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About Us:

Code Naturally Academy has served the Santa Cruz community for over 3 years. During this time, we’ve had the pleasure of teaching over 5000 students how to code. All of our programs are centered around giving students creative freedom and inspiring them to learn difficult concepts through finding inspiration in their own ideas. Each student develops their own unique portfolio of projects using the codenaturally app.  We strive to have a ratio of 1 educator to 8 students to ensure that your child has the support they need as they create games and apps that they can’t help but share.

Programs that never stop getting better!

Listening & Iterating

Over the last 3 years, we’ve gotten fantastic feedback and recommendations from students, parents, and educators. This feedback has allowed us to continually iterate on our application, curriculum, and approach to teaching students. 

While students love programming with our app and at our programs – we know that they can always be better. We look forward to staying lean and continuing to improve our services through listening to the people that matter – our students and parents. If you have any feedback on our website or programs, please get in touch. 

Letting Students Set the Pace

We’re teaching students to program in JavaScript using a library and curriculum used at top universities around the world. College students struggle with the same concepts and write their assignments in the same language as our students. Since our students are starting as early as 3rd grade, we don’t rush them. 

We encourage them to use each set of concepts they learn extensively to create anything and everything they can think of. This gives them practice and a solid foundation to move on to increasingly complex topics. When we let students set the pace, we’re consistently surprised at how much faster they learn and the challenges they choose to take on.

Finding the Best Educators

We pride ourselves in hiring educators that are teachers first and programmers second. We’ve learned a ton about what makes a good educator over the last 3 years and the biggest thing we’ve struck on is – empathy. When an educator can put themselves in the child’s shoes and understand their frustrations and perspective – they are instantly better equipped to be able to help. Our educators often learn to program with us in order to gain an understanding of the kinds of errors and road blocks that our students encounter. 

We have a team of caring, mature, and experienced educators that will ensure your child learns to code while having a blast along the way. Our educators go out of their way to write new lessons based on what students want to learn and create. Our educators are role models for our students and exemplify our values in all of their interactions at our programs and events.

A Message From Our Executive Director

My name is Mackenzie Baughman and I will be serving as the Executive Director for the Code Naturally Academy. I look forward to building on the base that Code Naturally has provided throughout their last 3 years of growth, specifically their commitment to making coding accessible to diverse groups of students. In the past 5 years that I’ve worked as a STEM educator, I’ve been disappointed by the overwhelming lack of females in my classes, and by the surprise of some parents when they see a woman teaching a coding class. A more balanced and diverse classroom contributes so much to student success and creativity. I’m so excited to be part of a team that’s opening doors for all students in STEM!

-Mackenzie Baughman