By NewsLine Staff

Students at Jacksonville Country Day School recently participated in the Hour of Code, a global movement to get students interested in computer programming.  According to, which sponsors the initiative, almost 150 million students in over 180 countries have tried the Hour of Code since the program’s launch in 2013.  

Organized at Jacksonville Country Day School by technology specialist Cristina Knodel and librarian Amy Kucsak, the Hour of Code event kicked off at the school’s Character Education assembly on Dec. 11 at 8:30 a.m.

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Older students were paired with their younger “buddies” to engage in collaborative coding projects on their devices. These coding activities included Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code, Minecraft Hour of Code and Code with Anna and Elsa and are available for free at Early learning students programmed Bee-Bots, which are simple robots that children program to follow a simple route.

Students described the experience with coding as “hard,” “fun,” “challenging,” “problem-solving,” “thinking” and “mind-stretching.”

Agreeing with others that coding is fun, fourth grader Gavin added: “It is important because if you get good at it, you can be a professional and make things run smoothly.”

According to, computer science “helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic, and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path.”

Students agreed with this statement. Aaron, who is in fifth grade, said, “Coding now is important because when we grow up we will remember and know how to get started in technology.”

According to students, coding is not just about finding a good career as an adult.

Alexandra, who is in fifth grade, said, “Coding is important because it helps you think harder. You have to figure things out, not just write stuff down.”

Clayton, who is in grade six, touched on the impact of technology to our society.

“Without coding, there is no technology. No cars. No phones,” he said.

Technology specialist Knodel said, “By teaching coding, we are setting students up for success in the future.”

Launched in 2013,® is a non-profit dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. They believe computer science should be part of core curriculum, alongside other courses such as biology, chemistry or algebra.

Photo courtesy Jacksonville Country Day School
Fourth grader Mohammad S. and first grader Tucker T. learn about coding during the Hour of Code.

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