Children and Youth

Youth Embrace a New Form of Literacy

Anonymous donor grants support to a Coding Program at the Accelerated Achievement Academy and Calaveras Elementary School

As the world becomes more technological, education in computer sciences is essential toward the development of a future generation. To prepare youth for success, to ensure youth in a competitive environment, and to tap into their full potential, young students must learn the language of technology early in their education. As it stands today, many students in the county are not introduced to the language of technology until they transition to San Benito High School.

The Accelerated Achievement Academy (AAA) and Calaveras Elementary School understand the value in educating youth in fundamental computational skills as it pertains to digital media. Principal Joe Rivas said he believes preparing young students for the language of computer programming at an early stage is critical and, this year, he implemented a coding program to introduce fourth- through eighth-grade students to the basics of reading and writing online coding.

Isaiah Neal, a Hollister resident who is majoring in computer engineering at San Francisco State University, is leading the program by teaching students modern online practices in HTML5, CSS, and Javascript.  

Through the Community Foundation for San Benito County, an anonymous donor has established a specialty education fund to support the coding program in which students are allowed to code their personal narrative into their website. He explains, “It enables younger students to gain a personal interest into technology while gaining a much deeper understanding on how the online-world works. My students never knew what coding was all about, but now they love it!”

The Coding Program, serving approximately 280 students, provides them with potential career opportunities they never knew existed. Neal and Rivas agreed that the program will expand student options in computer sciences.

Rivas said, “We are less than 60 miles away from global technologically-based companies like Facebook, Google, and Apple. Every student should at least have a fundamental understanding of this new form of literacy.”

Neal conducted a survey of students in his Coding Program to review and evaluate the impact of the program thus far. View survey responses on the right. 

If you would like to know more about this specialty education fund or would like to donate, contact Gary Byrne from the Community Foundation for San Benito County by email [email protected] or phone (831) 630-1924

Raul Ceja

A storyteller and San Benito County native with expertise in online communications and branding, Raul excels in community engagement. With a BS from UC Riverside in Business Admin & Marketing, he studied Global Emerging Markets at Fudan University in Shanghai, China.