and inspiring role model videos. Code Along Jr adds to Black Girls Code's existing global library of free coding tutorials featuring:

To participate, young coders can subscribe to the Black Girls Code YouTube channel and follow the organization on social media for the latest updates on Code Along and Code Along Jr.

About Black Girls Code:
Black Girls Code is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing Black girls with the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in technology careers. Black Girls Code is dedicated to placing one million girls of color in tech by 2040. The organization ignites interest, activates potential, and nurtures careers in tech for girls and women ages 7-25. They partner with schools, local organizations, and volunteers to get participants the resources they need to thrive. Since 2011, Black Girls Code has provided Black girls, girls of color, and gender nonconforming youth with computer programming education to nurture their careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics fields.

About GoldieBlox:
GoldieBlox is a multimedia company that creates videos, animation, books, apps, curriculum, toys, and merchandise to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fun and accessible for all kids, especially girls, who have been underrepresented in STEM fields.


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