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CoderDojo Offers Free Coding Instruction for Kids

Aug 26, 2014 12:36PM ● Published by DigMB Staff

Thanks to three local students with a passion for coding, starting this month, there's a great new fun and free way for kids to learn all about coding and creating web sites, mobile applications and games.

CoderDojo South Bay kicks off its inaugural event on Saturday, August 30th at the Redondo Beach Main Public Library, and will hold its free meetings monthly on Saturdays at different locations throughout the area. 

Advance reservations are required. The group is typically able to accommodate about 30 kids at a beginner level and 30 more at an advanced programming level, according to event organizers.

CoderDojo, which got its start in Ireland three years ago, is a volunteer-led, open source, and nonprofit global movement with 471 Dojos in 48 countries. Dojos provide space for kids ages 7 to 17, to learn coding basics, develop their skills, and engage with technology in new ways.

Two Manhattan Beach kids and a senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School are behind the new CoderDojo South Bay. Jillian Reed, a freshman at Mira Costa High School, Xavier Dargan, a 5th grader at Robinson Elementary School, and Michelle Han, who realized there was a lack of girls coding when she took AP Computer Science, decided to partner with their parents to bring CoderDojo closer to home. The new CoderDojo South Bay has also enlisted support from the folks at UCode and CoderDojoLA.

Xavier, who loves programming and video games, has been a regular at CoderDojoLA almost from its inception. Jillian, who has been coding for about a year now and sees it as providing 
endless opportunity, wanted to start a coding club for young kids to help them learn to code.

Jeanne Reed and Christina Lee, educational technologist consultants/computer lab specialists with the Manhattan Beach Unified School District, will lead the meetings with the help of mentors.

Saturday's CoderDojo South Bay meeting will be from 2-4 p.m. in the second floor meeting room in the Redondo Beach main library is at 303 N. Pacific Coast Hwy. 

The group's second meeting will be held in El Segundo at the corporate headquarters of Ignited on Saturday, September 20 from 10 a.m.-12 noon; the Saturday, October 18 CoderDojo South Bay meeting will be at the North Branch of the Redondo Beach Library at 2000 Artesia Blvd. from 10 a.m.-12 noon.
 
CoderDojo South Bay meetings are ticketed via EventBrite and registration will open about two weeks before each event. Parents must accompany kids ages 13 and under. Each participant should bring a fully charged laptop, though some will be available with coordination ahead of time.

To get on the email list to receive information on when registration will open for a meeting, send your contact details to info@coderdojosouthbay.com.

CoderDojo South Bay, which relies on free meeting space, is always looking for new sponsors and locations to host events. If your company or organization would like to know more about supporting this inspiring initiative for South Bay students, contact hosting@coderdojosouthbay.com. 

CoderDojo South Bay is on Twitter @CoderDojoSB.

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