Sylvan Learning of the Rio Grande Valley is partnering with the Mission Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to offer new classes designed to help students gain specialized technology skills that are in demand in today’s labor market. As part of the Code The Town initiative, these free coding classes will help raise awareness about the importance of computer science education.

For many students, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills will be critical to their future, as STEM is commonly seen as the field with the best opportunities for job growth. Additionally, multiple sources point to coding as the most needed skill in the workplace today and the foreseeable future. The need for STEM-educated students and for teachers with the ability to effectively teach these subjects is especially crucial for minorities and for girls, both of whom are drastically underrepresented in STEM fields.

First launched in the fall of 2014, the Code The Town program has been recognized by the White House. "On behalf of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The nomination submitted has been accepted for recognition through the Initiative’s Anniversary Year of Action by the National Bright Spots in Hispanic Education. Congratulations and thank you for your leadership, dedication and steadfast commitment to the Hispanic community."

The classes will feature a fun, kid-friendly format with interactive projects that teach skills that are critical in today’s classrooms and workplaces. The engaging, guided curriculum allows kids to work on exciting technology projects at their own pace. Creative exercises will develop children’s critical thinking skills and foster an early love for science and technology. This will provide life-long benefits of learning 21st century skills such as creative problem solving, coding, and digital literacy.

These free summer camp classes are Monday through Thursday and the first session will begin July 31st through August 10th. Game design 101 and 102 will be held from 9:00 - 11:00 AM and is open to 1st - 5th graders. Python Coding will be held from 1:00 - 3:00 PM and is open to 6th - 8th graders. A second session will be held from August 14th through August 24th. Visit the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/codethetown/ to find out more information and register for this program.