How do you teach 500,000 people to code?
Starting this July, that’s the question we’re going to answer. I am pleased and proud to announce that in 2015, Waterloo Region will see the first Year of Code in North America. Our vision for the Year of Code Waterloo Region (#YoCWR) is to engage everyone in our community, whether they’re five or 95, with the building blocks of technology that are creating our future.
That future, both here in Waterloo Region, and across Canada and the rest of the globe, is a digital world. Our world is increasingly defined by technology – and the code behind it – and our community is uniquely positioned to take advantage of these changes. Knowing how to code is a crucial 21st century literacy and we want to make sure our citizens have access to the knowledge they need.
#YoCWR is about community engagement
#YoCWR will bring our communities together, inspiring and engaging them in learning how to code and understanding the role of technology in our changing world. Our mission is to connect with the more than 500, 000 citizens of this community and give each and every one of them the opportunity to connect with their family, friends and neighbours to learn how to code.
#YoCWR is here to educate
Through #YoCWR, we will work to teach code – and technology – literacy to both children and adults. We are creating games, learning events, and curriculum to teach broad audiences everything from simple algorithm building to how to use a smart phone to coding itself. The further we move ahead with this shared goal, the more successful our region will be. By raising the code literacy of our youth, we will provide firm foundations for our future leadership in the digital world. By raising the code literacy of adults in the region, we build a stabilized climate of learning for everyone and provide people of all ages a gateway to the information economy.
#YoCWR’s mandate is to make a more equal playing field
We are partnering with local community organizations to underscore the social nature of the campaign and to align details of the project with values of diversity, inclusion, fairness, and access. We are engaging with our school boards, youth program providers, municipalities, libraries, and community centres, and working to remove barriers to entry through scholarships or free access to events and programming.
#YoCWR builds prosperity
Not only that, Waterloo Region is one of the most active tech clusters in the country: #YoCWR gives us a solid strategic plan to promote our region internationally as a forward-thinking innovative centre for both tech education and business. Attracting tech talent is challenging, as well as ensuring there is sufficient inclusion and diversity in STEM careers, including programming jobs. #YoCWR will help us build our community’s capacity around technology and coding literacy, strengthening ou local talent pool and building the kind of community that will attract world-class talent to live, work, and play here.
What if we all came together to help make this happen? We need you to be part of our Year of Code. Are we going to code or be coded?