Amazon donates $3.9 million to help computer science education in Virginia

By Lauren Fruncillo April 30, 2020 - 8:00 am

You may remember us reporting on Amazon Future Engineer launching a free ‘virtual coding programme’ Amazon have now announced that they have donated $3.9 million to CodeVA to support the state’s goal of offering computer science education and training to every high-needs school in the state of Virginia. More than 700 schools that may otherwise lack access, training, or funding, will benefit from the Amazon Future Engineer donation.

“CodeVA is an innovative, respected, and results-driven nonprofit in our new home of Virginia, We are confident that this donation will help the Commonwealth train more students from underserved communities and prepare our future Virginia workforce to be ready for exciting technology careers at Amazon and beyond. In this time of countless unknowns, we applaud CodeVA’s ability to quickly change gears, and transition to providing hardworking students, teachers, and families what they need right now to stay on track and to stay focused day to day.”
– Ardine Williams, Amazon VP of worldwide HR, operations

As a response to COVID-19, CodeVA quickly developed virtual programming for students, teachers, and families learning from home; started conducting live, online code-along events, including free bi-weekly AP computer science exam prep sessions; shifted dozens of teacher training opportunities from in-person to online; and developed unplugged and offline computer science education resources, including Snail Mail CS, for students with lower internet connectivity and for families who want students spending less time on screens.

The digital economy needs computer scientists

According to Amazon research shows that the UK needs 21,000 more computer science graduates on average, every year, to meet the demands of the digital economy. The programs currently being offered are helping inspire young people to get involved with Computer science and is why the Amazon Future Engineer programme also includes Hour of Code the global movement in over 180 countries that aims to introduce tens of millions of students worldwide to computer science, inspiring them to learn.

“Having better access to computer science skills and the chance to be taught by highly trained teachers who have experience in a digital environment can be a transformative opportunity for young people – especially those from poorer backgrounds who might not otherwise have access to these opportunities.”
– Russell Hobby, CEO of Teach First

If you’re a parent with children who would benefit from Amazon’s virtual coding programme you can sign-up here!

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