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Coder Kids Program kicks off at Haverstock Hills Apartments

Fifth to eight graders learn new skills provided by Rainbow Housing Assistance to children in Haverstock Hills Apartments in Northeast Houston. (Photos courtesy of Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation)

HOUSTON – Rainbow Housing Assistance Corporation (Rainbow), a nonprofit organization which provides service-enriched housing programs for residents of rental housing communities across the country, is excited to announce the launch of a new program with Coder Kids, a nonprofit which teaches the basics of coding to children throughout Texas. The program kicked off in September at Haverstock Hills Apartments in Harris County and will provide residents from fifth to eighth grade fundamental experiences in computer programming.

“This program will aid in offering continued opportunities to the residents of Haverstock Hills Apartments,” said Flynann Janisse, Executive Director of Rainbow. “The partnership with Coder Kids truly raises the bar for our young residents by providing lifelong learning opportunities and empowering them to turn their thoughts into actions, inspiring future leaders in tech.”

The Coder Kids program aims to assist younger generations develop essential critical thinking skills, increasing post-high school employment opportunities. Students will learn the basics of Scratch, an interactive visual programming language which allows students to learn coding by developing games through matching words and commands in a puzzle-like format. Scratch encourages young people to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively, all of which are critical skills for the 21st century.

In spring of 2018, students will be introduced to a new programming language called Python, which will introduce more advanced coding topics. Each semester will consist of 12 one-hour classes taught at Haverstock Hills Apartments.

“We are ecstatic to be partnering with Rainbow, an organization with values which align with our mission of generating a more skilled 21st century workforce,” said Jeff Ward, founder and lead instructor of Coder Kids. “Code touches everything we do from how we shop, learn, and communicate with friends and family. Computer programming is now an important part of literacy in today’s society.”

This new program will join a multitude of life-enhancing and skills-development programs offered to the residents of all ages at Haverstock Hills Apartments, including workforce development training, GED preparation courses, youth empowerment programs, personal finance workshops, and more. The community serves over 300 schoolaged youth and in excess of 1,700 adult residents.

This past August, Rainbow and other local stakeholders in the Houston affordable housing market held a meeting at Haverstock Hills Apartments to celebrate 10 years of collaboration and to discuss initiatives to continue to improve the community and surrounding neighborhoods with crime prevention efforts and concepts. The coalition includes: Houston District Attorney’s office; Kim Ogg, Harris County Sheriff’s Department; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Aldine Independent School District; Houston Apartment Association; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity; The First Tee; U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Lone Star College; Local Faith Based Ministries; Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Houston Housing Authority and JAllen Managment.“

The group renewed their commitment with tenured members, new leaders, new partners, and new ideas,” said Janisse. “We are excited to share Coder Kids as one of those initiatives which will improve lives for generations to come.”