Elementary age students can think like computer programmers by taking a Code-A-Mentary class at the Destin Library.
The library is offering four new coding classes. The hour-long class will teach the basics of procedural thinking, which is a foundational skill for all aspiring programmers. Each class features a self-contained curriculum and all four courses will cover the same basic concepts.
“We can take up to nine students for each class,” said Megan Fontaine, the library’s emerging technologies specialist. “This class will teach the fundamental of computer programming, which is a good way to introduce kids to process analysis without making them feel overwhelmed.”
The coding classes are being offered on Sept. 11, Oct. 9, Nov. 13 and Dec. 11. Each class is designed around some of children’s favorite characters.
“The Sept. 11 class is already at full capacity, but parents can sign their kids up for the Oct. 9 class. Registration begins on Sept. 9,” Fontaine said.
The library is using the Hour of Code model, which is resourced by Code.org. The non-profit organization’s mission is to make sure every student has the opportunity to learn computer science.
“For October, our theme will be 'Star Wars,'” Fontaine said. “Students will help a droid navigate through a variety of scenarios in the 'Star Wars' universe.”
The following class will be themed after the characters of Elsa and Anna from Disney "Frozen." The final class will be tailored to the student’s favorite sport.
All classes will be held at 3:30 p.m. at the Destin Library computer lab.
Fontaine said students who have not participated in a Code-A-Mentary class will get priority over those who have already taken it.
“Students who have taken the class already will be put on a waiting list and if there is room available, they will be able to join the class again,” she said.
The library’s Director Jurate Burns said it’s a wonderful new program that was added to the library's curriculum.
“It’s a whole different way of thinking and learning,” she said. “Children are going to pick up on it so quickly.”
Burns said the classes expose children to coding and help develop job skills at a early age.
“The library is the community’s out of school classroom,” she said. “Kids are learning new things outside of school, while parents can explore the library and discover something new.”