Five reasons why children should learn coding

by | Jan 8, 2016 | Other News

HAT student Emily Leon solves a coding problem by manipulating blocks.

HAT student Emily Leon solves a coding problem by manipulating blocks.

Learning to code is child’s play. Don’t believe it? Ask Rabbi Menda, who will say it’s true. As Hebrew Academy’s savvy Coding Club advisor (and Judaic Studies director), Rabbi Menda teaches students in grades three through five to code—and they’re having a blast learning and solving problems. Coding is important to them.

What is coding? Think of coding as a language that computer programmers “speak” to create software programs. These programs make it possible to build websites or develop the apps for phones—or in planes, trains and automobiles, too— pretty much everything that makes the world go ‘round today. While not every kid who learns computer coding will become the next Mark Zuckerberg, there are many reasons why learning this discipline is important.

Five reasons to learn coding
• “ Everyone should learn how to code. It teaches you how to think.” —Steve Jobs

The 21st century is a digital world, and kids need critical thinking skills to succeed. Coding gives them that edge, as they learn, create and then organize the logical steps that will get them from point A to Z.

• Coding teaches problem solving. “At Hebrew Academy, students are immersed in learning to code through the use of games, puzzles and other challenges from the website,” says Menda.

“For example, they could be tasked with ‘Code how to draw a circle.’ The student then needs to determine the algorithms to make that happen on the computer. Step 1, do this. Step 2, do that, and so on. Learning the different skills required in coding allows the students to direct what happens next. It’s empowering,” adds Menda. “There is a lot of trial and error, of course— but that is what makes it all the more satisfying when they arrive at the right solution.”

• We are hard-wired to learn languages at early ages. Start them young. Teaching kids coding will serve them well in becoming “fluent” with it as they mature.

• Do the math: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be more than one million open computing jobs by 2022. These are jobs in every industry, every state. Opportunity is knocking!

• Again, Do the math: A computer science major can earn 40% more than the college average.

Want to introduce a child to coding? Go to It’s free and it’s fun. Or, enroll a student for preschool through fifth grade at Hebrew Academy of Tidewater. Contact Carin Simon, admissions director, at or call 424-4327.

Hebrew Academy is a constituent agency of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater.

by Dee Dee Becker