Kids Coding the Future

Posted by Hailey Roos on Thu, Apr 22, 2021 @ 10:35 AM
  • Kids Code Jeunesse is a charity organization that offers Canadian kids the opportunity to learn digital skills
  • They aim to educate 1 million children in coding, digital citizenship, and creativity by 2030

About Kids Code Jeunesse

Kids Code Jeunesse is a bilingual Canadian charity determined to give every Canadian child access to digital skills education, with a focus on girls and underserved communities. KCJ teaches kids and their educators about artificial intelligence, code, digital citizenship, and how these integrate with the Global Goals so that children have the confidence and creative tools they need to build a better future.

KCJ delivers education through four pillars of service virtually and in-person:

  • Code Create Teach includes teacher training and in-class workshops
  • Code Create Celebrate hosts international events that relate to STEM, including Hour of Code and Astro Pi
  • Code Create Play has extracurricular workshops that focus on kids’ hobbies like arts and sports
  • Code Club Canada is a national network of over 1,000 clubs where kids can learn to code in small groups outside of school hours

After much discussion with international researchers, in 2019, KCJ launched #kids2030, a long-term initiative that brings together artificial intelligence, algorithm literacy, digital citizenship, and sustainable development goals to all of its programs and to the forefront of children’s education. It aims to educate 1 million kids and 50,000 educators by 2030. 

As of 2019, KCJ was the first national organization to offer free AI education in the classroom. Its services are frequently in demand from schools, caregivers, and communities. Between September and December of 2019, over 1,000 classroom workshops were booked. The BC Ministry of Education invited KCJ to consult on their curriculum, the Ontario Ministry of Education had KCJ advise on their math curriculum, and KCJ’s Chief Knowledge Officer was a senior advisor on the Pan-Canadian Computer Science Framework. 

In March of 2020, KCJ launched the Algorithm Literacy Project, a collaboration with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, which is supported by the Canadian Council of the Arts, Microsoft, and RBC. The project teaches kids how algorithms work and provides materials to facilitate conversations about the role algorithms play in our world. 

In the first month of the COVID-19 emergency, KCJ reached out to over 1,000 educators, parents, and children through virtual workshops and resources. It was the first CanCode-funded organization to adapt in-person services to completely virtual offerings. Within days of school closures, KCJ was running virtual Code Club sessions that coached kids through coding projects, and within 2 weeks, it was offering virtual Code Create Play workshops on topics including space, nature, art, and sports. 

KCJ’s Foundation for the Future

Kids Code Jeunesse focuses on creating quality and inclusive educational experiences that support the needs of communities. It teaches concepts of collaboration, computational thinking, creativity, and digital citizenship. This approach is pedagogically driven, more similar to the humanistic approach of Renaissance learning than the post-industrial model that focuses on vocation. 

KCJ is a charity that operates like a startup: it is agile, striving to learn, and fostering a nurturing culture that encourages team members to innovate. Its big-picture thinking enables KCJ to offer influential change on an international scale. It is committed to serving underserved communities by focusing on public schools and co-ed classes. 

As KCJ continues to adapt to the changing world, it is focusing on leaving a meaningful impact. It doesn’t just teach kids how to code; kids are armed with the curiosity, creativity, and collaborative skills they need to apply knowledge to a digitally-driven and evolving world. KCJ’s work isn’t about preparing the next cohort of programmers; it’s equipping a generation with the ability to solve major global issues and the confidence to thrive in an unpredictable future. 

Kids Code Jeunesse won a Gold Stevie for Company/Organization Awards Categories - Organization of the Year - Government or Non-Profit - More Than 10 Employees in the 2020 Stevie Awards for Women in Business®. 

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Topics: stevie awards for women in business, coding