Believing that athletes with social capital can use their influence to inspire kids age eight to 12 to both set and achieve lofty life goals, retired NFL defensive tackle, and Super Bowl XXXVII champion, Ellis Wyms, launched Athletes for Computer Science. Supported by the Wyms Foundation, AFCS is a program that aims to teach children in underprivileged districts about computer science, technology, and coding. It deploys athlete ambassadors who share their stories about life, education, and success. In its first year, the program has worked with nine elementary schools in four states, reaching more than 500 kids who have written more than 100,000 lines of code.
AFCS uses curriculum from Code.org and leverages Google Hangouts to bring world class athletes and educators to the classroom. Wyms teaches many of the courses himself.
"The goal is to leverage athletic influence [on children] to inspire them to learn computer science fundamentals," Wyms says. "Whatever they decide to do in their future, having an understanding of how computers work and how they can use those devices to bring their ideas to life will be a part of their future."
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