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LP County Schools Holds 2nd Annual Week of Code

All La Porte County public schools conducted coding activities throughout every grade to
celebrate the annual National Week of Code, December 9-13, 2019. 73% of all La Porte
County students participated in coding activities, up 5% from last year.

The Hour of Code was started as a worldwide effort designed to introduce students to computer
science and demystify “computer coding.” For several years, talented teachers in each school
corporation participated in some type of coding experience. Now, all La Porte County public
school corporations coordinate efforts and resources for cool coding experiences throughout the
week. “Coding teaches problem solving, communication & how things work. We all want our
kids to have an advantage, not be behind when they graduate.” stated Maggi Spartz, Unity
Foundation president, “And these coding skills are applicable to any career path, even ones
outside the STEM field, so it’s important for all our students to have these opportunities.”

The La Porte County Public Library helped school corporations by training educators in skills
identified by the Indiana Academic Standards. The skills associated with coding help students
develop academic skills, and build qualities like perseverance, organization, problem solving,
and communication. “South Central Schools had another successful Week of Code,” said Deb
Kammrath of South Center School Corporation, “All students had the opportunity to focus on
various coding applications and games. Our partnership with Libraries360 and the generous
grants and donations from the Unity Foundation, Views on Learning, and South Central
Education Foundation have provided high-quality access to digital resources for our students on
a daily basis.”

The goal is to help students gain valuable 21st century skills and to create a talent pipeline of
employees for the county and region. Fonda Owens, LP County Public Library Executive
Director states, “We are happy to be advancing the resources for STEM in our County; and we
hope that by providing technology and training for our educators we can help them meet the
new required Indiana Academic Standards. Our local educators are phenomenal, and we enjoy
every opportunity to work together to set up our community’s children for success.”

The La Porte County Skill UP Network, a county-wide effort, emerged when our local city
Mayors, with leadership from the Center of Workforce Innovations along with the Northwest
Indiana Workforce Board, came together to apply for a Skill UP 3 grant from the Indiana
Department of Workforce Development. The La Porte County Skill UP Network brings together
economic developers, many employers, K-12 education, Purdue Northwest and Ivy Tech, the
Unity Foundation, and the La Porte County Public Library to create a talent pipeline, with an
initial focus on manufacturers in La Porte County.

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