Sunday, July 5, 2015


Several months ago, I had the good fortune to participate in a tour of Communitech with some other local educators. It was a powerful afternoon on many levels, but certainly one of the highlights was meeting and connecting with Stephanie Rozek. She is the director of a local start-up called Hackademy, which offers workshops on coding and other tech literacies to kids of all ages. Her short presentation at Communitech the day I was there introduced us to her newest venture, Year of Code Waterloo Region. This initiative aims to raise the general tech literacy of every citizen in the Waterloo Region over the period of a year, beginning July 1, 2015!
The excerpt below, from the Capacity Canada website explains it well:

"Led by Stephanie Rozek, Year of Code Waterloo Region (YoCWR) will hold events between July 2015 and July 2016, with four main objectives:
  • Tech education to increase digital literacy for all;
  • Community engagement through tech and tech literacy;
  • Diversity by raising the representation in the tech sector of women, minorities and people with social and mental health challenges in the tech sector;
  • Advance Waterloo Region’s global position as a leading technology centre."

During her presentation that day, Stephanie indicated that they were in the process of putting together their team and were looking for someone to be the liaison between #YoCWR and schools. Well, that sounded like a good fit to me, so I approached Stephanie immediately after the tour, sat with her and heard more over a glass of wine, and volunteered!
I attended a couple of meetings and social events through the spring and had my first official volunteer shifts at the Columbia Lake Canada Day Family Event where they had a tent, and at their official launch at Kitchener City Hall on July 4. Both were outstanding events with many people visiting, trying out the activities and sharing their excitement about this venture!

I'm looking forward to getting more involved as schools return in the fall. We have lots of ideas for how to bring teachers and students into the 'Year of Code' loop! Stay tuned for more in the next few weeks! In the meantime, for a listing of summer workshops and events, visit their website > Year of Code WR.

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