Code Club UK, the network of volunteers that teach kids to program, is celebrating its first birthday today and is doing so in style by announcing the expansion of the initiative to the entire world.
Code Club is a free scheme that relies on volunteers around the UK to teach children aged between 9 and 11 coding skills. Since its introduction more than 800 Code Clubs have sprung up around the country.
“We’ve had people contact us from all over the globe asking us if they can set up a Code Club in their country,” Clare Sutcliffe, founder of Code Club, said. “We’re a small operation here in the UK, so we’ve been unable to support anyone outside the UK. But, we’ve been listening and we don’t feel that Code Club should be restricted to just this small island.”
However, despite its achievements in the past year the organisation wants more. As a result it has today introduced Code Club World, opening up the scheme to anyone, anywhere in the world.
While it (mostly) shares the same name, Code Club World is a separate entity to Code Club, though the organisation notes that the main difference is that the volunteer support will be offered by the community themselves.
Code Club said it will upload all of its teaching materials in English onto a special Code Club World page on GitHub, which can then be translated by others into their local language. In addition to providing teaching materials, Code Club said it would also provide advice on finding a suitable venue, running a Code Club, and recruiting volunteers to build a community.
The introduction of Code Club World was supported by the likes of industry heavyweights Mozilla and Google.
“With technology increasingly defining how we perceive and interact with the world around us, there has never been a more urgent need for talented computer scientists. For children everywhere to have an opportunity to become creators – and not just consumers – of tomorrow’s innovations, we think it’s vital to expand access to Computer Science education that inspires and engages children from an early age,” Alison Cutler, Pre-University CS Education Outreach at Google, said in a statement.
The first Code Club World communities will be in Luxembourg and Kiev and will be run by web developer Patrick Welfringer and TA Venture Director and IDCEE conference organizer Viktoriya Tigipko.
Earlier this year, British chip design company ARM said it would support and fund up to 1,000 more after school coding clubs across the UK.
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