01 Oct 2022

Ninjas break new ground in Portarlington

Children learn to code at Portarlington Coder Dojo.
CoderDojo is a not for profit organization that aims to open the door for children to learn computer skills.

CoderDojo is a not for profit organization that aims to open the door for children to learn computer skills.

It started in Cork by James Whelton and Bill Liao with the aim of teaching young people about computers i.e. to code, develop apps, create computer games, design webs, programme etc.

The project aims to increases the much needed information technology skills in communities and create more avenues for employment, job opportunities and develop entrepreneurial skills.

Portarlington is home to the first Coder Dojo in Laois. Setting up at Oriel House, it was originally conceived and championed by Mary Oakley and Celia Deverell from a meeting with Enterprise Ireland in April 2012. It eventually began in March 2013.

Portarlington Coder Dojo started with one mentor and 20 young Ninjas. Within a year, it has grown to over 30 mentors (who provide their time free of charge). Some 100 ninjas aged 7–18 years old, over 30 ninjas on the waiting list, 100 parents assist while also gaining knowledge through their children, and a committee of ten administrators.

In addition to developing information technology skills, the training helps the children to adopt and develop essential skills required for professionalism and day-to-day living.

This includes a sense of creativity, focus and learning to work independently (self-directed learning) and as part of a team.

Coder Dojo has just one rule: “Above All: Be Cool“, bullying, lying, wasting people’s time and so on is uncool.

If you have an interest in information technology, software/ apps development, Java script, css, writing codes, creating computer games, web design, programme etc. and want your kids to learn these skills? Port CoderDojo is the place to be.

Port’s CoderDojo has friendly mentors who are willing to work with you in your desired area of interest within the organisation. New members, mentors and Ninjas are welcome although, there is a waiting list for Ninjas as spaces are filled up at the moment.

If interested email or make an appointment to visit any Saturday of the term at 10.45 am to 12:45pm, at Laois Third Level, Bracklone Street.

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