GlobalHack and Monsanto Fund Team Up to Bring CS First to Middle Schools

Award funds rollout of Google curriculum to 30 sites across St. Louis metro area.

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GlobalHack, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that drives social impact through technology, announced today an award of $40,000 from the Monsanto Fund to fund computer science programming in 30 local middle schools.

The program, CS First with GlobalHack, is the third youth program to take off at the nonprofit, following GlobalHack Summer Camp and the Youth Coding League. Combined, the programs have served more than 1,000 local youth since launching in 2016.

The Monsanto Fund and the Monsanto Company have been strong supporters of GlobalHack’s events and programs for several years, first supporting the organization’s largescale civic hackathons that develop software tools for some of the community’s most pressing challenges. When GlobalHack opted to expand the number of accessible computer science opportunities for youth, the Monsanto Fund stepped up as a ready and eager partner.

“Familiarity with technology has become an important asset in today’s workplace and will be become even more prevalent in the future,” said Michelle Insco, Monsanto Fund Program Officer. “The computer science basics these children learn today will lay the foundation for their success and the continued success of our businesses and communities. The Monsanto Fund appreciates opportunities to identify and support programs like Global Hack which helps create a bright future for St. Louis.”

GlobalHack has big plans for the future of CS First in St. Louis. The program aims to reach 1,000 participants by the end of 2020. “We are excited to see the program take off and thankful for the Monsanto Fund’s confidence in our partnership,” said Matt Menietti, GlobalHack Executive Director. “GlobalHack is excited to work alongside many valuable community organizations that aim to help every kid find what he or she loves to do.”

Google’s CS First is an accessible, video-based computer science curriculum that teaches the basics of coding and computational thinking using a free programming language called Scratch. Scratch, a free tool created by the MIT Media Lab, lets newcomers learn to program by dragging and dropping bits of code.