Vancouver, August 8th, 2019 - Kids Code Jeunesse (KCJ), a Canadian charity that is determined to give every Canadian child access to digital skills education, has received $8.1 million in funding from the second phase of the Government of Canada’s CanCode program in order to continue teaching kids about code and artificial intelligence.
The announcement was made by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Harjit Sajjan, Minister of National Defence and the Member of Parliament for Vancouver South, this morning during a KCJ-facilitated workshop at Sir James Douglas Elementary School (VSB). The workshop brought together eager young minds to get creative and hands-on with computational thinking, code, and hardware.
"When we support skills development in the areas of STEM and AI, we can build a nation of innovators and a digital economy that works for everyone. That’s why our government is equipping Canadian youth with the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Young Canadians will drive our economic success for years to come."
Through this two-year investment, KCJ will train kids and teachers on coding, artificial intelligence (AI) and ethics, global issues, and digital citizenship, as part of the organization’s #kids2030 initiative. Launched in April 2019, this initiative is the first of its kind and will reach over 1,000,000 kids and 50,000 educators by the year 2030. KCJ firmly believes in the power of education to ensure children have the knowledge and capacity to be active, informed, and responsible participants in the ethical development of AI, as well as technology at large.
"It is essential that Canadians are educated to be engaged citizens with an understanding of how to communicate and create in the world around them,” said Kate Arthur, Founder and CEO, KCJ. “Canadians need to learn computational thinking, algorithmic literacy, and how to build with technology. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that kids’ education keeps up with the digital revolution."
In 2017, Kids Code Jeunesse received $6 million in funding from the first phase of the CanCode program. This allowed KCJ to reach over 150,000 kids and 6,700 teachers.
CanCode is a two-year $60-million dollar program starting in 2019–20 to support opportunities for Canadian students (kindergarten to Grade 12) to learn digital skills, including coding, data analytics and digital content development. This investment is in addition to the $50 million from Budget 2017, for a total of $110 million. This investment will also support initiatives that provide K-12 teachers with the training and professional development they need to introduce digital skills and coding-related concepts into the classroom. CanCode aims to equip Canadian youth, including traditionally under-represented groups, with the skills they need, such as advanced digital skills, to be prepared for further studies in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), leading to the jobs of the future
KCJ is a Canadian charity determined to give every child access to an education that cultivates the skills to thrive, the knowledge to make informed decisions, and the tools they need to make the world a better place. KCJ strives to develop and deliver the best computational thinking and algorithmic literacy education in Canada, and around the world. Founded in 2013 in Montreal, KCJ has since engaged and inspired over 200,000 kids and 8,000 teachers through digital skills education, with a focus on girls and underserved communities. Through its recently launched #kids2030 initiative, KCJ is now bringing artificial intelligence & ethics, digital citizenship, and global issues to the forefront of kids’ education to make sure all children have the skills, tools, and confidence they need to build a better future.