CanCode Communities is on a mission to shift mindsets about who can work in technology, remove cultural and economic barriers to pursuing tech careers, and establish and promote workforce pathways throughout New York state and beyond.
“We’re convinced that aptitude is distributed evenly, while opportunity is not – and our programs can change that equation,” said Annmarie Lanesey, founder of CanCode Communities.
Launched in 2016, CanCode Communities’ K-12 programs cultivate diversity in the software workforce and nurture STEM skills among the next generation. The key to the success of these efforts is empowering elementary and middle school teachers to include coding activities in the school day.
CanCode partners with school districts to offer coding education in the classroom as well as enrichment and professional development opportunities for teachers, helping to demystify web technologies and bring these tools into the classroom experience. CanCode’s professional development opportunities for elementary school teachers have included lesson plans and in-class support. The organization has launched HTML, Python, and Scratch coding programs that fit into the school curriculum for 2nd-12th grade classes in ELA, Science, Art, and Music.
The K-12 programs not only build capacity for coding education in New York’s public schools but also invite all youth to see themselves as ‘makers,’ not just ‘users,’ of software.
“New York state will have a talent-fueled, vibrant tech sector when employers, K-12, and workforce training sectors cultivate a mindset about who can work in technology, and what pathways to that work are more open, practical, and inclusive than what currently exists,” said Lanesey. “We believe our work at CanCode can help them achieve that goal.