Tawa goes code crazy and oth­ers may fol­low

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - CHELSEA MCLAUGH­LIN

Tawa could soon be­come the cod­ing club cap­i­tal of New Zealand, if vol­un­teer Mer­ridy Marshall has any­thing to do with it.

Cod­ing Club Aotearoa is a na­tion­wide net­work of free af­ter-school clubs for chil­dren in years 5 to 8, run by vol­un­teers.

Greenacres School in Tawa has hosted the only cod­ing club in the area for a year and Marshall said the re­sponse had been so pos­i­tive she hoped to help open many more in the com­ing months.

‘‘Greenacres is the start­ing point and it’s held up as the ex­am­ple,’’ she said.

‘‘They have given a lot of sup­port to Code Club.’’

Cod­ing is com­puter pro­gram­ming and Code Club teaches cod­ing at a more ba­sic level.

Other schools were keen to fol­low in their foot­steps, she said.

‘‘One idea at a time, but once we have a hub of vol­un­teers in this area it’d be great.

‘‘I pre­dict by term 3 you could write about how Tawa has taken it by the horns and is now do­ing in­ter-school code clubs.’’

Cod­ing was an im­por­tant skill be­cause it helped chil­dren be dig­i­tally aware in an in­creas­ingly tech­no­log­i­cal world, she said.

The chil­dren also learnt lessons that were trans­fer­able into ev­ery­day life, such as con­fi­dence and prob­lem solv­ing.

Greenacres pupil Matthew Bev­eridge, 9, said he en­joyed cod­ing in code club and at home.

‘‘You get to make games and you can make any­thing with your imag­i­na­tion,’’ he said.

Is­abella God­frey, 9, said she wanted to pass on what she learnt.

‘‘I wanted to learn how to code so I might be able to do it at home and teach my fam­ily,’’ she said.

There are 19 cod­ing clubs in the Welling­ton re­gion.

The Greenacres code club runs from 6pm un­til 7pm Tues­day.

Code club meet­ings will take place at Lower Hutt Me­mo­rial Li­brary, April 14, 5.45pm un­til 7.15pm and at Level 7, Todd Build­ing, 95 Cus­tom­house Quay, Welling­ton, on May 4, 5.45pm un­til 7.15pm.

They will pro­vide an op­por­tu­nity to ask ques­tions, look at club re­sources and find out more about get­ting in­volved.

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