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East End-Based Library To Offer Coding Club For Children

Sydney A. Braat

Russ Weisenbacher leads the class. (Courtesy Photo)

Quogue Library is broadening its winter activities with the addition of a coding club for kids.

I Can Code! Coding Club with Russ Weisenbacher launched on Thursday, January 11, and will continue on Thursday, January 18, and Thursday, January 25 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. for children in grades 1-3. Weisenbacher is a Technology Instructor and IT Coordinator for Quogue Library.

"I believe this is important because coding/programming is one of (if not THE) most important skills that are in demand for the future," said Danielle Kozikowski, Head of the Youth & Family Services at Quogue Library. "Technology is an integral part of our lives and as devices and computers evolve, learning the language of programming is of the utmost importance because this is how we are able communicate with these machines."

Participants will use a new coding game set that turns coding into a fun, hands-on analog activity tailored for tactile and visual learners. As students build their mouses during the "code & go robot mouse game," they build their critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as their understanding of sequences and programing fundamentals.

"I wish that I had the opportunity to learn coding when I was a kid back in the 1970s, but there wasn't anything remotely like the coding of today," Weisenbacher explained. "If I was able to learn coding, it would have made my job as IT (Information Technology) Coordinator much easier; instead I had to learn later in life which is not as easy as learning early."

Learning to code has benefits. According to Tynker, an educational programming platform geared towards teaching kids how to make games and programs, coding drives innovation, allows kids to be creative, builds confidence, and translates to success in other areas.

"I Can Code! or as I like to call it, 'Kids Can Code!' is a great opportunity for young people to be exposed to computers and coding... but in a super fun and exciting way. One of the workshops uses a computerized toy mouse called 'Colby' that the coder must program to navigate through a maze to get the "cheese" at the end," Weisenbacher added. "While setting it up to test it, I realized that I had been using it for an hour and didn't realize it!"

Quogue Library is located at 90 Quogue Street in Quogue. For more information call 631-653-4224 or visit www.quoguelibrary.org.

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