Our name comes from the Arabian Nights folktale. Ali Baba’s brother died, trapped in a cave, because he didn’t know the simple code that would have freed him: Open Sesame. That story has been repeated throughout history. When people don’t know the code -- whether literal as in Ali Baba’s case, or figurative as in the unspoken codes that govern social convention -- they’re stuck. They can’t move forward. When it comes to kids today, they’re going to be really stuck if they grow up without knowing computer code. That’s why we started Open Sesame Coding for Kids. We believe that we can get these kids unstuck. Open Sesame may have been a secret code way back when. But computer coding is a not-so-secret code now. When we teach kids to code, we are teaching them to be creators and not just consumers of their world. We are changing their perceptions of who can be good at technology. We are giving them new skills for a new life.
There are a lot of organizations that will help you learn how to code. We are different. We are primarily a service organization. We recruit and train high school and college volunteers, and facilitate opportunities for them to go into homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters, and teach computer skills to children there. If you are a high school or college student interested in empowering underrepresented groups in technology, please join us as we shatter myths about who can be good at computers, and make opportunities to learn code available to all children.