Several children joined Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott and Mayor David Dinkins today at the Children’s Library Discovery Center for our Google CS First kickoff event.
They got to try out the same computer science (CS) activities that will be available for kids in grades 4 through 8 at twenty-six Queens Library locations this summer, and more to come this fall. Queens Library is the first library in New York City to partner with Google for this free program.
Debra LoCastro from Google showed videos of CS First classes in action and demonstrated the Scratch code (developed by MIT) used by students to make their projects. She also spoke about the goals of Google CS First, which include increasing the confidence of children when they're using computers; making them builders of technology, not just consumers; and instilling courage in them to try new things. As a video she showed emphasized, "It only takes a moment to change a child's trajectory."
Google’s Head of External Affairs for New York, William Floyd, with Queens Library Trustee the Honorable Augustus C. Agate, Mayor David Dinkins, and Queens Library President and CEO Dennis M. Walcott.
Dennis Walcott told the gathered attendees that the library was helping the kids of today become the CS programmers of tomorrow. "You will be doing things we and even you had not dreamed possible," he said. He also spoke about our first partnership with Google, in 2013, when they donated 5,000 Nexus tablets for use by our customers after Hurricane Sandy. The tablets are still in circulation today—and still in great demand! He also informed the crowd that, through a partnership with ExpandED, 20 high school students would learn the Google CS First curriculum to assist kids with the classes this summer and fall—and receive high school credit for doing so.
We were honored to have Mayor Dinkins join us, who was as impressed with the potential offered by the Google CS program as the rest of our attendees. He also talked about the $46 million he invested in libraries during his administration, and how libraries serve as an important haven for the members of their communities. (Mayor Dinkins restored six-day service to the City’s libraries in 1993!)
Mayor Dinkins also gave William Floyd, Google’s Head of External Affairs for New York, his first job in public service. Mr. Floyd joined us to reaffirm Google’s partnership with Queens Library and remind us all that by 2020, there will be 1 million more computer science jobs than graduates to fill them. One trillion people use Google every year, but it started as the dream of two young people, and Floyd let our young attendees know that they could be taking the first steps to being computer visionaries themselves.
By then, the kids were ready to code—and soon they were focused on nothing but their projects! To learn more about our Google CS First program, visit http://queenslib.org/CSforKids.