Reading Public Library » Girls Who Code

64 Middlesex Ave. | Reading, MA 01867 | 781-944-0840

Girls Who Code is a national non-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. It’s leading the movement to inspire, educate and equip girls with computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities. The Reading Public Library is excited to offer a Girls Who Code Club at the library during the school year.

What is it?

The library’s Girls Who Code Club is a free program to teach girls in 6th-12th grades computer programming and coding, stimulate interest in the STEM field and careers, and build useful skills and confidence. To learn more about the curriculum, visit the national Girls Who Code Clubs website. To view projects created by former members of our club, click here. Our club meets weekly for 2 hours during the school year from October – May.

Who can join?

Girls in grades 6 through 12 are welcome in the club by enrollment only. Spaces are limited and acceptance will be based on a lottery if there are more applicants than spaces. Some spaces are reserved for returning participants.  Preference is given to Reading residents. As a condition of acceptance, girls are expected to attend 80% of meetings during the school year. Please do not apply if you are unable to attend regularly.

When will the program start? How often does it meet, etc.?

The club meets weekly for 2 hours on Saturdays @ 9:30-11:30 AM during the school year from October – May.  The 2018-2019 club starts on October 13 and runs thru May 18. Click here for a complete calendar of meetings.

How do I apply?

Applications are accepted each fall online. Participants will be selected by lottery if more apply than spaces available. Check back here for updates.

*The application for the 2018-2019 year is now closed and our club is formed for the year.*

Do I need to bring anything, have coding experience, etc.?

No! All instruction is provided for free, laptops will be provided unless you prefer to provide your own, and all levels of coding experience are welcome! Want to learn more about coding in your own time? Check out our Coding Resources for Teens.

Who are the instructors?

  • Charlie Dagli, Volunteer Facilitator: I work as a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory where I use code every day to build systems to help solve important national problems. I learned to code while doing my Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois. Outside of work time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, playing golf and learning harmonica!
  • Katie Gessler, Volunteer Facilitator: I am a mechanical engineer, currently working at Raytheon designing electronic equipment. I earned my B.S. in mechanical engineering from University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). My first foray into programming was designing and programming LEGO robots to navigate a course in an introductory engineering class. I had so much fun, I changed my major to engineering pretty much on the spot. In my free time, I enjoy reading, baking, and running.
  • Carrie Gray, Volunteer Facilitator: I studied Nuclear Engineering on the way to becoming a high school physics teacher, and then learned how to code while building a website for Boston Public School teachers to use to analyze students' MCAS scores. For the past few years I've enjoyed coaching Reading First Lego League teams and now look forward to helping with Reading's inaugural Girls Who Code club.
  • Matthew Gray, Volunteer Facilitator: I am an Engineering Director at Google where I work on Google Search. I love coding and solving problems with code, ranging from mapping the stars (I studied physics at MIT) to network security (at a startup) to helping Google answer your questions. Outside of coding I enjoy photography, spending time with my family and playing board games.
  • Pooya Khorrami, Volunteer Facilitator: I first learned coding when I was in high school and continued to do it as a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois. Now, I code almost every day as a researcher at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. In my spare time, I like to take photographs, watch movies, and play tennis.
  • Jennifer Melot, Volunteer Facilitator: I learned to code in high school and while I was a student at MIT double majoring in computer science and linguistics. I love using programming to build systems that help people (especially web applications!). I currently do my coding in the Human Language Technology group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Outside of work, I enjoy gardening, anything related to bicycles, playing my violin with people, and… doing more coding!
  • Volunteer Mentors: Talented high school coders volunteer their time and coding experience to mentor the club's participants throughout the year.
    • Jake Backer, Programming Lead for Reading Memorial High School's Robotics Team, the Robockets.
    • Gauri Barar, Former Reading GWC participant and completed the GWC Summer Immersion Program, Boston 2018.
    • Brian Shin, Team Member for Reading Memorial High School's Robotics Team, the Robockets.
  • Renee Smith, Library Advisor: I am a Teen Services Librarian at Reading Public Library where I organize programs and resources for teens. I'm so excited to bring a Girls Who Code club to the Reading community and can't wait to see what the coders create.

Questions? Want to learn more?

Please direct questions about Reading Public Library’s Girls Who Code Club to Renee Smith, Teen Services Librarian, at rdgteen(at) or call 781-944-0840.