The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced the recipients of the inaugural CanCode program today. Montreal’s very own Kids Code Jeunesse is one of them.
The CanCode program will invest $50 million over the next two years to support initiatives that provide educational opportunities for coding and digital skills development to Canadian youth from kindergarten to grade 12. Thanks to the announced support of CanCode, Kids Code Jeunesse will be able to continue to provide training to many more young Canadians.
Kids Code Jeunesse is a not-for-profit dedicated to empowering kids, teachers, and parents through basic digital literacy. Thanks to the KCJ fund, no child is turned away due to lack of funds. The program is now active in Quebec, BC, Alberta, and Ontario and is targeted to children between the ages of 5-12.
“We’ve taught 26,000 kids now and almost 3,000 teachers. We break it down because our lessons are eight weeks, and there are about 8,000 kids that have gone through two months of school with us. And then there are around 10,000 that have done outreach, like one off workshops. And another group that have done our bootcamp,” Kate Arthur, Founder and CEO of Kids Code Jeunesse told MTLinTECH in an interview last August. The numbers have only gone up since then.
Since September 2017, KCJ has delivered over 500 workshops in Montreal classrooms, in partnership with Code MTL. Code.mtl launched in 135 classrooms in the Commission scolaire de Montreal in October, the largest school district in Quebec. Since 2016, KCJ has been training master teachers across British Columbia, in partnership with Lighthouse Labs, for the B.C. Ministry of Education. KCJ also manages Code Club Canada, free-volunteer led coding clubs, currently with 150 clubs running across the country.
With funds from CanCode, Kids Code Jeunesse aims to support over 70 000 children and 2000 teachers with digital skills learning in school classrooms, community centres, museums, and libraries. KCJ will deliver teacher training workshops in every province and territory. It will work with other CanCode recipients, such as Let’s Talk Science to maximize the impact of CanCode. It will also start new partnerships with organizations like Right To Play, the NBA, and CBC Kids to show how games, sports and storytelling can integrate and strengthen skills that are similar to learning to code. It will also seed pilot projects for homeless and youth with mental illness, through the organizations Dans La Rue and Clinique 12-25.
“I am so excited to be joining KCJ at this pivotal moment on their journey. What makes KCJ so unique is their dedication to community. They have done incredible work to integrate code and digital making skills, building sustainability across communities. KCJ enables new pathways for Canadian children to become digital leaders,” said Indra Kubicek, Finance and Operations Director, Kids Code Jeunesse.
— Kids Code Jeunesse (@KidsCoding) January 22, 2018
CanCode is part of the Innovation and Skills Plan, and it aims to invest $50 million by March 2019 to increase opportunities to master digital skills for over 1 million youth and thousands of educators.
“Coding is the next big job. Industries ranging from automotive and agri-food to the life sciences and clean technology need coders, given their increasingly digital nature. That’s why our government is equipping Canadian youth with the digital skills they need for the jobs of the future. By teaching kids to code today, we’re positioning Canada for future success across all industries and sectors,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
Kids Code Jeunesse is one of 18 organizations to receive funding from CanCode.
“As we imagine our future goals and challenges we have every reason to believe that Canada can be a world leader in nurturing our most precious resource, our curious, bright and creative children,” said Kate Arthur.