Did you see Hidden Figures yet? No? GO! I’ll wait.
Okay, did you love it? Excellent. Now, let’s talk for real: kids need to be encouraged to code and embrace science, but representation matters. It matters a lot. Children of color need to see movies like Hidden Figures and see women like them, people like them, breaking barriers and doing things no one ever thought possible. They need mentors, they need access to information, and they need books and media that represent them. And we need to support the people creating books and media that speak to these kids and encourage them to keep creating, keep breaking barriers.
A young lady named Sasha Ariel is taking up this call. As a senior in high school, she wrote a book aimed at girls ages 7-10, about a girl who went to coding camp with her friends, where they learned to code and learned that they can choose what they want to do in their lives. She’s been published in the Harvard Educational Review, created her first app at a coding camp at UCLA, and she’s out there, encouraging girls of color to pursue STEM educations and careers.
Sasha has a Kickstarter going for that book she wrote as a high school senior: Sasha Tech Savvy Loves to Code. She’s met her goal after just 4 days – and that alone speaks volumes about the need for this kind of book – and is working toward her stretch goal of developing a website that will allow her to reach countless kids, spreading the love of computer science and STEM, and inspiring the next generation of NOT-so Hidden Figures. Let’s help her get there, shall we?
Kickstart Sasha Tech Savvy Loves to Code and send a powerful message of support and love. Keep a copy for yourself, give a copy to the child you know could use it, or donate a copy to your local library or school and make sure they USE IT. That it’s displayed and it’s read, taught, and loved, like every good book should be.