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Gaming Bootcamp is Expanding into South Dakota's Indian Reservations

We will be teaching kids around South Dakota to build video games with the help of AT&T

Code Bootcamp, Sioux Falls Diversity Council, and AT&T team up to teach STEM education on South Dakota’s Indian reservations through building video games

The Sioux Falls Diversity Council has received an $11,000 contribution from AT&T that will target STEM education for Native American grade school students in South Dakota. The grant will support our Code Bootcamp of Sioux Falls program to teach programming skills to students on various South Dakota’s Indian reservations.

The program, led by William Bushee of Code Bootcamp of SD and Stephanie Bolman-Altamirano of Cross Cultural Solutions, emphasizes that learning to code is the language of the future, and as we move further along into the digital age we will find that most jobs will require some knowledge of computer programming experience. Learning to code, like learning another language, requires persistence and practice. Teaching kids to code builds critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and teaches children that digital communication via coding produces measurable results, and gives children a feeling of accomplishment thereby building confidence and self-esteem.

"We are so excited to be teaching kids important computer skills while having fun building video games," said Code Bootcamp co-founder William Bushee. "We’re grateful for AT&T’s support and delighted to work with them on this program. AT&T’s contribution enables us to expand into areas of South Dakota that would not otherwise have this opportunity."

“AT&T is proud to sponsor the expansion of STEM education into our Native American communities,” said Cheryl Riley, president, AT&T Northern Plains. “This program is a perfect fit for us,” she added. “We’ve not only been a long-time supporter of the Native American community but have had a corporate commitment to education, particularly in the areas of math, science and technology. Code Bootcamp is an innovative and creative way to teach 21st century skills to our children.”

Each 6 hour day will consist of hands on computer education and activities. Camps will be held in areas that serve Native American communities and collaborative partnerships will be built between the "gaming camps" and the local community organizations and stakeholders.

“This grant addresses a number of identified areas of need within Native American communities. These extracurricular opportunities are usually reserved for those students with greater financial resources, leaving behind the students that aren’t able to enroll or don’t have the technology at home. These innovative types of grants that are community based and work with local communities, local businesses, and local organizations really are the most successful because they work to identify and fill the gaps together,” said Stephanie Bolman-Altamirano, of Cross Cultural Solutions. Cross Cultural Solutions works with businesses and organizations that want to build better relationships with diverse communities.

Juan Bonilla, President of the Sioux Falls Diversity Council, says, “I am excited to receive the good news about this partnership between the Sioux Falls Diversity Council and AT&T. This is a great opportunity to reach the Native American Community and help them obtain a new skill that will benefit them. The Sioux Falls Diversity Council is always looking for new ways to help and empower the diverse community of Sioux Falls.”

Additional Gaming Bootcamps are also being run in Sioux Falls this summer, details for those classes can be found at http://sdgamingbootcamp.com/.

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