Eugene’s Digital Dojo Coding Team Project was named the Community Broadband Digital Equity Project of the Year this week by the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) Board of Directors.
The Dojo launched in the fall of last year as a pilot program partnership between Lane Community College (LCC), the City of Eugene, and Eugene School District 4J, with significant volunteer support from local computer science industry experts and the University of Oregon. Located in Lane Community College’s Downtown Campus, the Dojo is a nationally connected and locally developed open source computer coding program enabling elementary, middle and high school students from the region to receive code training appropriate to their age, in a college environment. The program aims to create an interest in the field of computer science early in students’ school career – especially among girls and underrepresented youth.
Since 2007, NATOA has been recognizing exceptional leaders and innovative programs that champion community interests in broadband deployment and adoption in local communities nationwide. Recipients will receive their awards at NATOA's 35th Annual Conference, to be held in San Diego, CA in September.
“The Digital Dojo boosts kids’ interest in computer coding and helps them begin to develop skills that are valued by the growing tech sector,” notes Anne Fifield, City of Eugene Economic Development Planner. “Today’s kids will have those valuable skills when they enter the workforce in a few short years.”
The Digital Dojo partnership brings together instructional specialists with expertise in computer science from the local computer industry, LCC and 4J. Workshops are held in a state-of-the-art classroom in LCC’s Downtown campus with funding from City of Eugene telecommunications project program funds. Students can receive information about, and sign up for, sessions at the Eugene Region Coder Dojo meetup site: http://www.meetup.com/Eugene-Region-CoderDojo-Hub/.
This demonstration program has one more year of pilot funding from the City, and is actively seeking long-term support from the community to continue into the future. People interested in donating to the Dojo’s ongoing efforts to support youth, can contact the Lane Community College Foundation.