The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Local Club cracks the code for helping the community

Photo by Ishaan Samantray
K4C gives students the opportunity to learn coding languages such as Java, HTML and C++. The volunteers work hard to make a curriculum for each class period that is easy for everyone to understand.

In 2024, the job market has grown increasingly fast-paced, and more than ever, employers prioritize candidates with specialized skills. Accordingly, the demand for employees with advanced coding skills has expanded exponentially, with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting that software-developer jobs will grow 21% between 2018 and 2028. Recognizing this trend, student-led organization Kids For Code (K4C) has set out to introduce children around the world to coding.

K4C started as a club at Wootton High School in 2019 as a part of the Wootton Coding Club, a center where students could get help from tutors for their computer science classes. Around this time, current K4C President and WCHS junior Ishaan Samantray joined as a web development teacher and never looked back.

“I slowly progressed up the ranks and soon became web development team leader, then secretary, then vice president and now president,” Samantray said. “As soon as I became vice president, I integrated Kids For Code to be part of Churchill’s Computer Science Honors Society, where students can teach for the organization and complete honors society hours.”

Today, K4C has over 7,000 registrations from 37 states and 11 countries and has over 100 student volunteer teachers working with the organization. These classes, all of which are offered at no charge, take place over Zoom and specialize in a number of coding languages such as Python, Java, HTML, Scratch and C++. 

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“We have students from all across the US and from many different countries,” student volunteer and WCHS junior Tyler Song said. “Since we’re free, Kids for Code classes are an easy way for young students to learn about coding. For a lot of kids, taking one of our classes is their first introduction to computer science (CS). Not every student is interested – which is completely normal – but some are definitely interested enough to go learn more on their own and dive deeper into CS.”

Being able to create and teach a whole curriculum takes an extensive amount of coding skills that many of K4C’s student volunteers had to learn themselves before they could help others. While high schools offer computer science classes, none of them tackle the subject matter as comprehensively as K4C does.

“I personally self-taught myself HTML,” Samantray said. “Using YouTube videos and online courses, I was able to learn web development, and soon started small projects of my own. I also took an advanced Python Course and self-taught myself C++. This allowed me to teach as well as help develop an intricate curriculum focused on the most efficient student learning.”

In a typical class period, students spend time learning about coding concepts and are given practice problems to test out their skills. This approach has proven to be beneficial, as these students are able to test their knowledge on what they have learned during class.

“Every class has a pretty similar structure: around five to ten minutes for discussing the previous week’s homework, 20-30 minutes for the lesson and then a few minutes to review next week’s assignment,” Song said.” “Since most of our class materials have already been made, the experience is usually pretty smooth.”

Thanks to the abundance of young participants within the K4C membership structure, the club is poised to make a lasting impact. With volunteers working and keeping up the legacy around the world, K4C anticipates continued expansion in its program.

“I’m passionate about education and technology, and through Kids for Code, I aim to inspire the next generation of innovators and problem solvers,” Samantray said. “I believe that Kids For Code fosters a supportive learning environment where students can explore different programming languages, and learn the basics to pursue their own projects.”

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Cecilia Bernstein
Cecilia Bernstein, Assistant Observations Editor
Cecilia Bernstein is a junior and is the Assistant Observations Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. She is a huge Swiftie and her favorite albums are Midnights and Lover. She loves to play soccer, hang out with friends and listen to music. In the summer, she spends her time at summer camp.

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