At CoderDojo we believe it is of paramount importance to society that we band together and make a conscious, consistent, and collaborative effort to increase the number of girls choosing to learn how to create with technology.
In 2017, the CoderDojo Foundation released a booklet called Empowering the Future, a comprehensive guide full of practical approaches that Dojos have tested to engage and sustain girls at Dojos worldwide.
We distributed the guide, and then we collected numbers on which of the suggested techniques that Dojo volunteers used were most successful in increasing percentage of girls in the volunteers’ Dojo. One highly effective best practice that featured in the guide is the use of targeted invites.
A method of encouraging new girls to attend a Dojo, targeted invites are typically emails or letters that are sent out by the champion of a Dojo. The letters emphasise the importance of exploring technology for girls and include a clear call to action, e.g. a link to book a space on the next session.
Champions can send targeted invites to youth clubs, libraries, or girls’ schools in the local area in order to encourage more girls to get involved at their Dojo. The champion would usually approach an administrator at the school or organisation and request that they distribute the invites amongst their parents.
-----> We’ve put together a template of a targeted invite for first-time attendees.
You can also use targeted invites to encourage girls who have previously attended a Dojo to return; you can email these to parents/guardians before your next Dojo term or session. It is a nice touch to personalise the invites to make the returning Ninja feel as welcome as possible.
-----> We’ve put together a template of a targeted invite for encouraging female Ninjas to return.
Try out targeted invites at your Dojo! And we would appreciate if you could share your feedback about them with the CoderDojo Foundation by getting in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.