About Us

We are working to improve K-12 Computer Science education.

What We Seek

When Doves Code is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was formed in 2017 out of a desire to improve the equity, effectiveness, and quality of computer science education for those we feel need it most:

  • K-12 Educators (and School Districts)
  • Parents
  • Students falling into 1 or more Minority/Underrepresented/Disadvantaged Groups (girls, African-Americans, Latinos, and low-income)

Our top priority for the immediate future is to help produce more Computer Science (CS) educators.  We believe that the other priorities are more achievable if we start with providing teachers with various Professional Development opportunities to help them with crafting and executing CS curriculum.

Why We Care

We feel strongly that our schools and parents could use the help of current computer science professionals to help improve K-12 CS education offerings.

  • Many U.S. school systems still have not adopted a statewide plan for improving K-12 computer science education. Thanks to the efforts and advocacy of fellow like-minded organizations, we can now see the stats (thanks code.org!) on how this is beginning to improve.  There’s still work to be done though!
  • Even with the standards and curriculum available, our schools do not have enough Computer Science educators.  We need more CS educators to prepare our next generation of Computer Science professionals.
  • We still have work to do to improve the number of girls and minorities remaining in the Computer Science pipeline.  We believe the optimal time to attack this problem is in the middle school grades.

Impact & Accomplishments

Partnership with GIRL, Inc for Saturday Tech Girls

March 2017

We began working with GIRL, Inc as a part of their Saturday Tech Girls Program to teach a single workshop giving 20+ girls from various DC/MD/VA middle and high schools an introduction to what the full lifecycle of creating a Mobile App could be like.

Monthly Saturday Workshops for Girls

October 2017 – May 2018

In partnership with GIRL, Inc, we started teaching monthly workshops (Intro to Web and App Development) giving up to 25 girls hands-on activities to introduce them to the various aspects of Web Design and Development.  We created a curriculum of plugged and unplugged mini-activities to give the girls some hands-on experience with what we call the “web dev language trifecta”:  HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We curated some of our lesson plans and activities from some favorite sites like code.org and w3schools.com.

1st App Dev Small Group Cohort (Girls-only)

January 2018 – May 2018

We formed a small group of Saturday Tech Girl cohorts that met weekly (through video-conferencing) to focus on more in-depth learning to design and create an app.  We introduced the Ionic Framework to show how web languages can be used to make mobile apps. The group met weekly for virtual sessions and monthly for in-person workshops. The work culminated in a full-day hackathon on April 21, 2018 (an annual tradition we intend to maintain) to allow the girls to make significant strides in their app development. 

1st Summer STEM Camp Offering - Partnering with NOVA Systemic

July 2018

We taught our first 1-week STEM Summer Camp in partnership with NOVA SySTEMic. We taught Intro to App Design to 25 rising 6th-8th graders. They learned how to make an app using the popular MIT App Inventor cloud-based platform.

1st Professional Development Workshop

August 2018

In August 2018, we began working with DaVinci Academy to provide professional development for Fairfax County-area middle school teachers who want to learn to teach App Design using MIT App Inventor.

Announced our 1st Detroit-area Professional Development Program - Tech Me With U

October 2018

When Doves Code had the honor of being a part of the CSForALL Summit – an invite-only annual event that brings together various corporate, non-profit, and educational partners who share a common goal of addressing the many ways in which K-12 Computer Science education efforts can be improved.  On October 9th, we were able to publicly announce our pledge to address “Equity & Inclusion” via our Tech Me With U professional development program (launching in the Detroit area first).

Shonna Smith - Founder

Shonna Smith

Founder & Executive Director

About Our Founder

Shonna Smith became interested in computer science while in her teens and began her journey as a computer programmer while attending Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan.  She went on to earn a Computer & Information Science B.S. degree from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Her career as an IT Consultant began immediately after college while working with IBM.  She eventually joined a small Fairfax, VA-based tech startup (Blue Collar Objects) where her expertise as an Enterprise Java Software Architect/Developer began to blossom and eventually lead to a fascination with “all things Agile”.  Ms. Smith now runs an independent tech consultancy, coderighter, that focuses on Agile Coaching/Training/Consulting plus custom software solutions to help small business owners create websites and apps for their business. She is also the owner of Kid Care Anywhere (an event child care company) and a LinkedIn Course Author/Instructor teaching Enterprise Java Development courses (particularly Spring Framework development).  Ms. Smith credits her parents (both teachers) for her love of teaching and her own natural tech curiosity for her love of computer science.

Will you help us create more confident and prepared Computer Science educators?  We can’t offer FREE professional development without your support.