This year’s Scratch Day is on Saturday 18th May 2013 (It usually falls on the third Saturday of May each year). I realised this morning, a bit too late, that it might be a good idea to hold a local event in Waltham Forest.

I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this in time for Scratch Day (18th May), but there’s no reason why we can’t organise something any time in the next few months.

What I want to do

I thought it’d be a good idea to combine a Scratch Day with a Code Club event with the following goals:

  1. Introduce Scratch and coding to local children, Parents and Teachers in the borough;
  2. Introduce Code Club, encourage children, parents and teachers to get their schools interested in the initiative and find more volunteers;

What you can do to help

We’re going to need a venue! I’m pretty sure that I could put together a good programme for the event, spread the word, arrange printed materials and flyers etc, but the first problem is finding a venue suitable for holding the event!

My first thought would be a school ICT suite, or other location with ICT facilities, as this would mean the equipment already exists. As Scratch 2.0 is web based (Flash) there’s no need to install anything, we just need some computers that can run Flash and has internet access.

However, I’m not sure whether I have to approach schools directly or whether I have to approach the local authority or council about it. I’m also not sure what factors there are, like insurance and, as I’m doing this voluntarily, I need to do this with no cost to myself.

Other venues might be suitable providing I could loan/bring equipment, perhaps from local businesses, assuming they were willing to do it for free (in exchange for mention of their business at the event).

As well as providing equipment for people/children to try Scratch out (I want the event to be accessible to everyone, even those with no computer at home), it makes sense to have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) option (laptops or macbooks) for those who want to get set up on their own computers.

Who I would like to see attending, helping and contributing:

  • Children are a must! Although they would need to be accompanied by parents;
  • Teachers from local schools;
  • Local councillors/MPs (a councillor for my local area has already expressed interest);
  • Local media, to help spread the word, and;
  • Possibly local businesses with equipment.

Get in touch!

So, is this something you could help with? You can leave comments below, or tweet me (@andrewdjohns), or contact me via the contact form here.

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