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DATA students receive big surprise

Students in the Coder Pals program at the Design and Technology Academy (DATA) at Ed White Middle School got quite the surprise Thursday, Feb. 27. While showing off some of the innovative programs they are working on, the Spurs Coyote stopped by. He wasn't alone, he brought along Spurs shooting guard, Lonnie Walker, and more than 40 new laptops from Conn’s Home Plus.

“For us, it means we can travel to more elementary schools,” said Coder Pals Sponsor Brandeis Stubbins. “It means that we can work with more elementary students. It just gives more kids access to technology.”

Nicholas Visconti, with Conn’s Cares, added, “This is really a celebration of all the energy and efforts the Coder Pals here and all these middle school students have been doing by providing mentoring services and time with elementary kids all year long.”

These students will have a chance to pay this gift forward immediately because the laptops won’t just stay at DATA. The Coder Pals go to several NEISD elementary schools each week and teach coding and technology to the younger students. Mariah is one of the Coder Pals, and she’s ready to take the new tech on a test drive.

“We are so thankful," said Mariah. “ It is really cool. We are going to show them to the kids, and we are going to work more with them and teach more kids coding.”

Coder Pals is an initiative with Youth Code Jam and Rackspace that provides a unique and innovative program for NEISD students. They worked alongside  Conn’s and the Spurs organization to make this happen.

Once the big announcement was made, Lonnie Walker got to check out some of the programs and coding the students have been learning. They even presented him with a 3-D printed plaque they designed just for him. He couldn’t have been more impressed with the group.

“To see kids at this young age to have such a mind for this thing and to continue to inspire the younger kids, it’s really nice, and it's dope to see our future is in such great hands," said Walker.

Before Lonnie left, he made sure all the Coder Pals had some Spurs swag to take home, including tickets to an upcoming game.


Posted by Evan Henson
Posted on 02/27/2020