With technology advancing rapidly, WITF wants to ensure that children at a young age are exposed to 21st century skill-sets that will prepare them for the future. On Thursday, December 10, at 7 p.m., WITF will join its affiliated Pennsylvania PBS stations presenting “Family Night: Coding”. With coding perceived as complicated or intimidating, this hour-long family program, being held during Computer Science Education Week, demystifies coding, making it fun and easy.

“It is essential for Pennsylvania’s learners to have access to computer science early on in their education,” said Acting Secretary of Education Noe Ortega. “Programs like ‘Family Night: Coding’ create opportunities for families to experience all of the exciting things computer science has to offer and help to prepare a new generation of commonwealth residents for the jobs of tomorrow.”

This family learning event designed for kindergarten to fifth graders introduces the basic principles of coding through hands-on activities and games. Caregivers can learn to code alongside their young children to increase interest in computer science and as a potential career path. Throughout the program, viewers will hear from experts on the pathway they took to pursue a career in computer science and find the job of their dreams.

Commenting on the value of computer science and coding, Sara Frey, Educational Consultant with the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN), said, “It is essential that young children have opportunities to learn computer science and coding because it empowers them. When I was a kid, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ was a scary question because I didn’t know many possibilities. With computer science, the possibilities are endless!”

Viewers will explore career opportunities through segments featuring computer scientists from Tesla, Inc., and in the fields of virtual reality gaming, theatre, graphic design and agriculture.

Encouraging families to participate, Debbie Riek, WITF director of education added, “Our message is that ‘anyone can code.’ There’s no coding experience or computer required but have paper and pencil handy to make computer science magic happen with us during ‘Family Night: Coding’!”

“Family Night: Coding” premieres at 7 p.m. on Thursday, December 10 on WITF TV or can be livestreamed at witf.org/watch. The program will also rebroadcast Thursday, December 17 at 8:30 p.m. and will be available on-demand through the PBS Video app


About WITF 

WITF is a trusted provider of public media news and programming for approximately 2.3 million people in 19 counties of Central Pennsylvania, encouraging children and adults to Live Inspired®.  A member station of PBS and NPR, WITF’s media services include public television (WITF TV and WITFK PBS KIDS 24/7), public radio (WITF 89.5 & 93.3), websites (including witf.org, TransformingHealth.org, stateimpact.npr.org/Pennsylvania, and ExplorePAhistory.com), and a production services division (Media Solutions). WITF’s mission is to inspire lifelong learning by connecting people and communities of Pennsylvania through trusted journalism, thoughtful discussion and educational experiences. WITF engages minds and enriches lives. For more information, visit witf.org