Girls Who Code: A New Club at the Bedford Free Public Library

Image (c), all rights reserved
Image (c), all rights reserved

Compiled by The Bedford Citizen

From now until October 27, students in grades 6 through 12 may register at the Library to join the Girls Who Code club.  Pam Aghababian, Teen Services Librarian, invites girls who want to develop computing skills to sign in; there will be enough spaces for 15 students. Slots in the club will be assigned by lottery and entrants will be notified of the outcome of the lottery after the 27th.

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. Learn more about Girls Who Code on their website,, or on their Facebook page

Aghababian says this is a popular offering in many libraries locally. Newton is now in its 3rd or 4th year of the program.  The Bedford club will meet on Mondays, from 3:30 to 5:30 pm, from November 2016 through May 2017 (except for holidays.)  Students are required to attend at least 80 percent of meetings. The program is free and laptops will be provided to each student.Note: boys are welcome to apply as well but the focus is on closing the gender gap in technology fields.

Club instructor is Radhika Chippada, software engineer and Lexington resident, who has more than 20 years’ experience in the field.  Aghababian says she has excellent communication skills and the ability to engage easily with students.  Girls Who Code is the largest computer science program for girls in the U.S., with after-school programs in all 50 states, according to its website.

Girls Who Code’s founder, Reshma Saujani, says, “Well before college, young girls have begun to opt out of computer science. While girls’ interest ebbs over time, the largest drop-off happens in the middle and high school years…. One of the reasons is that students don’t have the opportunity to explore computer science before college. They see ‘brogrammers’ – guys in hoodies coding out of their basements – in the media and think ‘that’s not for me’ before they’ve even had the chance to try. Our Clubs model allows for girls across the country to learn to code early and see how they can use it to make a difference in their lives and the lives of others.”

Later in the year, as the students’ skills develop, Aghababian said they will create projects that benefit the community.

For more information about Girls Who Code, please contact Pam Aghababian at the Reference Desk in the Library.

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