CoderDojo Mentors needed for Ozanam House

Information for Volunteers

 

General Information

We are in the process of establishing a free after-school coding club for young people in our community, as part of the CoderDojo movement, here in Ozanam House which is a community centre in the North Inner City run by the SVP.

 

CoderDojo is a global, volunteer-led movement that organises free computer clubs for young people aged 7–17, and there are more than 1600 clubs (Dojos) in countries all over the world. At a Dojo, young people explore technology and learn how to code in a fun, relaxed environment. CoderDojo gives young people confidence, a place to meet new friends, and valuable skills for the future, and it can open up new avenues for children who might not otherwise have such learning opportunities. You can find out more at coderdojo.com. We are hoping to have our Dojo up and running by mid-January 2019.

 

In order to be successful, a Dojo needs mentors — adult volunteers, with or without technical skills — who provide support, guidance, and encouragement for young people to complete their projects and develop their skills. Mentors in turn also receive opportunities and benefits by being a part of the CoderDojo movement as well as being a member of Ozanam House and SVP. I hope you will share this message with your staff and students, offering them the chance to contribute to their community by becoming CoderDojo mentors.

 

 

Champion’s Handbook

 

 

In addition to the resources provided here at Ozanam House, there is also a depth of resources available through the CoderDojo website which includes activities for starting the class and the best software to use for programming. There is also a Champion’s Handbook which gives the background information on CoderDojo, like how it was set-up and the organisation’s ethics, how to get a Dojo up and running and how to structure the sessions.

 

 

Class Structure

 

 

Speaking of class structure, we are hoping to have 10 Ninjas (participants) per session, which will mean a Champion and at least three mentors facilitating the sessions. We would like to have 10 mentors on the books as a way of making sure there is enough cover. The sessions will take place here at Ozanam House and we will make laptops available to those that don’t have any.

 

 

Time

 

 

The sessions will take place for two hours on Saturdays.

 

 

Skills

 

 

Do you have to be an expert in code and programming to become involved? No, not at all. While this is a bonus, it is not essential. We do ask that you do have some technical knowledge and are comfortable using computers and for your time and enthusiasm. Also, if you have experience in a similar set-up or a background in dealing with children and teens would be a bonus.

 

 

Process

 

 

The process is the same for all our volunteers. As we have a responsibility to all the service users at Ozanam House, everyone will go through the Garda Vetting process and reference checking. There will also be inductions and Child Protection Training provided.

 

 

Why be a mentor?

 

 

Mentoring provides volunteers with a host of valuable new skills and experiences:

 

Communication skills: Interaction with young people and other mentors allows volunteers to develop their communication skills.

 

Networking: Mentors will have the opportunity to form contacts with IT professionals.

 

Develop programming skills: Mentors’ technical skills will be fostered, as each Dojo covers several programming languages from beginner to advanced levels.

 

Local community and youth work: Mentoring will give volunteers experience of working with young people while helping out and giving back to their local community. You can support young people in Dublin’s North Inner City to develop skills which will give them opportunities to create better futures.

 

Professional development: Many companies recognise CoderDojo mentoring as a great addition to a job applicant’s professional development. Some companies that have worked directly with CoderDojo are Microsoft, Salesforce, Accenture, Riot Games, Deloitte, and Thomson Reuters.

 

 

Find a video illustrating what mentoring at a Dojo is like at dojo.soy/letter-mentor-vid

 

 

Interested?

 

 

Thank you in advance for helping young people in our community improve their confidence and creative skills while learning to build amazing things with technology. If you have any questions or wish to volunteer, please email us at admin@ozanamhouse.ie

 

Ozanam Coder Flyer (Champions and Mentors[admin])

 

Oh So Special! Summer 2018

Youth Programmes

This year we had 236 children and young people engage in all of our summer projects. The last day of the project is always bittersweet and this yearwas no different. We had tears and hugs. Children pleading to come back…. Parents lining up to inquire about the registration day for our youth programmes. As short as the summer is, it makes an enormous impact on the children and the holidays we are able to give them. The handmade thank you cards from the children will surely make it to the volunteers’ memory boxes for a very long time.

As we were about to close the side door for One last time, we noticed that one of the children stayed back with his mum after everyone left, crying his little heart out. When we asked them what was going on they told us that he was crying because he didn’t want to lose all the new friends he had made in this two weeks. It is at times like this that we get to fully appreciate the impact the summer project has on the children’s life.

In many ways, the Summer Project brings the whole community around Ozanam House together for the duration of the summer to make a difference in the children and young people’s lives. All this is only possible with the huge contribution and dedication from our volunteers who take time out from their summer holidays and help us make the children’s Summer happen. This year was amazing, we engaged 61 volunteers, 38 of whom came to the centre for the first time, all contributing to a truly incredible summer.

 

 

Community

-Active Retirement Group

The weather was very kind on our days out – except for the first trip when it was really hot, the temperature was very pleasant. The general atmosphere in the group is very pleasant and positive – appreciatively making the best of everything that comes their way and set out with an intention to enjoy the day and have fun. Our bus driver – Liam – was so pleasant and so helpful – above and beyond the call of duty. He knows the group very well at this stage and they think the world of him. Food and service were always excellent. Having a good meal out is very important for members and really makes it a good day out.

-Men’s Group

The summer Outings Programme is a key aspect in the overall personal development of the members in the Men’s Group at Ozanam House. Members gain educational, social, historical, physical and cultural skills by attending the programme which is an extension of the weekly club they attend. The men are very interested in Irish history, a fact they shared with us on an earlier outing to Kilmainham Gaol. We therefore decided to bring the men on trips with substantial Irish cultural and historical significance. It worked very well as the tours were in chronological order, starting with the earliest rebellions of the 15th century and continuing up until the rising in 1916. The summer programme began with a trip to Athlone Castle, followed by trips to Meath, Wexford, Kildare, Wicklow and Cavan. It culminated with a trip to the Padraig Pearse Museum which brought everything together very nicely.

Some of the guys spoke about how important the trips were to them and that it would have been a long and lonely summer for them if the trips were not on. That highlights how vital the Men’s Group is to its members. It is, in essence, their family and they enjoy being a part of it.

 

 

Childcare

Ozanam House Childcare Centre has had a very busy summer. The childcare centre staff are delighted with the result of our makeover during the summer months. With new flooring, furniture and a fresh lick of paint the classrooms are looking bright and fresh and are an inviting space for the preschool and afterschool children to spend time learning and exploring. While the centre was busy having a makeover the children were equally as busy having fun, the pre-schoolers enjoyed trips to Wooly Wards Farm, Imaginosity, Malahide Castle and Howth beach while the afterschoolers went swimming in a local pool and enjoyed trips to St Annes Park and the Phoenix Park. We are now settled back into our new term, we have welcomed some new preschool and afterschool children and look forward to welcoming more to our new and improved centre.

Ozanam Youth Programmes – Back Next Week

We can already feel the energy levels rising in the centre; our Youth Programmes kick-off again next week. We cater for all and offer a wide range of services to all ages, including our Music Club on Saturdays. If you want to know why it’s a good idea for your children to join, why not read the words of the kids that have already taken part?

“THE MOST FUN I HAVE ALL WEEK”

“I LOVE TO MEET NEW friends”

                  “OUR LEADERS REALLY LOOK AFTER US”

Youth Programnmes General Flyer 2018

Meet Our New Youth Work Coordinator; Elaine

Our new youth Group coordinator Elaine was kind enough to take some time out of her busy schedule to chat to us about her plans for the Youth Groups, her thoughts on Ozanam House and some of her experience working with youth groups;

 

What are your plans for the Youth Groups?

My plans are to continue with the good work that is already in place at Ozanam House, and to promote evidence based programmes through informal education means. To engage with young people from the community, and to develop their capacity.

Are you looking forward to them starting up again?

Yes, I really enjoy getting to know young people and forming relationships.  Having those discussions of what the young people would like to be involved in, so that we can plan programmes together.  To have an understanding of what it’s like to live in their Community.

Are you enjoying working in Ozanam House so far?

Yes, there is such a lovely atmosphere in Ozanam House, everyone has been really helpful. They have really made me feel welcome in the Ozanam House family. There is a wealth of knowledge and experience of working within the community, and I shall be linking-in with staff and volunteers for their support and advice. There is also a lot of laughter and fun in the building and it’s a joy to come to work.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into youth work?

I live in Bray were I was employed in my local community centre, on a Community Employment Scheme; I was employed as an After School Worker. I really enjoyed it; so much that, that I applied to NUI Maynooth University. I achieved a BA in Community & Youth Work an Honours Degree and a Master in SOCIAL SCIENCE (RIGHTS AND SOCIAL POLICY). Through my attainment in University I was employed by Bray Youth Services/Cross Care as a youth worker. I loved working there, but now I’ve been given an opportunity of a new path, a new role as Youth Work Coordinator at Ozanam House, which I am so happy about.

 

Saying Goodbye

On the last day of the Youth Summer Projects, we had a parade around Mountjoy Square. It was a great send-off for both the children and volunteers.

The last day of the project is always bittersweet and this time around was no different. We had tears and hugs. Children pleading to come back…. Parents lining up to enquire about the registration day for our youth programmes in September. As short as two weeks might sound, it makes an enormous impact on the children and the holidays we are able to give them. The handmade thank you cards from the children will surely make it to the volunteers memory boxes for a very long time.

 

As I was about to close the side door for one last time for project 1, I noticed that One of the members from Rhythms stayed back with his mum after everyone left, crying his little heart out. When I asked them what was going on they told me that he was crying because he didn’t want to lose all the new friends he had made in this two weeks. It is at times like this that we get to fully appreciate the impact the Summer Project has on the children’s life. In many ways the Summer Project brings the whole community around Ozanam House together for the duration of the summer to make a difference in the children’s life. All this is only possible with the huge contribution and dedication from our volunteers who take time out from their summer holidays and help us make the children’s Summer happen.

 

Our Wonderful Volunteer Leaders – What a Difference they Make

The young people are not the only ones full of excitement and joy for the summer project. This year we have had the highest number of returning volunteers coming back as youth leaders for the duration of the project. This is thanks to the success and pure enjoyment from the previous years. The volunteers can see the positive impact they are making on the lives of these children.

Both our returning and new volunteers bring their dedication, time, energy, skills and experience to each and every day they are in Ozanam House. They make a lasting impact on the lives of the children and young people and even through some of them are only taking part in the project for few days or a week,  children and young people see their energy and the positive attitudes they bring. They are the ones who take part and lead activities each and every day, they facilitate the fun and joy the children and young people are having and look forward to every summer. None of what we are trying to do in Ozanam House would be possible if we didn’t have our amazing volunteers.

With the help and great work of the volunteers, so far we have been able to give a fantastic experience to 235 children and young people this Summer.

 

Summer Projects 2018 – What It All Means to us…..

Nothing sounds and feels like summer more than the first day of the Youth Summer Project in Ozanam House. The den is full of volunteers in yellow t-shirts and on the other side of our door there are approximately 100 very excited children and their families waiting to start their summer of fun with us.

Summer project has its very own special type of magic to it, children tell each other stories about past projects as if they were the most fascinating and captivating tales. For weeks they have been trying to get top secret details of the plans out of me, asking me questions every time they got a chance. Who is coming back, where are we going, are we making slime, are we going back to Fort Lucan… On the first day of the project I have had parents tell me that children were up at 6am in the morning begging to go to Ozanam House already.

With the help and great work of the volunteers, so far we have been able to give a fantastic summer to up to 230 children and young people.

This year we have themes for each week of the summer project including Championship, Carnival and Science week. The young people got to do lots of activities related to each theme. It has been so much fun….we don’t want it to ever end!

 

The Youth Group’s Scavenger Hunt

Last week, we competed in a Scavenger Hunt around the building, but first, we had our traditional circle time. We discussed our energy levels, our moods and what our favourite activity at the beach was. Some of our favourites are counting crabs, throwing stones into the sea and snorkelling.

After learning the rules of the Scavenger Hunt, the children were on their way exploring. The Scavenger Hunt took place in many different rooms in this old Georgian house. The goal of the game was to crack the code and count the number of objects hidden around the rooms. These were  pictures of slush puppies, ice creams, etc. They had to be quick though, they had five minutes to count all the objects and break the code.

This activity helps develop a number of skills in the children. The groups have to cooperate as a team to complete the different tasks. It also creates healthy competition as they had to complete the objectives within the time-frame, although everyone was a winner. Something that is very important and something we always try to do is to get the children familiar with Ozanam House itself. Using the entire house for different games is a great way of getting the children comfortable with their environment and their community.