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Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Library helping kids hone their computer coding skills

By Kyle Vuille

Ranger-Review Staff Writer

Every Monday through the months of June and July from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Glendive Public Library, Library Director Dawn Kingstad holds a computer coding class for children in the community. 

This past Monday, Kingstad held her fourth class.

Kingstad said the class is important because it promotes motivated self-learning. She also added the class is an attempt to keep younger generations up to speed in regards to the rest of the world and technology.

Each class involves an activity through a program found online called Scratch. Scratch is a fun way to learn about script and coding. The program features fun little activities. Kingstad mentioned last week’s activity involving “sprites” the kids manipulate with script to make dancing dinosaurs. A sprite in the coding world is a two dimensional image or animation as a part of a larger scene.

Each activity usually takes an hour.

Kingstad said the idea for the class was sparked when she attended the Montana Library Association State Conference. 

There, she spoke to another librarian, Yvonne Redding, from the Rosebud County Library and decided to give it a try after Redding told her what success she had with the program.

The program shows signs of early success. One of Kingstad’s students has attended every class since the program started and stands out amongst the rest. In fact, Antoinette Robart excelled so quickly she sometimes helps Kingstad.

Robart is 11 years old, is going into 6th grade and has been home schooled since 4th grade. She has never taken a computer coding class before, but enjoys it and will continue coming to the classes. 

Her mother Dee Dee Robart, a former math and science teacher at Deer Creek said she has never pushed technology on her daughter. It was by her own doing.

“Anything she loves, she immerses herself in,” said Dee Dee.

For more information on the computer coding club, contact Dawn Kingstad at the Glendive Public Library.

Reach Kyle Vuille at
news@rangerreview.com.

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