Hometown Helpers: Emily Sobel’s Computer Coding Class

HuntingtonNow.com is highlighting individuals who are making a difference in their community through their volunteer work.

Emily Sobel, 16

Community: Dix Hills, Half Hollow East

Organization: Ariella’s NY Friendship Circle

The project:
I developed a computer coding class for children with special needs to provide a fulfilling and enjoyable educational experience. This course teaches children how to create interactive stories, games and animations by utilizing “drag and drop” programs such as Scratch.  The ability for special needs children to learn and create builds an enormous sense of confidence and self-accomplishment as they see the result of their work come to life.

Why did you choose this project?
Developing this program was a natural fit for me as it combines two of my passions: technology and helping children.  The idea was born as I witnessed a special needs child having tremendous difficulty communicating and behaving, but ironically, he was doing amazing things on the iPad. Consequently, I created this program to teach children important life skills that will lead to success as adults.

Are you involved in other volunteerism?
Throughout the years, I have enjoyed volunteering with children at The Friendship Circle. Some of the programs that I have participated in include Zumba, Hip Hop, Puppy Fun and more. Additionally, at Half Hollow Hills East I am president of XX Coding Club and I tutor math to children through the Math Honor Society.

Anything else you want to add:
I couldn’t have done this without the help of volunteers, both from the Friendship Circle and the XX Coders Club from HHH East. And   The Gaming Studio in Syosset  opened up their business to us (for free) and allowed us to use their amazing space to train these amazing children.

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