Girls can use the introductory programming language Blockly, at madewithcode.com, to animate the lights on state and territory trees that decorate President’s Park through the holiday season.

The animation debuted at the 92nd annual National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, December 4, at the White House. The tradition of the tree lighting ceremony dates back to 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit the first fir tree outside the White House, and this is the first year kids from across the country will be in control of the state and territory holiday tree lights!

Girls can head to madewithcode.com to code a design for one of the 56 state and territory trees. Girls can select the shape, size, and color of the lights, and animate different patterns using introductory programming language and their designs will appear live on the trees.

In a post on Google, the premier sponsor of the 2014 National Christmas Tree Lighting, Pavni Diwanji, Vice President, Engineering, explained how a program called Made with Code was launched earlier this year to inspire millions of girls to try coding, and help them understand the creative things they can do with computer science.

“As the mom of two girls, I know that technology is a pathway for their future success. Still, even as coding becomes more important, less than 1% of high school girls say they’re interested in pursuing computer sciences in college. But I’m also an engineer, so I’ve seen firsthand how exciting CS can be. I fell in love with code early – my dad was an engineer and he encouraged me to enter a programming competition in the seventh grade. I gave it a shot, and I’ve never looked back. Ever since that day, I’ve known that when I program something, I’m creating something totally new for the world.

That’s what Made with Code is about: discovering that creating something new and exciting – whether it’s a holiday tree, a video game or a driverless car – can be accomplished with the power of code.

But it’s also about building an ecosystem of support for girls through parents and teachers, and to show girls other women who are using CS to achieve their dreams. This challenge also kicks off Google’s commitment to CSEdWeek, a week dedicated to inspiring students to get interested in computer science that’s become one of the biggest education initiatives online. Over the coming week, thousands of Googlers will join the hour of code, and announce a few other special projects that we will fund through the holiday season and coming year.”

Once you have successfully coded a state or territory holiday tree, you can download a gif to share with family and friends. Goolge will also send an approximate time your animation can be seen on youtube.com.

Donation For Imagination Kicks Off to Inspire Creativity in Kids


ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), December 2, 2014 – Julius Jr. and Blick Art Materials has announced “Donation for Imagination,” a new art supplies drive benefitting kids nationwide. The initiative was established to inspire creativity in kids by providing art supplies to nonprofit organizations, schools and after-school art programs.

Julius Jr. Partners with Blick Art Materials for “Donation for Imagination” Program (PRNewsFoto/Julius Jr.)

The drive kicks off today as an official partner of #GivingTuesday, a globally recognized day dedicated to giving back, and runs through December 24, 2014. Supporters of the effort can make donations at conveniently located donation bins at 66 Blick stores nationwide and online through Blick’s Art Room Aid website.

The Julius Jr. “Donation for Imagination” program has transitioned from what began as the Paul Frank Art Supplies Round-Up, the first-ever national art supplies drive for kids, which Saban Brands and Blick Art Materials debuted during the 2012 holiday season. Over the past two years, donations to the drive have topped more than $120,000 in art supplies, benefitting more than 35,000 children.

“For the third year in a row, Saban Brands has partnered with Blick Art Materials to inspire donations of thousands of art supplies across the nation, first with Paul Frank, and now with Julius Jr.’s ‘Donation for Imagination’,” said Elie Dekel, President of Saban Brands. “We’re excited about the evolution of the program as creativity, invention and imagination are all core elements of the Julius Jr. television series, making this a very natural transition and partnership.”

Through this partnership with Blick Art Materials, the program encourages Julius Jr. fans and Blick shoppers to donate new and gently used art supplies to local children’s art non-profits. In addition to serving as a central donation destination, Blick stores are supporting the effort with a special 20% discount for products purchased as donations. Customers who donate will also receive a thank-you offer good for 20% off their own purchases from Dec. 26 through Dec. 31. Each store will work with either a local children’s art non-profit or Blick’s national partner, Dreaming Zebra, to distribute donations to their community.