Minutes of Skerries CoderDojo AGM
29 September 2016, Skerries Community Centre (Old School)
Adam Barry, Barry Keegan, Garry Rogers, Gavin Killen, Jack Halpin, Karen Flannery, Máire Goldsmith, María A. Mañueco Ramos, Mat May, Myles Slevin, Paula Hickey, Sabine McKenna, Stephen Guildea, Thomas Lepel, Tony Graham.
Chairperson’s (“Champion’s”) Report
Sabine McKenna, current Chairperson (until June 2017 Replacement needed!), gave the following report:
Monthly CoderDojos (October 2015 to June 2016) continue to be in demand, particularly with beginners, although there is a bit of a fall-off in the advanced groups. Still, we barely find enough mentors to offer the spaces that there is demand for! Due to lack of availability of rooms in May & June, we did not accept any new coders after April.
We offered Scratch coding for beginners and intermediate; a small but hardcore html group; Minecraft Modding and then Unity (game design) for the oldest group. Over the last year, the Scratch Intro lead mentor had to leave, and the gap she left is felt; now, the Scratch Plus lead mentor has to end his involvement as well.
Very successful: Mentors encouraging children to present their projects to the group. Didn’t get to the next stage, where ninjas would present to the entire Dojo – we have started the process of obtaining projectors (follow-up needed with the Community Centre).
Within the Skerries Community Association, of which Skerries CoderDojo is a committee (as well as being part of the CoderDojo movement), we participated in the Chairs’ and Committee Meeting in June (Karen Flannery, Deirdre Kelly). This was very useful for forging new connections and for letting the other committees know what it is that we are doing.
We are also present on the SCA website and were included in the annual report; one of our mentors (Tony Graham) is a Director of the SCA
Membership: We have a Mailchimp email list for all parents (244 subscribers), including potentially interested ones; a Google Group for parents (66 members); and a Google Group for organisers / helpers / mentors (49 members).
Equipment: Over the last year, we bought four laptops which can be booked via the Eventbrite system. This is an important step towards inclusion, enabling families which do not have a laptop at home to attend, and also offers families with more children than laptops to sign up more than one child. We have also been successful in obtaining five Raspberry Pis from the CoderDojo foundation.
Mentors and Helpers: A number of new mentors and helpers joined us over the last 12 months, thank you to those who joined & those who continue to help out, CoderDojo would not exist without you! The Garda Vetting Process has been carried out for the first batch of mentors and helpers, and will be offered again in the near future. A good number of our mentors and helpers have attended Child Protection Training, either offered by the CoderDojo foundation or Skerries Community Association, and those who did so strongly recommended attendance to other mentors. Keep your eyes open for announcments of new
Scratch Training for new mentors was last offered in 2015, and should be offered again soon.
Outlook: We need a firm Lead Mentor for each group, who will themselves find a replacement if they cannot make it; a treasurer for Jan 2017, and a new champion for summer 2017 (or earlier, if someone has come to the decision to take this very rewarding job on now).
Summary 2016 to date (September 2016)
|RazorSocial covering the rent
|Rent Little Theatre
|Opening Bank Balance Jan 2016
|2016 income to date
|Closing bank balance sept 2016
|cash float held
|Total money held
Karen Flannery, our treasurer, presented the figures above.
Overall, income from the very popular Tuck Shop is strong, whereas donations have gone down, possibly because parents spend that bit extra on the Tuck Shop. It may, however, be a good idea to make parents more aware of the donations box.
The meeting thanked Karen for her wonderful services as treasurer, which she will continue to carry out until the end of the year; from January 2017, Máire Goldsmith will take over. Thank you, Máire!
Discussion & outcomes
- A number of parents offered their services as new mentors and helpers.
- There will be a New Mentor Training from 3 p.m. on Sun October 9 (i.e. directly preceding the next CoderDojo), based on the beginners’ handouts;
scratch.mit.edu has a number of self-learning resources as well
- Mat May will research cost for some peripherals to be connected to the Raspberry Pis.
- Sabine will pursue the projector situation.
- We need to be able to store things in the community centre, e.g. the four laptops, a couple of screens – Sabine to contact the Community Centre and ask about possibility of obtaining (or sharing) a locker.
- Peer mentoring would be a positive step forward, Scratch Intro and Scratch Plus mentors to discuss how best to do this.
- Garda Vetting and Child Protection Training to be offered again as soon as possible.
- A strong lead mentor for Scratch Intro is needed.