PRESCOTT VALLEY- When thinking of coding, Prescott Valley Public Library Adult Services Librarian Jennifer Kim admittedly relates it to teens. However, the world of coding has expanded to adults and young children through various clubs offered at the Prescott Valley Public Library.
Starting with a teen code club, the Prescott Valley Public Library recently debuted a kids code club (ages 6-11) and an adult code club with all levels being taught the same material.
“It’s really interesting how people of all ages learn differently,” Kim said. “It’s kind of a cool concept that they (the adults) are all doing the same things as the kids and the teens.”
The program starts off with the basics of coding, such as block coding, then continues with Java Script, HTML and CSS.
“Coding is kind of like learning a new language,” Teen Librarian Shelbie Marks said. “It’s got it’s own syntax and everything that goes with it and if you don’t do it the right way, it’s not going to work.”
Through a grant, the Prescott Valley Public Library is using a program which comes with lesson plans; allowing the librarians to not be a master of code in order to run the courses. The ability of coding taught in these lessons can be used to create websites, programs, games and apps. While the adults and young kids will generally follow lesson plans, the teens took the basics and ran with it to create their own ideas.
“It’s just learning through play,” said Marks, mentioning teens will come in to create weird games and programs for others in the class to enjoy. “It doesn’t matter that they are not following the curriculum, they are still learning.”
Considering the lesson plan remains the same for all ages, the clubs create a chance for understanding regardless of who participates.
“We are hoping that it could start a conversation with parents, grandparents, who see their kids playing computer games, coding,” Kim said. “Understand what’s going on and be able to relate technologically.”
The numbers for each club have been positive as the library will look to continue hosting the clubs into the future. The program received through the grant runs out at the end of this year and it is not yet known whether the program will be renewed or another will be utilized. It was also mentioned the teens, who are enjoying a bit more freedom, may require a different program then the other two age groups.
All three clubs are free and anyone is welcome to join at any time and get engrained in the lesson plans. No prior coding knowledge is required, however, it was recommended a young child have some form of reading ability to participate in the kid’s club.
The adult club will be changing times and it is not yet known when it will be held. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the library for dates and times. Meanwhile, the teen code club takes place every Thursday from 3:30-5pm and the kids code club meets every Friday from 3pm-4:30pm.