Where Are the Black and Brown Mark Zuckerbergs?

Chess in the Park
Saturday, September 30th – Morningside Park
Monday, October 9th – New Rochelle, NY [Columbus Day]
Want Your Children to Succeed?

Billionaire chess

Where are the black and brown Mark Zuckerbergs? That was essentially the question — the challenge — that the late musician Prince asked Van Jones, civil rights activist, founder of the Dream Corps, and host of CNN’s The Messy Truth with Van Jones.

Prince Van Jones

What we need to understand is that when Mark Zuckerberg was about eleven, his parents hired a computer tutor, a software developer named David Newman, who came to the house once a week to work with Mark. “He was a prodigy,” Newman told The New Yorker writer Jose Antonio Vargasme. “Sometimes it was tough to stay ahead of him.” (Newman lost track of Zuckerberg and was stunned when he learned from the interview that his former pupil had built Facebook.) Soon thereafter, Mark started taking a graduate computer course every Thursday night at nearby Mercy College.

Mark Zuckerberg
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Want Your Children to Succeed?

Teach Them Chess & Computer Programming!
Top 5 Billionaires

According to studies:
  • Chess boosts brain power in kids.
  • Chess improves IQ.
  • Chess enhances arithmetical skills.
  • Chess hones verbal skills.
  • Chess sharpens critical thinking skills.
  • Chess boosts emotional intelligence and psycho-social skills.
Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Napoleon Bonaparte, Winston Churchill, Will Smith, Bono, and Madonna were or are avid chess players. Tennis legend and six-time Grand Slam singles champion Boris Becker said:
“I used to prepare for my tennis matches by playing chess, and it would get my mind stimulated and focused before going on court. It was essentially a mental warm-up.”

Bezos, Obama, Zuckerberg, and Gates playing chess

And learning computer programming has never been more important. According to Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed:
When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them. In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed.
Zuckerber & Carlsen

Co-founder, Chairman, and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg playing World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen. As of March 27, 2017, Facebook stock is trading at $139 per share which makes Zuckerberg’s stake worth $58.6 billion.

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Want Your Children To Succeed?

Teach Them Computer Programming!
Robert Nay

Robert Nay at 14 years old built a number 1 iPhone app called Bubble Ball.

Learning computer programming has never been more important. According to Douglas Rushkoff, author of Program or Be Programmed:
When human beings acquired language, we learned not just how to listen but how to speak. When we gained literacy, we learned not just how to read but how to write. And as we move into an increasingly digital reality, we must learn not just how to use programs but how to make them. In the emerging, highly programmed landscape ahead, you will either create the software or you will be the software. It’s really that simple: Program, or be programmed.

Computer science in New York
  • New York currently has 32,165 open computing jobs (4.4 times the average demand rate in New York).
  • The average salary for a computing occupation in NY is $95,515, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the state ($55,630).
  • New York had only 3,575 computer science graduates in 2014; only 17% were female.
  • Only 3,126 high school students in New York took the AP Computer Science exam in 2015; only 23% were female; only 230 (7.4%) were Hispanic; only 146 were black (4.7%).
  • Only 187 schools in NY (13% of NY schools with AP programs) offered the AP Computer Science course in 2014-2015.
  • There are fewer AP exams taken in computer science than in any other STEM subject area.
The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.

The Genius Farm

Psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference. Terrance Jackson, the publisher of Pistis, adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that was offered to local 5th-8th graders at Larchmont Library. The game that they created is below. We are looking to expand this program in the summer.
Roll-a-Ball

Roll-a-Ball

Click here to play.

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Closing the Achievement Gap

The Achievement Gap
For decades, educators have struggled to close the “achievement gap,” the persistent differences in test scores, grades and graduation rates among students of different races, ethnicities and, in some subjects, genders.
According to an American Psychological Association article, a group of social and cognitive psychologists have approach this problem not based on the idea that at least some of these disparities are the result of faulty teaching or broken school systems, but instead spring from toxic stereotypes that cause ethnic-minority and other students such as women to question whether they belong in school and whether they can do well there. While such a major problem might seem to require widespread social change to fix, the psychologists are finding evidence that short, simple interventions can make a surprisingly large difference.

Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jakson

I adopted some of these simple interventions in a class called “Creating Computer Games with Terrance Jackson” that I offered at Larchmont Library last October.
At Larchmont Library we conducted five sessions with local 5th – 8th graders on the following Wednesdays: October 15th, 22nd, 29th, November 5th, and 19th. This is the game that they created:
Roll-a-Ball

Roll-a-Ball

Click here to play.

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