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Code Club Aotearoa supports Verizon Connect

Code Club Aotearoa supports Verizon Connect to teach coding in schools

1 August 2018

For the last few months, Verizon Connect and Code Club Aotearoa have worked to establish a partnership that will see up to 60 software technologists from Verizon Connect volunteer to teach coding in Christchurch schools.

Verizon Connect staff join Code Club Aotearoa’s current 260 Christchurch-based volunteers, and will be working in 12 schools to engage 720 students with lessons in coding. Code Club Aotearoa founder, Michael Trengrove says, “Verizon Connect want to help Code Club Aotearoa in our mission to give every kiwi kid the opportunity to learn to code, no matter who or where they are.”

Volunteers will be placed in lower socioeconomic areas of Christchurch, with a focus on priority learners who do not have access to technology education. A key goal is to support Māori and Pasifika students who are underrepresented in technology roles in Aotearoa.

“We will be introducing many children to coding for the first time,” says the connected vehicle software company’s Social Impact lead in New Zealand, Mark Dunlop. “We hope this first step inspires them to explore a career in technology.”

“Canterbury is already a hub of excellence in tech,” says Trengrove. “We need to leverage these skills into parts of the city where they are most needed.” Trengrove emphasises they are focused on creating sustainable clubs, with many to be located in accessible and community-focussed Christchurch libraries. “Clubs must be able to flourish beyond the end of the project,” says Trengrove.

Verizon Connect is rolling the project out as part of its global social responsibility programme. Dunlop says, “Many Aotearoa youth are not learning digital skills at school, or don’t understand how they can transition those skills to the workforce. We have a wealth of community-minded technical staff and are committed to making a difference.”

Both Verizon Connect and Code Club Aotearoa are gearing up to begin the project at the start of August. Dunlop says, “It’s inspiring to bring our two great organisations together to achieve more than we could on our own.”


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