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 guide called “Empowering the Future”, this is a comprehensive booklet full of practical approaches that Dojos have tested to engage and sustain girls at Dojo’s worldwide.
Following the distribution of the guide, we conducted research into the successful techniques that volunteers used which increased the percentage of girls in their Dojo more significantly than others. One highly effective best practice that featured in the guide is the use of targeted invites.
What are targeted invites?
Targeted invites are used as a method of encouraging new girls to attend a Dojo, and are typically emails or letters which 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.
How do I use targeted invites?
Invites for new attendees:
Targeted invites can be sent to youth clubs in the local area, local libraries or local girls’ schools inviting girls to get involved at your Dojo. The champion would usually approach the admin person at the school or organisation in the first instance, and request that they distribute the invites amongst their parents.
-----> Click here for a template of a targeted invite intended for this audience.
Invites for returning attendees:
Targeted invites can also be used to encourage girls who have previously attended a Dojo to return. These can be emailed out to parents or guardians in advance of your next Dojo term or session. It is a nice touch to personalise these invites and to make the returning Ninja feel as welcome as possible.
-----> Click here for a template of a targeted invite intended for encouraging female Ninjas to return.
Please try out targeted invites at your Dojo! We would appreciate if you could share your feedback with the CoderDojo Foundation by getting in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org