Montgomery Schools ‘MGM Codes’ Introduces Kids to Coding

Montgomery Public Schools are collaborating with Apple and the nonprofit EdFarm on a new summer program to teach middle schoolers basic coding concepts that can be applied to the real world.

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(TNS) — Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed has a goal of equipping all Montgomery residents with the training and tools to thrive in a 21st century economy, and it starts with providing a strong foundation for the city's students, he told a group of state, county and city leaders at press conference to announce a new technology initiative called MGM Codes.

Partnering with the Montgomery Public Schools, the initiative will allow the district's middle school students and teachers to gain access to technology and programs spearheaded by a collaboration with Birmingham-based nonprofit EdFarm and Apple.

Starting with the district's summer 'Launch into Learning' program, students at each of the 10 middle schools will be offered three to six week camps that will expose them to coding concepts that can be applied in the real world. Thousands of iPad's will flow into the schools and 20 teachers will begin professional development lessons to earn Apple Teacher and EdFarm certifications, in addition to receiving tech products for their classrooms.

Designing a maze, then learning how to code a robot to get through, it is just one example of a lesson students will be taught, EdFarm's Director of Learning Beth Sanders said.

The nonprofit, which began a partnership with Birmingham City Schools last year, offers, "cutting-edge virtual and face-to-face professional learning, personalized innovation coaching cycles, immersive learning experiences, transferable knowledge, strategies and skills for students' and teachers' transformational use of technology," a news release states.

"As we prepare for our summer learning program and the upcoming academic year, we're honored to have this partnership in place to help expose our students to coding and engaging STEM activities," Superintendent Ann Roy Moore said. "Putting this technology in our students' hands is not only going to inspire them but will prepare them for the future."

Moore again called on all families to enroll their students in summer learning programs, with the district's program registration ending June 1.

"We want to target learning loss and unfinished learning. We encourage all parents to send all of our 28,000 students to us and help them get used to being back in school," Moore said.

While the partnership will start this summer, lessons to students and training for teachers will expand through the academic school year. The goal is to have an iPad for all 8,000 middle school students by the end of the year.

Mayor Reed pointed to his Education Task Force and the willingness among intergovernmental agencies to work together as the reason this initiative was possible. The area's leaders know ensuring educational equity will be achieved not by, "just thinking outside of the box, but by getting rid of the box," Reed said.

"We know this is something that will start with middle school students but we are committed to expanding this to all ages," he continued. "We want to bridge the digital divide."

To register your student in the "Launch into Learning" summer program, visit mpslaunch.com.

(c)2021 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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