Apply for Libraries Ready to Code Mini-Grants by February 14

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In advance of Digital Learning Day, ALA is opening a call for applications for $700 mini-grants to school, tribal, public, and academic libraries to design and implement programs using Google’s Applied Digital Skills resources. Applications are due February 14, and up to 290 eligible libraries will be selected to deliver at least 4 sessions throughout the programming they develop (e.g., drop in, multiple sessions, a spring break camp, or weekend workshop) that prepares learners of all ages to use technology tools.

Digital Learning Day, to be held February 27, 2020, is an annual event that promotes the effective use of technology tools to enhance learning experiences for youth. Since 2012, Digital Learning Day has served as a platform for showcasing innovative and impactful approaches to incorporating technology to enhance learning and opportunity for all.

This mini-grant program is part of Libraries Ready to Code, an ALA initiative sponsored by Google, that aims to ensure libraries have the resources, capacity, and inspiration to embrace activities that promote computational thinking (CT) among our nation’s learners. Exposing learners to learning experiences through which they can develop and practice digital skills to solve problems with real-life and interest-driven applications is an important part of CT. The initiative focuses on providing equitable access to opportunity and seeks insights from libraries that prioritize reaching learners from underrepresented groups and low-income households.

Applied Digital Skills is a free, online digital skills curriculum that provides video-based lessons to prepare learners of all ages for the future of work. Digital literacy, problem-solving, and creativity are often cited as essential skills for jobs of the future, but a report from The Economist’s Intelligence Unit reveals that among 18- to 25-year-olds, less than half (44%) believe that their education system is providing them with the skills they need to enter the country’s workforce.

Successful applicants will plan their own activities using tools and inspiration provided by Applied Digital Skills resources. Using Digital Learning Day as a launch pad, participating libraries will design and implement a program or series of programs that builds digital skills. To highlight the creativity and variety of library programs, they will share video, photos, and tweets using #AppliedDigitalSkills, #DLDay, and tag @ALALibrary and @GoogleForEdu during their program(s).

Visit the Libraries Ready to Code website for more information. Applications will be accepted until February 14. Up to 290 eligible libraries will be awarded mini-grants. Recipients will implement at least 4 sessions in multi-day or multiple sessions between Digital Learning Day and May 31. The mini-grants will be disbursed after selected libraries successfully submit a brief report on their activities to confirm they were conducted. Funds may be used for resources necessary for the participating library to enhance or expand its digital skills programming. General operating or overhead expenses and other indirect costs are not funded through this grant (e.g., utilities, equipment depreciation, etc.).