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Finastra’s Hour of Code programme connects more than 1,000 kids across three continents

Source: Finastra

Since the end of September, Finastra has hosted more than 1,000 children at its offices around the world for programming that introduces young people to coding and computer science education.

The initiative is part of Finastra’s long-term commitment to delivering computer science skills to school children and young people, as well as the company’s support for and collaboration with Code.org’s global Hour of Code initiative.

Founded in the US, the Hour of Code initiative is designed to demystify code and broaden participation in the field of computer science. Participation in the program allows Finastra to help further expand the movement globally and to introduce computer science to a wider audience, encouraging more girls and under-represented minorities to get involved. So far at Hour of Code events at Finastra offices in London, Paris, Budapest, Bucharest, Bangalore, Pune, Toronto and New York City, children have written more than 75,000 lines of code, all while learning that computer science can be fun and creative.

“The Hour of Code initiative is a great way for our staff to volunteer and reach young people from all backgrounds, to make them more aware of the potential of computer science, open their eyes to new career opportunities, and spark their interest in learning more,” said Jay Mukhey, Global CSR Director at Finastra. “Finastra is committed to extending opportunities around the world for children to participate in the Hour of Code initiative, and more generally gain exposure to computer science - which is now a fundamental discipline for virtually all 21st century career paths.

Finastra is supporting schools and youth centers in the communities where its offices are based. At its London headquarters in Paddington, Finastra hosted Hour of Code workshops for children from two local primary schools: Holy Trinity and Ark Brunel. The company also ran similar workshops during the October half-term for two youth projects: the Sidings Community Centre in Kilburn and The Winch in Swiss Cottage, organizations that focus on helping children succeed regardless of their family or socioeconomic circumstances.

Sara Hawley, Assistant Headteacher at Holy Trinity School in Paddington, said, “Staff, parents and pupils from all year groups that took part in the Hour of Code program at Finastra’s office were extremely positive about the experience. It has really raised our students’ and parents’ aspirations and shown them what opportunities there are for coders just a bus ride away from their homes. We believe it is very important to forge links between schools and the workplace even for young pupils so that they are encouraged to link their educational experiences with the real world.”

Finastra has ambitious plans for the Hour of Code initiative around the world, with programming at company headquarters in seven countries - the UK, France, Hungary, Romania, India, Canada and the USA - aimed toward supporting coding training among local youth populations. In India, where much of Finastra’s R&D staff is based, the company is collaborating with local NGOs, schools and the government, with teams across Bangalore, Pune, Trivandrum and Mumbai aiming to deliver an Hour of Code to more than 2,500 children in the region. Venkatraman Iyer at Swabhimaan, a local NGO said “Finastra might be the first company to take Hour of Code programming to the underprivileged population in India. We’re thrilled to have them here.”

The announcement comes ahead of Computer Science Education Week (December 3-9 2018), which Finastra will be supporting in collaboration with Vista Equity Partners and Code.org’s drive to create the largest learning event ever, inviting all staff to bring their children and young relatives to an Hour of Code session to be held at a number of Finastra’s global offices. The Hour of Code sessions encourage children’s interest in computer science by giving them the opportunity to design and execute commands within a gaming environment such as Star Wars or Flappy Bird. Younger children, between 7 and 9 years of age, use ‘blocks’ of code in a drag-and-drop environment while older children learn to write code in JavaScript.

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