Glenboro/South Cypress Library recipient of a generous grant from Westoba Inspire

Kelly Tirschman, Branch Supervisor for the Glenboro South Cypress Library, holding one of the six new Chromebooks purchased with funds provided by a Westoba Inspire grant.

The Glenboro/South Cypress Library was the recipient of a generous grant from Westoba Inspire on April 21, 2020. The money received has been used to purchase 6 Asus Chromebooks for the Library that will be used primarily to support the CoderDojo program. Westoba Inspire is a community investment program run by Westoba Credit Union.

CoderDojo is an international foundation that offers kids ages 7-16 the opportunity to learn computer coding through independent, volunteer led coding clubs. Currently there are 1800 clubs (Dojos) operating in 92 different countries. Each dojo focuses on increasing skills in technology, including web development, games and other programs, while offering a social environment for youth to learn and support each other.

The local CoderDojo program was started in April 2019 by a Brandon University Ph. D candidate (Wayne Kelly) and offered as a pilot program to the Brandon, Neepawa, and Glenboro Public Libraries. Each group is still operating, although currently on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Glenboro group has split into two separate dojos, with 12 students in total. The original coders are being mentored by Rimmer Technology Partners. The new coders are being mentored by students from the original group and were meeting bi-weekly at the Library. The program usually begins in the fall and runs until late spring.

In order to run the group, The Glenboro Library was previously relying on the generosity of the Glenboro School to borrow the School’s Chromebooks each session so the students could participate. However, while completely appreciated, this was not a long term solution.

Westoba Inspire made it possible for the Glenboro Library to purchase the 6 new Chromebooks that were needed to continue to offer the CoderDojo program at the Library. Along with the coding, the Library is excited to partner with Westoba Credit Union to offer some financial literacy courses that will be available for seniors, adults, and youth in the future. Westoba Credit Union will supply their knowledgeable staff to facilitate these courses. The planning is just starting at this time and once ready, the courses will be made available to the Glenboro South Cypress area for free!

When you consider how many people and organizations are involved in order to offer the coding program, it makes us extremely grateful to be part of such a supportive and collaborative community. Special thanks go to Glenboro School for the generous sharing of their resources. Thank you to Westoba Credit Union and the Westoba Inspire program for making it possible to continue to provide the CoderDojo course to the youth.

The Library is looking forward to the future courses that will be created and offered through this continuing partnership with Westoba.