September Coder Dojo at Marion County Public Library

Andrew Comeau   August 21, 2015   Comments Off on September Coder Dojo at Marion County Public Library

Last February, we told you about the new Coder Dojo program at the Marion County Public Library. This is an innovative program in which local kids are taught basic coding skills to help them develop their creativity and love of learning. The last program was a great success and the next round of sessions is about to begin! They still need volunteers to help teach the kids  so, If you’re interested in helping, please contact Kate at the phone number or e-mail address below.


I’m Kate Chang, and I’m a librarian in the Children’s services division of the Marion County Public Library. When you think about library programs, you might just think of story time – but we’re more than that. I decided to start a Coder Dojo here at the library where kids can learn coding through MIT’s Scratch and through interactions with IT professionals like you. I hope that you will consider sending me an email to sign up as an IT volunteer.

We need volunteers for the following date:

Tuesday, September 8th from 3:00-4:00

Tuesday, September 15 from 3:00-4:00

Tuesday, September 22nd from 3:00-4:00

Tuesday, September 29th from 3:00-4:00

Tuesday, October 6th  from 3:00-4:00

Tuesday, October 13th  from 3:00-4:00

“Why teach kids to code?”

I think Mitch Resnick has a great explanation here, so I’d encourage you to watch this TED talk:

“Why do this at the library? Why can’t kids just learn on their own, experimenting with code or using something like codeacademy? My kids can code, and they didn’t learn using drag and drop boxes…”

Not all children have access to a computer at home. Not all children have parents who know how to use computer programs, much less create them. The great thing about our program is that it is free and open to kids from every background. Scratch is a program that can inspire children to go further with coding and teach them the concepts that they need to know in a fun way.

“What will I need to do?”

You will need to email me, choose a concept (Coder Dojo calls them ‘sushi’) and visit the library for one hour on the Tuesday of your choice from 3:00-4:00. That’s it! One hour! If you have fun, you can come back for more, but your only commitment is one hour!

You’ll introduce yourself, introduce your concept (for example, variable) and then the kids play! You’ll answer questions and interact with the kids, but you won’t be teaching a lesson. Kids will be learning as they play and experience.

Please email me! I believe that everyone involved in this experience will find it incredibly rewarding.


Kate Chang
Public Services Librarian II
Children’s Division
Marion County Public Library System
2720 E Silver Springs Blvd.
Ocala, FL 34470

For more information, check out the following links:

Coder Dojo – The global network of free computer programming clubs for young people.

Scratch – From M.I.T., on online creative learning community featuring the Scratch drag-and-drop programming language where users can create animations, games and other programs to share with their friends.




About Andrew Comeau

Organizer of the Ocala I.T. Professionals. Software developer and consultant based in Ocala, Florida. Find out more at