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Cartoon Network & NBA Inspire Kids to Code Their Story for NBA All-Star Weekend

Cartoon Network and the National Basketball Association joined forces as 17 local New Orleans students graduated from Big Class/826 National's Code Your Story 3-day mini camp. Coinciding with the 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend, the program inspired students to cultivate their storytelling abilities through creative coding and culminated with a special school celebration featuring guests Tim Frazier (New Orleans Pelicans), Ruth Riley (San Antonio Stars) and Greg Cipes (Teen Titans Go!) plus executives from Cartoon Network and the NBA.

The first coding collaboration between Cartoon Network and the NBA aligned the companies on a common goal: to reach underserved youth and build their confidence as creators who use STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) to power their ideas. Cartoon Network, who recently formed a STEAM Board of Advisors, has partnered with Google, Hour of Code, Black Girls Code, Scratch and, among others over the last year on more than half a dozen projects as part of the network's $30 million commitment to engage youth at the intersection of creativity and technology and inspire the next generation of creators and innovators.

In the Big Class/826 National mini coding camp at Sylvanie Williams College Prep (SWCP) in Central City, the 17 students who graduated from the program received one-on-one guidance to develop original stories, drew inspiration from their favorite Cartoon Network characters and basketball themes, and brought them to life using Scratch, a free online coding platform. Of the 17 mini-camp graduates, the students were equally split amongst third, fourth and fifth graders with girls making up nearly half the participants.

Big Class, which facilitated the Code Your Story mini camp, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 -18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping TEACHERS inspire their students to write. The organization, soon to be located in New Orleans' 7th Ward, is modeled off of the award winning 826 National network of writing and tutoring centers ( and aspires to join the 826 Network during the 2017-18 school year. 826 originated the curriculum for the mini camp.

Code Your Story Video, featuring the Big Class instructors and mini camp students:

Share using #CodeYourStory #NBAAllStar @CartoonNetwork

Photo by Erika Goldring/Getty Images for Turner)

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