When I was young, I was drawn to writing computer programs and taking classes in school, but today it seems kids are not excited about programming. It may be that there is no instant gratification or it is no longer “Cool”, but I think that if kids were taught early about programming there would be a lot more interest.
A recent Dot Net Rocks show talked about using Small Basic along with course work found at TeachingKidsProgramming.org to teach children programming. I truly believe, if current programmers used these materials to teach their children we would not have a shortage of new developers.
Here are some links to get you started:
Course work at teachingkidsprogramming.org/