CodingTimes, a San Francisco Bay Area-based non-profit, teaches computer programming to children at public libraries. Founded in 2016, by Rohit Tanikella currently a junior at Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, CA, the organization has since grown to about a dozen high school student volunteers. Classes are offered at multiple public libraries in San Jose and East Palo Alto. The range of classes offered is varied and caters to children of all ages – Scratch for elementary school students, Python, and Java for middle and high school students, and advanced topics such as Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for high school students. CodingTimes has conducted more than 60 sessions so far with more coming up in 2019.

Rohit Tanikella

Shirley Tanase, librarian at the Alviso branch of the San Jose Public Library (SJPL) said, “Coding classes led by CodingTimes, helped SJPL work toward meeting their Coding5K Challenge. This challenge was created by the SJPL system in partnership with San José’s mayor, Sam Liccardo, and the Silicon Valley Leadership. Its aim is to bring STEAM programming to 5,000 unduplicated K-12 students via free, quality coding classes. Learning to code at a local library free of charge can be a powerful thing. At the Alviso Branch, we provide laptops for classroom use for those who do not have access to them at home as a way to open the class to every child who wants to learn. Technology has become such an important aspect of education. Working toward providing these opportunities for all children who have the desire to learn is a worthwhile goal.”

Due to the high demand for their classes, CodingTimes hopes to expand its reach across the Bay Area. The organization needs high school students interested in becoming chapter presidents and volunteers. “Learning how to code prepares you for the future. It helps you improve your thinking and analytical skills,” said Rohit, who started coding when he was in middle school. He wants to introduce computer science to as many children as possible through CodingTimes. Teaching others how to code has been a gratifying experience for him.

More information about CodingTimes and their upcoming classes can be found at www.codingtimes.org, where volunteers may also sign-up to make a difference in their community.