Coding Camp delivers experience and more to young “techies”

Five Link scholars received laptops at the culmination of Coding Camp this summer. The camp, led by Ben Campbell and Fritz Huggins, and held at the school, was a five-week program designed to teach students the basics of coding, specifically Python. Students mastered coding language and syntax, and put their new knowledge to work building calculators, sentence statements, number strings, and text animation. And they had fun along the way!

Weeks one and two of camp consisted of building knowledge of the fundamentals of programming. With a firm grasp on basic coding language, week three moved on to applying those fundamentals. Using a game framework that the instructor coded, students began solving several problems. The game involved a wombat on a 16X12 grid that can walk, turn, pick up, and place leaves. With each new challenge, Ben emphasized the importance of breaking down problems into small steps. As the week progressed, the students became more comfortable with each idea and how to apply their foundational knowledge to each challenge.

As Ben explained, “For example, I coded the wombat’s ability to turn left, but I tasked them with coding the wombat to turn right. Through some thinking and debating we eventually came to the conclusion that we could make the wombat turn right by making 3 left turns. After that I introduced them to separating code using functions. It is a good programming practice to separate the code into steps in functions. The first function we wrote was to make the wombat walk “x” number of times. I gave them the ability to make the wombat walk but they would need to write that code 10 times if they wanted it to walk 10 squares. Using this function, we could have it walk 10 times by just specifying the number of times we wanted it to walk in 1 line.”

The excitement and confidence in the classroom  was palpable as students focused on problems without ‘giving up’ in minutes and at times, students worked through their breaks on problems. Students have talked about learning how to “build on challenges” and feeling more confident as the problems increased in difficulty. Amber, a rising 7th grader, said she is having “a lot of fun,” and that “when I don’t understand I know I’ll get it if I keep trying because I have faith.”

The students were excited and grateful to receive their own Macbooks at the end of the program. All stated they would continue to explore the what they could do with the coding learned in camp.  Christa, a rising 8th grade scholar, stated that she would like to continue to learn more about coding because she said, “This could be so important to my future job and career.”

Thanks to Ben and Fritz for sharing their knowledge and time with our scholars, Newark Kids Code for introducing the young men to Link, and to Electronic Access Foundation for the donation of the laptops for the students to continue exploring computer programming and to use during their educational journey.


Join us for the 21st A Taste of Newark on November 7th!

Link Education Partners will host the 21st A Taste of Newark benefit for Link Community Charter School on Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at 5:30 pm at NJPAC in Newark.  The evening features tastings of delicious food from over 20 area restaurants and caterers, thrilling student performances, a silent auction, an inspiring alumni speaker, and an honoree presentation. Click here to learn about the honoree and alumni speaker, as well as how you can enjoy and support this amazing event!

Link selected to exhibit in prestigious Newark Arts Festival

We are proud that Link has been selected, for the second year, to participate in the Newark Arts Festival.  Our exhibit, “Inspiration from Textile Artists, ” will showcase original artwork created by current students and recent alumni, and will be open on Saturday, October 6 from noon until 4 pm.  The students’ art was inspired by African Adinkra and Kente cloth and by master artists such as Faith Ringgold, the Gee Bee Quilters, El Anatsui, and Kehinde Wiley.  Students created their art under the guidance of Mrs. Gwen Howard, Link’s fine arts teacher, and local artists-in-residence. We invite the Link community to visit the gallery to see the amazing artistic talent of our scholars! Drop-in art sessions will be provided for youth and families.

The Newark Arts Festival is New Jersey’s largest multi-day celebration of the visual and performing arts, occurring over four days in the great city of Newark.  Now in its 17th year, the festival draws thousands of visitors, as more than 100 venues join forces to showcase visual, performing, and literary art. Link is proud to be selected as an “art gallery” in this year’s celebration of the arts in Newark.

Here are just a couple pieces of student art that will be featured in the exhibit:

First Day of the New School Year

Link Community Charter School opened its doors this morning to 296 happy and excited scholars! Check out the photos of our first day of the 2018-2019 school year!

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Link to Open on Tues., 9/4 for 2018-19 school year!

Link staff is ready for the arrival of our scholars on Tuesday, September 4th. The building will open at 7:15 am for all students. Lower House begins at 7:45 am and Upper House at 8 am.  Dismissal time is new this year: 4:10 pm for all students. Breakfast and lunch will be served.

We look forward to starting a new year with our students!