Literacy in the 21st Century Ireland, and Europe, means more than basic reading and writing skills. CoderDojo is organised to help young people from age 7 to 17 to get truly immersed in Technology and Coding.
To date, CoderDojo has grown to over 650 Dojos in 57 countries, reaching over 30,000 children and young people regularly. Over 150 of these CoderDojos are located in Ireland.
At a CoderDojo, the young person is placed at the centre of their own learning, choosing the technology they want to develop and what coding languages and to use. They are encouraged to be creative, innovative, and develop confidence in their own abilities as technology creators.
Children actively take a role in not just solving their own problems but in collaborating with and mentoring other young coders both at their own local Dojo and within the extended community of Dojos around the world.
Microsoft has today announced that it will become an official European partner for the CoderDojo Foundation & Movement. Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland celebrated the partnership announcement with Mary Moloney, CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation at the company’s headquarters in Sandyford, Dublin.
With Microsoft’s support, CoderDojo can reach even more kids in more countries and can enrich the experience that is enjoyed by the kids attending Dojos and by those volunteers who generously give their time and resources in enabling the kids to develop coding, technology and many other skills.
With a digital skills gap continuing to widen across Europe, the aim of this new partnership is to support the CoderDojo movement across the region and to further encourage young people to learn to code. Microsoft have pledged their support to the CoderDojo Foundation as part of the Microsoft YouthSpark initiative.
Microsoft YouthSpark, is a global, company-wide initiative, which aims to improve education, employability and entrepreneurship opportunities for young people worldwide. So far, YouthSpark has created opportunities for 227 million youth, including 40.8 million young people across Europe, through a palette of education, job-readiness, entrepreneurship programs and partnerships with youth-focused nonprofits like CoderDojo.
Speaking in Dublin today Cathriona Hallahan, Managing Director, Microsoft Ireland said: “We’re delighted to be collaborating with the CoderDojo Foundation and making this announcement today. In addition to the corporate grant Microsoft will be providing we are also ambitious about how our employee base can support the growth of the CoderDojo movement. In Ireland there is currently over 4,500 job vacancies in the ICT sector. Ensuring we educate our youth with the skills to work in these roles is essential. CoderDojo plays an important role in this regard and together we want to encourage every young person across Europe the opportunity to discover their digital potential and gain access to a CoderDojo club.”
As part of the newly announced partnership Microsoft will be supporting and collaborating with the CoderDojo Foundation over the next 12 months in a number of key ways.
All European CoderDojos, will receive with access to Microsoft’s DreamSpark program, providig direct access to all of Microsoft’s professional development and design tools and platforms at no additional charge.
CoderDojo will also be able to tap into Microsoft’s more than 20,000 employees across Europe as mentors who will support existing Dojos and facilitiate in the establishment and hosting of new Dojos.
“It is important that all young Europeans have the chance to grow their digital competence, whether in or outside of the classroom,” said Sylvie Laffarge, Director of Citizenship Europe for Microsoft. “We are delighted to be entering into a new partnership with CoderDojo, and we will focus on scaling and supporting CoderDojo’s efforts to help as many young Europeans as possible discover their digital potential.”
Responding to the announcement, Mary Moloney, Global CEO of the CoderDojo Foundation, said:
“The support that Microsoft is providing to CoderDojo across Europe will enable the community to grow and to reach more kids and young people, enabling them to develop technology, innovation & entrepreneurial skills. Through the provision of S/W and tools to the kids and also to support our volunteers, the learning envirnonment at existing Dojos can be even further enhanced. As an organisation with such a strong portfolio of technology products & with a talented workforce of skilled technologists, Microsoft is well positioned to support new and existing Dojos all over Europe. We are excited about this great new partnership and look to forward the year ahead and to what CoderDojo can achieve with the support of Microsoft.”