Spreading the CS First love

A couple of weeks ago, Zenzele and I had the opportunity to train 60 Wake County teachers in how to implement CS First at their schools.  After a brief introduction as to why CS First is important and what it is, the teachers explored the site and also created a project from the Game Design theme. It was fun to see them excited about the program and about sharing it with their classes. We’re excited that even more students are going to participate in CS First. Here are a few pictures!

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Just Getting Started in Chi-Town

At our 2 Chicago locations we have had a great response from the members at the Boys and Girls Club to the CS-First program. There were some students who would go home and continue to work on the their scratch projects. Almost all the students that completed the first CS-First program returned to participate in our second session of the program at our Club One location. The kids just can’t get enough of CS-First and Scratch! The students were so excited about completing the first session of CS-First they wanted to throw a party. So we got some paper for them to make signs to decorate and they all brought in snacks to celebrate. In the picture you can see their decorations and excitement.

While we have had a great response from the members of the Club we are in the process of overcoming a couple obstacles with implementing CS-First. The biggest being our limited access to technology within the clubs. Basically we have more club members interested in participating in the program than computers available. To overcome this obstacle Kelly and I are in the process of applying for grants to bring more technology into the Chicago clubs.

Overall we have been able to introduce over 80 students to computer science through the four CS-First Clubs we have been able to run in Chicago. While we are working on getting more technology to expand within the Boys and Girls Club, Kelly and I are also spreading the word on CS-First to the schools throughout Chicago. We plan to continue to expand within the Boys and Girls Club as well as through out the Chicago school system to try and expose as many students to the wonders of Computer Science as possible.

Meet the Warrior!


My name is Kelly Rosiles-Villagomez, and my students calls me “Coding Grandma!” I am proudly serving at the city where I was born and raised in – Chicago! I recently graduated from Lake Forest College (Go Foresters!!) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and minor in Mathematics. I have discovered my passion in helping improve education equity through my first AmeriCorps program called City Year (I am still wearing that red jacket!). As a Code Corp I am hoping to see more computer science enrichment programs are integrated to our students’ education. In my free time, I like to get involved in my sorority, dance, and travel. After this year with Code Corps, I would like to pursue a higher degree (M.Ed/Ed.D) with a focus on research and would like to help continue improving the equity and quality of education in my career.

PS. The title of my post is the meaning of my name.

Let Kids Lead: CS First Members as Advocates and Program Assistants

I’m reposting this from my personal blog I recently started, CS in the Clubhouse. It was originally posted August 19th.

The Goal: Kids as Leaders

One of the primary goals of the Boys & Girls Club movement is to foster leadership skills and self-confidence in our members. Each of our programs is targeted at one or more of our five Core Program Areas: The Arts; Character and Leadership; Sports, Fitness and Recreation; Health and Life Skills; and Education and Career. Our experience with CS First has been exciting because, in running the program, we have found that kids are sharing with each other and finding the confidence to become leaders in the group.
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The Same Page: Getting the Organization Working Together

I’m reposting this from my blog I started a little while ago, CS in the Clubhouse. It was originally posted July 24th.

Looking Back on the CS First Rollout

CS First has now been running at Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland for 4 weeks. In that time, we’ve seen some major successes in the program and some notable hurdles. Apart from technical issues and difficulties with having a large number of volunteers in place for a new program with short notice, we’ve had some challenges with implementing the program according to our vision.

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Greetings, my name is Paige Spillman, and I’m affectionately known at my club as “Google.” I originally hail from St. Louis, but went to college at Rockhurst University in Kansas City where I graduated in May 2015 with a degree in Business Administration and an emphasis in Marketing.  I applied to several AmeriCorps positions, not sure what to expect and was overjoyed when I was excepted into the first ever Code Corps VISTA’s group! This is an amazing group of people to be a part of and I cannot wait to see what we can do in partnership with Google and the Boys and Girls Club. I am currently working with Kelly Rosiles-Villagomez in Chicago, where the students we work with have already grabbed a hold of our hearts. Jumping right in and working with the kids in the Chicago clubs has lit a fire within me to implement a lasting program for future club members to experience and hopefully inspire them to dream big for themselves.



PS  The title is one of my favorite songs, control what you can and let the rest be.

Aliza in Portland


Hello! My name is Aliza and I am serving a year as a VISTA Code Corps member at Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area. I am incredibly grateful to be a part of such an amazing team. My background is in nonprofits and I have become passionate about finding opportunities for low-income and minority youth to get involved in STEM. This most likely developed from growing up in a family of social workers and engineers. I am particularly excited to work with volunteers, do community outreach, and learn how to code! In the future, I would love to learn how to program and utilize technology to serve the community (nonprofits, education, or healthcare). It has been a great experience so far and I am excited to see how the rest of the year unfolds.