Local IT colleges and universities are great places to source skilled mentors for your Dojo. The letter below is aimed at an academic audience, and can be adapted accordingly.
Subject: Looking for mentors for our CoderDojo
I am in the process of establishing a free after-school coding club for young people in our community, as part of the CoderDojo movement.
CoderDojo is a global, volunteer-led movement that organises free computer clubs for young people aged 7–17, and there are more than 1600 clubs (Dojos) in countries all over the world. At a Dojo, young people explore technology and learn how to code in a fun, relaxed environment. CoderDojo gives young people confidence, new friends, and valuable skills for the future, and it can open up new avenues for children who might not otherwise have such learning opportunities. You can find out more at coderdojo.com.
In order to be successful, a Dojo needs mentors — adult volunteers, with or without technical skills — who provide support, guidance, and encouragement for young people to complete their projects and develop their skills. Mentors in turn also receive opportunities and benefits by being a part of the CoderDojo movement. I hope you will share this message with your staff and students, offering them the chance to contribute to their community by becoming CoderDojo mentors.
Why be a mentor?
Mentoring provides volunteers with a host of valuable new skills and experiences:
- Communication skills: Interaction with young people and other mentors allows volunteers to develop their communication skills.
- Networking: Mentors will have the opportunity to form contacts with IT professionals.
- Develop programming skills: Mentors’ technical skills will be fostered, as each Dojo covers several programming languages from beginner to advanced levels.
- Local community and youth work: Mentoring will give volunteers experience of working with young people while helping out and giving back to their local community.
- Professional development: Many companies recognise CoderDojo mentoring as a great addition to a job applicant’s professional development. Some companies that have worked directly with CoderDojo are Microsoft, Salesforce, Accenture, Riot Games, Deloitte, and Thomson Reuters.
Find a video illustrating what mentoring at a Dojo is like at dojo.soy/letter-mentor-vid
Thank you in advance for helping young people in our community improve their confidence and creative skills while learning to build amazing things with technology. If you have any questions or wish to volunteer, please email us at [Dojo email address].
Champion, CoderDojo [Dojo name]