Kids Code Jeunesse gets $8.1 million from federal CanCode program

Montreal-born Kids Code Jeunesse (KCJ) has received $8.1 million in funding from the Government of Canada’s CanCode program

The new cash brings the non-profit’s funding total to $14.1 million, after the first phase of the funding contributed $6 million in 2017. CanCode’s mission is to teach kids about code and artificial intelligence.

“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 CEO Kate Arthur. “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.”

The announcement was made by federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains and Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan. The announcement was made Thursday 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 Bains. “Young Canadians will drive our economic success for years to come.”

The two-year investment will allow KCJ to 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 said it 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.”

The 2017 funding allowed KCJ to reach over 150,000 kids and 6,700 teachers.

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