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Renewed commitments to computer science at CSforAll Summit

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Renewed commitments to computer science at CSforAll Summit

On October 8, computer science (CS) educators and advocates descended on Detroit, Michigan for the 2018 CSforALL Summit. As part of this year’s summit, a special one-day working session, entitled Mo’ Time for CS Education, was held to bring practitioners, advocates, researchers, and experts from afterschool, summer learning, library, and museums together to discuss how computer science can be incorporated into the afterschool space.

An-Me Chung, former program officer for the C.S. Mott Foundation, took the lead in organizing and facilitating the day, which included representatives from six statewide afterschool networks. During a panel in the morning portion of the day, Jeff Davis of the California Afterschool Network, Laveta Wills-Hale of the Arkansas Out of School Network, and Jeff Cole of Nebraska’s Beyond School Bells, shared the role state afterschool networks play in supporting afterschool and summer programs in their states. Network leads used this opportunity to explain to attendees from the computer science field how afterschool is impacting students and how it can and should be a partner to support the CSforALL agenda and provide high quality, sequential CS learning opportunities. 

In addition to the panel that state afterschool network leads participated in, an afternoon breakout session was held where attendees were tasked with thinking though how to advance CS in afterschool through communication tools, sharing of best practices, and public policy changes. The chance to assemble a large and diverse group of stakeholders, some of whom had little knowledge of the role of afterschool, provided a wide range of ideas and suggestions, from focusing on policy changes to the Higher Education Act, to utilizing the Afterschool STEM Hub to share content around CS in afterschool.

The Mo’ Time for CS Education session was just the start of the CSforALL Summit, which officially kicked off the following day with an all-day celebration around CS education. Gwynn Hughes, Senior Program Officer for the C.S. Mott Foundation, along with the Arkansas Out of School Network, had the opportunity to share the work of the statewide afterschool networks with the entire crowd attending the celebration, further reinforcing the opportunity that afterschool programs provide, particularly afterschool networks, to partner around CS.

This year’s CSforALL Summit also included an emphasis on greater inclusion of young people with disabilities within CS education. CSforALL asked all supporting organizations and private companies to submit a commitment they will undertake to expand access to CS programs for all students. The Afterschool Alliance was pleased to offer the following commitment, which we will work towards throughout 2019.

The Afterschool Alliance will promote computer science in out-of-school time, through our website and the Afterschool STEM Hub, by creating new, and updating existing CS focused afterschool program profiles, highlighting afterschool CS programs during CSEdWeek 2018, and updating the Afterschool STEM Hub's CS position paper to include an emphasis on inclusion and access for students with disabilities in CS programs.

Keep an eye out for more CS-oriented materials and opportunities from the Afterschool Alliance as we work towards meeting our commitment to CSforALL.

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