Arkansas Department of Education Division of Elementary and Secondary Education READ, CODE, CREATE Program - #ARKidsCanCode / #RISEArkansas /#STEM #STEAM / #ARGUIDEforLife

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Central Administration
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Superintendents; Assistant Superintendent; Principals; Teachers; Gifted & Talented Coordinators; Curriculum Coordinators; School Counselors; Equity Coordinators (Disability/Race/Gender/National Origin)

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The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) Office of Computer Science is pleased to announce a new program, “Read, Code, Create” for middle school students and teachers across the state. This program was developed collaboratively with ARKidCanCode / CSforAR, R.I.S.E. Arkansas, AR STEM and G.U.I.D.E for Life. This program demonstrates the ease of incorporating computer science, literacy and STEM education into meaningful and engaging activities for Arkansas students. Ultimately 12,000 copies of a book will be provided to schools across the state.

This title is the ninth book in Janet Tashjian's series starring reluctant reader Derek Fallon, who receives an exciting new laptop! Unfortunately for Derek, if he wishes to play games, he’s going to have to learn how to code them himself. Tashjian’s book was chosen for its ability to engage students--especially reluctant readers--through both text and illustrations that were designed to help with comprehension. 

The following books will be distributed:

  • Every school that has a 6th grade will receive one class set of 25 books. These classroom sets will be distributed as part of our statewide professional development expected to begin in early 2023. 

  • Every 6th, 7th or 8th grade teacher who attends a specific 6-hour professional development will receive a copy of the book. This training will focus on incorporating the book (and computer science in general) in Literacy and STEM courses, as well as using the circuit playground coding tools.

  • Every education service cooperative will receive a classroom set of circuit playground coding tools for loan to local schools.

  • Teachers will not only have access to new training opportunities, but will be provided activities and other digital resources for multiple subject areas. 

This wide-reaching program is new, but also a continuation of its cross initiative program supporting the Arkansas Computer Science (#ARKidsCanCode) and Arkansas Reading Initiatives (#RISEArkansas). Previous years have seen hundreds of books distributed to school libraries of all grades across the state, but Read, Code, Create aims at bringing an interdisciplinary opportunity of increasing both the literacy and problem solving skills of Arkansas middle school students. 

This is Computer Science Education Week; Arkansas is releasing a new Computer Science related announcement and/or commitment each day of this week. For a full listing of the announcements as they are made please visit the ADE Computer Science Webpage at:



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