Charlotte James

Charlotte James   Artist and interviewer: Audrey Gatewood

Charlotte James

Artist and interviewer: Audrey Gatewood

"Code in the Schools is a local nonprofit that works to expand access to computer science education. What we do is work to infuse computer science into schooling early on so that kids can excel, should they choose to study it at all. We have in school programing, full time, in seven schools. Only one in four schools nationally offers computer Science at all, which in Baltimore is even lower because, as we know, the educational resources here are disparagingly low. We offer after school programming, summer time programming, and professional development for teachers.

"Computer science is a great way to teach computational and critical thinking to kids. It also can be a really good creative outlet. Computer science is evolving, it now touches...everything. Even down to fashion. It’s all around us, but youth in Baltimore City are excluded from evolving with it. Access is an issue of educational justice. And Baltimore City youth face an incredible amount of educational injustice. We have to include them in this growing economy, it’s imperative to the future of the city that kids have these skills.

"There are challenges that could be considered more urgent than STEM education that our students face growing up in Baltimore. We met in the classroom, but outside of school our students are dealing with extreme poverty, nutritional access issues... I think that’s one of our biggest challenges, convincing people of how key this subject matter is to fight inequality. Access to technology is access to information. Young people need access to information."