RUSD Joins Forces with Girls Who Code
Riverside Unified School District has partnered with Girls Who Code, the national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology. The partnership between the school district and the non-profit will provide computer science education and real-world programming experience to girls through two free programs: the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program and the Girls Who Code Clubs Program. This is Girls Who Code’s first formal partnership with a school district in the country.
With this partnership, Riverside Unified and Girls Who Code will work to inspire, educate, and equip girls in the Riverside community with the skills and resources they need to pursue opportunities in computing. The Summer Immersion Program is a free 7-week introduction to computer science for rising juniors and seniors in high school. The Clubs program is a free after-school or weekend program for middle and high school students. Interested students and parents can find out more about both programs by visiting www.girlswhocode.com.
Since 2012, Girls Who Code has reached more than 10,000 girls in 42 states. Importantly, 90 percent of Summer Immersion Program graduates have declared or intend to declare a major or minor in computer science.
“Since founding Girls Who Code, it’s been my dream to democratize access to computer science education for girls across the country,” said Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code. “Thanks to the Riverside Unified School District, we are one step close to achieving that dream.”
Dr. Angelov Farooq, Board Trustee at Riverside Unified School District said “as a school district dedicated to equipping students with technical skills they need to get jobs, we are thrilled to pioneer the firstever Girls Who Code partnership with a school district. Reshma is both a personal friend and a true visionary, and I’m excited to work together to bring the national movement to close the gender gap in technology to the Riverside community.”
By 2020, there will be 1.4 million jobs open in the computing related fields, but the United States is only on pace to filling 29% of them with computer science graduates. At current rates, only 3% will be filled by women. Girls Who Code and its partners nationwide are seeking to change that.
This partnership is the latest commitment by Riverside Unified to bring technology education to its students. Sporting the tagline, “Innovation in Education,” Riverside Unified has made technology implementation one of its highest priorities. The District supports the city’s Smart Riverside computer training for low-income families as well as its Code to Careers initiative, which grew out of the success of the city’s computer training and the district’s participation with Google’s CS First initiative, in which 1,700 RUSD students have written more than 12,000 hours of code. The district has also spearheaded a multi-district consortium with Code.org.
Riverside’s initiative to promote and encourage STEM education is a model of Seizing Our Destiny’s intelligent growth pillar. STEM education plays a vital role in strengthening our community’s workforce and job growth.