Hi there! My name is Leah Elzinga and I am the Chapter Lead for Youth Programming for the Edmonton area for Canada Learning Code. I attended my first workshop back in 2013 as a learner, which inspired me to go back to school. From there I mentored and hosted events, including the official launch of our youth programs in Edmonton. My story is far from unique; we hear success stories like mine almost every day, from one of our more than 30 Chapters all across Canada.
What We’re About:
Canada Learning Code is one of the largest national charities championing digital literacy education, working nation-wide and across all sectors to equip Canadians with technical skills. To date, our organization has taught over 80,000 learners through in-person experiences. Founded as Ladies Learning Code in 2011, our organization has evolved to run programming for adults and youth. We believe technical skills are a tool of empowerment. It is the organization’s mission to ensure that all Canadians; particularly those who are currently underrepresented in the tech sector, have access to learn these critical skills and be active participants in the digital age.
This is where teachers come in. Building on the success of our other programs, we are excited to announce that we are in the planning stages of launching our latest program: Teachers Learning Code! This program is designed to teach the teachers by offering workshops and meetups, with no coding experience necessary. We also offer free resources and lesson plans to help educators like you bring technology directly to students for years to come.
Along with this program, we host a variety of workshops for kids and adults. In fact, our chapter was founded under the Ladies Learning Code banner, and its legacy is strong! Many women in Edmonton credit being learners, mentors, or instructors as a key turning point in their careers and personal growth. It gave them not only skills, but also a personal and professional community.
In Edmonton and surrounding rural communities, we offer pay-what-you-can workshops nearly every month and are able to loan laptops to students that may not have them. We want to make sure we remove as many barriers to a child’s education as possible. We couldn’t do it without the generous support of our volunteers, mentors, and facilitators: tech industry programmers, analysts, designers, and more. Despite crazy work schedules, these folks donate their time to inspire the next generation of Grace Hoppers and Steve Jobs.
Our next event is our signature youth event: the 5th Annual National Girls Learning Code Day! On May 12, girls 8-13 are welcome to join us at NAIT from 1-5 pm. In this collaborative experience, learners work together to build a video game that addresses a social or environmental issue and works towards change. Learners will explore the game industry by experiencing what it’s like to work on different project teams, within a variety of roles.
There are still a handful of tickets available to learners, and opportunities exist for both group and volunteer registrations. To sign up a student or as a mentor, check out: http://www.canadalearningcode.ca/girlscodeday/2018.
To learn more about our programming, including monthly adult workshops and the forthcoming Teachers Learning Code program, find us at canadalearningcode.ca/Edmonton.