Scratch is an excellent starter language to introduce students to programming. Launched in 2006 the Scratch following continues to increase and there are numerous resources and publications to help you get started.
The big advantage of using Scratch is that it uses a lego style block system which removes the complexity of making sure students type the syntax correctly and instead allows them to focus on the structure of their code.
There are also a few plug-ins which allow Scratch to be used for external hardware such as the Microsoft Kinect.
Scratch MIT Homepage
Scratch Educators Page
Kinect2Scratch Software – to use Microsoft Kinect with Scratch