Helping young people find a Dojo

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the global CoderDojo community had to respond and adapt to a host of new circumstances. Some volunteers took on additional caring responsibilities, moved location, or no longer had access to the venues where their Dojos were hosted. A remarkable number of clubs found new and innovative ways to learn and have fun online, although this approach did not suit every Dojo group. 

Since March 2020 we have hosted calls, provided guidance, visited clubs online and in-person, and sent regular emails checking on how Dojos around the world were doing, asking them about their activity and providing a range of options for clubs to continue to engage and support young people in digital making.

Volunteers circumstances changed

While many clubs resumed activity when they had the opportunity to do so, many people’s circumstances have changed. Some of those who were involved in running their local Dojo are no longer in a position to do so. Part of our outreach is finding the Dojos that may have closed but haven’t updated their status on our website platform (Zen).

Why is updating a clubs status important?

When young people and parents come to our website to pick out their local Dojo, we want them to find a responsive contact and an active Dojo they can join. These first time visitors to the CoderDojo website need to find the most accurate information to connect them with a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere at a local Dojo. 

Can you find your Dojo?

This year we did a very thorough census on a considerable number of Dojos we hadn’t heard from in over a year. This included checking for scheduled events on the CoderDojo website (Zen), interaction with the Foundation or an active social media presence. If no activity could be detected, we reached out to the Champion one more time, and then changed the status to inactive. Because of this fairly strict approach, a considerable number of Dojos have been removed from the ‘Find a Dojo’ search results. 

What should champions check?

As a volunteer or Champion, there are a few things you can do to help us keep on top of things

  1. Make sure to check that your Dojo is still searchable on our database if you are actively running sessions.
  2. Always make sure to let us know about changes in your status. You can do that through your Dojo’s profile or an email to [email protected].
  3. Set up an event using the CoderDojo platform (Zen) or connect your Dojo listing to Eventbrite.
  4. Regularly check your Dojo email address, social media accounts, or websites linked to your Dojo profile are up to date.

Thank you

To our volunteers present and past: You are amazing! That is our biggest takeaway from the annual survey as it reminds us of the dedication and the thousands of hours donated to give youth the opportunity to learn about technology and to spread their wings in an ever-changing world. There have been over 4,107 Dojos in our short history, each making their community richer in opportunities for the next generation. From the bottom of our hearts: Thank you for your contributions large and small that come together to make CoderDojo what it is today.

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