1st November 2019
7 easy ways to recognise the achievements of your Dojo members
CoderDojo Ninjas and volunteers do truly remarkable things, for example designing a socially impactful project or supporting a younger child with making their idea a reality. As a Dojo champion, you may be looking for ways to recognise these achievements.
Below are some simple and practical ways to recognise the efforts of your Dojo members.
We offer a free, editable certificate template for all Dojos. Certificates may be awarded for, but are not limited to, the following achievements:
- Attending a Dojo for the entire academic year
- Learning a new programming language
- Completing a difficult programming challenge
- Helping a new Ninja on their first session
- Becoming a youth mentor
- Entering a project into a Coolest Projects event
2. Paper plate awards
A great alternative to expensive prizes are these sentimental awards. Decorate some paper plates with glitter, stickers or ribbon, and name them according to specific attributes. The Ninjas can help by decorating the plates, or by voting on who should receive which award. Some examples of awards might be:
- Best team player
- Best problem solver
- Most creative idea
- Most socially conscious project
- Best presenter
- Most technical project
Encouraging young people to showcase their project demonstrates that you recognise their efforts, and that you believe their work is of value to others — truly inspiring! The presenter will have a positive experience if everyone is respectful and actively listens to them while they are presenting. Ask the adults in the room to role model this behaviour for the Ninjas.
Giving praise for something a Ninja or volunteer has done can be very impactful. The key is to be specific — instead of using general comments, point out a particular thing someone did, and praise the positive impact it had. If you have a short debriefing session after your Dojo, this can be a great time to share the specific things they did which you found helpful, creative or innovative.
5. Thank-you cards
At the end of a term you might want to recognise the efforts of specific volunteers, parents, or those who provide your venue space. You can send a thank-you card specifically thanking them for all the help they have given to enable the Dojo to run.
6. CoderDojo branded awards
The CoderDojo logo and much of our branding are free to use and adapt under the Creative Commons Licence. That means that you can use the logo to design and print your own t-shirts, stickers or posters! You can reward Ninjas or volunteers with branded rewards such as:
- Mentor stickers
- Stickers for presenting their work during a ‘Show and Tell’
- T-Shirts for attending a special Dojo event, such as a MegaDojo
7. Birthday resources
If your Dojo is approaching its anniversary, then you may be eligible to apply for a birthday pack. Most of our birthday pack resources are available as online, printable files, so there are plenty of ways to celebrate!
You can award recognition to your Ninjas during a Dojo birthday celebration with our paper hat template, making baked treats with our cookie-cutters, and much more.