HONOLULU – Hale Kula Elementary students today sat alongside Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi in a lesson about computer coding – a skill that is rarely taught in schools nationwide but has become extremely critical to prepare students for emerging jobs.
They joined some 3 million students from 163 countries who participated in the "Hour of Code," a global event designed to boost public awareness about the industry of computer programming and coding.
All of Hale Kula's teachers and its student body signed up to participate in learning to code. For its strong commitment to introducing computer programming, the central district school garnered a $10,000 technology donation from the nonprofit Code.org, the national organization behind "The Hour of Code," which is also celebrating Computer Science Week, December 9-15.
A check presentation took place this morning in a special student assembly attended by Gov. Neil Abercrombie, Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, state Sens. Clayton Hee and Michele Kidani and Rep. Lauren Cheape.
Coding has been identified as a 21st century skill coveted by all industries.
"We want to be sure that our students receive the knowledge, skills and strategies to help them succeed in this technological world," said Hale Kula Elementary Principal Jan Iwase. "This award will help us introduce students to the world of computer programming."
Following the check presentation, guests received a brief session on computer programming with Hale Kula students.
In addressing the students, Superintendent Matayoshi stated, "Computer-programming jobs are growing three times faster than the rate that students are entering the field. That means we have to make sure all of our students, like you, know what coding is. There is no doubt that Hale Kula Elementary School is headed in the right direction. Congratulations!"
Located on the U.S. Army's Schofield Barracks, 99 percent of Hale Kula's 900 students are military dependents. The school is on the third and final year of a Department of Defense Educational Activity grant to implement a one-to-one blended learning pilot program for fourth- and fifth-grade students who virtually access their curriculum for half of the school week.
Learn more about The Hour of Code at Code.org.
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 288 schools and serves more than 185,000 students. Hawaii's public school system was established in 1840 by King Kamehameha III. To learn more, visit HawaiiPublicSchools.org.