The Knight Foundation believes a more diverse set of Miamians should to learn to code — and is putting its money where its mouth is.

On Wednesday, the foundation announced it would match a $120,000 investment from Microsoft to allow Code/Art, a Miami-based nonprofit that supports teaching computer science to girls, to offer its coding program free of charge to teachers from up to 60 Miami-Dade County public schools.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer this program that will empower Code/Art to reach over 15,000 girls and underrepresented minority students in the 2019-2020 school year,” said Amy Austin Renshaw, CEO, and co-founder of Code/Art, in a statement. “An early, fun and creative introduction to coding will get kids excited about computer science and on the path to expanding the technical talent pool in South Florida.”

The program will promote early-access to computer science education for Miami-Dade County public school students in low-income districts, and other schools with limited or no computer science classes. It is aimed at leveling the playing field for girls and minorities, who are significantly underrepresented in computing fields, Knight said in its statement. Preference will be given to middle school art teachers in low-income schools, but may then be opened up to include middle school technical education teachers and elementary school art teachers.

Knight and Microsoft also announced Wednesday they are partnering with Wyncode to launch the Future Leaders of Miami Technology Fellowship, a full scholarship for a low-income, underrepresented resident in the South Florida area to take one of Wyncode’s full-time web development programs.

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