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Washington Middle School in Cairo is getting a $25,000 state grant to help implement a computer coding program. The funds from the Georgia Department of Education were awarded to 20 schools in the state to specifically target middle schools in rural, underserved, or high-poverty school clusters. Other Southwest Georgia schools receiving a $25,000 grant are located in Calhoun, Clay, Cook and Dougherty counties.
State officials say the funding is intended to assist middle schools with the implementation of computer coding curriculum, computer science-related professional development and training, equipment purchases, and the establishment of computer science certification pathways.
“Georgia is the Silicon Valley of the South,” said Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan. “Our state is home to a world-class tech industry, which could realistically become the Technology Capital of the entire East Coast. However, the growth of the tech sector, which will create more high-paying job opportunities for Georgians, is contingent upon our educating students to a 21st Century standard. This program, which allows students to get hands on coding experience in middle school, will put our students on a pathway to success and allow our state’s booming tech industry to continue expanding.”
School Superintendent Richard Woods said, “Providing high-quality computer science opportunities is essential as we prepare Georgia’s students for their futures. Computer science is now an essential academic discipline, one that provides foundational knowledge and skills that benefit every child. We will continue to work to expand computer science learning throughout the K-12 system.”
The grant, which was first offered in 2018, is part of “CS4GA”, an initiative focused on making Georgia a national leader in the computer science (CS) movement by developing and delivering high-quality courses, resources and professional learning; increasing the number of CS endorsements held by educators; and expanding the integration of CS throughout the K-12 curriculum.