Mission Bit, a nonprofit organization that teaches high school students computer science, has received a $1 million five-year grant from the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families.

Each semester, Mission Bit offers after-school computer science classes to high school students. The fall and spring courses run for 13 weeks, requiring four hours per week from students. The semester-long course covers HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Mission Bit also offers a six-week summer program for students. This fall, Mission Bit will launch a two-year program in order to facilitate ongoing learning and development, Mission Bit CEO Stevon Cook told me.

The two-year course aligns well with the DCYF’s goals for Mission Bit, Cook said. Mission Bit plans to use the funding to focus more on youth who are disconnected or disenfranchised, Cook said, such as those in foster care, public housing or those who have immigrated to the U.S. In order to do that, Mission Bit will partner with existing organizations that already work with marginalized kids, Cook said.

Throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, 100,000 high school students lack access to computer science classes at their schools, according to a study consulting firm Inspire conducted on behalf of Mission Bit. By 2020, Mission Bit hopes to serve 10,000 students in the area, specifically focusing on black and Latinx students, as well as students on free/reduced price lunch programs.

Mission Bit has a goal of serving 10,000 students in the San Francisco Bay Area by 2020. To date, 1,600 students have participated in Mission Bit’s program. There are 150 students in Mission Bit’s current cohort.

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