For Middle River Middle School, “Hour of Code” technology pledge pays off


Perhaps more than most other schools, Middle River Middle School was ready – despite the snow – for Computer Science Education Week from December 9-15.

Not only had the school and its students pledged to participate in the “Hour of Code” initiative all week, with each student learning more about computer science and how to write computer code, but they began the week with a little extra boost: $10,000 from the “Hour of Code” sponsors to help supplement the school’s stock of laptop computers.

“This is so important, and it’s so great that we were chosen,” said Middle River Middle Principal Shannon Parker. “I can’t wait for the 14 new computers to get here.”

Through it’s participation in the nationwide “Hour of Code” project, Middle River Middle qualified for – and won – the cash award from, which organized this year’s program. The school was the only one in Maryland to be selected for the award.

During a school-wide assembly on December 6,’s director of education, Pat Yongpradit, said he selected Middle River Middle because of the school’s commitment to the idea of exposing students to the world of computer science.

“I was impressed that it was an entire school that signed on to do this,” Yongpradit said, later posing with an oversized $10,000 check made out to the school. “I hope this check will go a long way to helping them to learn more.”


Backed by an all-star group of celebrities and elected officials, including President Obama, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the “Hour of Code” seeks to provide a one-hour introduction to coding and computer science to students. It includes a variety of self-guided online tutorials available on browsers, tablets, or smartphones. For more information about the project, go to

During Friday’s assembly, students enjoyed the school’s orchestra as well as speakers exhorting them to explore the world of computer programming. Parker and Yongpradit were joined by several Baltimore County elected officials, including Del. John Olszewski, Jr., Del. Joseph “Sonny” Minnick, and County Councilwoman Cathy Bevins, a representative of County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, and Board of Education member George Moniodis. BCPS representatives included Assistant Superintendent for Middle Schools Penelope Knox-Martin and Ryan Imbriale, executive director of the Department of Digital Learning.


Story and photos by BCPS Communications Specialist Charles Herndon
©2018 Baltimore County Public Schools. All rights reserved. This site is optimized for 1280 display resolution and for use with the latest versions of most browsers.