Code Club in the USA: 800 clubs and growing!

Since joining the Code Club team in February 2018, US Club Manager Christina has worked to support the growing community of clubs across the United States. Here she shares an exciting update to Code Club USA, and news of what’s to come!

800 clubs and growing!


Spreading the word about Code Club.

From Honolulu to Houston and Anchorage to Atlanta, there are now 800 Code Clubs across the United States. And we’re continuing to grow: each day, educators across the country are starting new clubs in their communities, creating fun and inclusive spaces for kids to explore programming. This is amazing, and as the US Club Manager, I love every minute of getting to meet our existing clubs and their volunteers, and helping new clubs get started.

When visiting clubs, I always find it interesting to see the differences that make each club unique. In one club, kids will use Chromebooks to code animations in Scratch; in another, children use Raspberry Pis connected to projectors and work on designing web pages with HTML. Some clubs meet during lunchtime, while others meet after school, or in their local library — each club has its own individual flavour!

And despite these differences, all clubs have the same purpose: they are a space for kids to try coding. Clubs are all about the kids, and great Code Club leaders find what works best for their group of children.

Spreading the word across the USA

YMCA training.jpg

Running training at the YMCA.

One of my favourite parts of my job is travelling across the country to spread the word about why people should get involved with Code Club. Just one example was the day I joined the team at YMCA Metropolitan Los Angeles to run a Code Club training workshop. During the session, we discussed how to facilitate a club and worked on my favourite project together: Lost in space. For some participants it was the first time they created code, but that didn’t stop them from jumping right in!

You might think being a coding beginner would make running Code Club difficult, but I think it can be a real advantage. When the adult in the room doesn’t always have the answers, the kids are pushed to take more ownership of their learning experience, which allows them to develop their own problem-solving skills. It’s also important to remember that not always knowing the answer shows that you’re just human and can really endear you to the students in your club!

Get involved

If you’re interested in joining the Code Club community in the US, then head to our website to register your club and download resources to help you get started.

Follow @CodeClub_USA on Twitter to see what we’re up to, or follow me directly at @Foustberrypi.

Getting Your Feedback: Focus Groups

Our Programme Coordinator Dave Hazeldean has been on a mission to get feedback from teachers and volunteers who run Code Clubs to help us improve our support for you. He met with people at meetups in Brighton and London and at the Scottish Learning Festival in Glasgow to listen to what they have to say.

I’ve been facilitating focus groups with Code Club volunteers and teachers, and it has reminded me of the importance of two of life’s great skills: listening and understanding.


Dave Hazeldean, Programme Coordinator Code Club (left) and Lucia Flóriánová, Research Assistant at the Raspberry Pi Foundation (right).

As Programme Coordinator for Code Club, I provide email support to educators and volunteers, meaning I read messages from people and assist with their questions and challenges all the time. In addition to helping these people resolve their queries, I use the insights I gain to recommend improvements to our Code Club resources and the wider programme.

Emails are great, but I decided I also need some in-depth — and especially in-person — feedback. So together with my colleague Lucia Flóriánová, one of our researchers at Raspberry Pi, I piloted some roundtable discussions at meetups to understand volunteers’ obstacles and concerns better.

We’re refining our resources for you

When planning these pilot sessions, we decided to focus on feedback on the free resources we provide to active clubs, such as certificates, posters, and letter templates.


Dave asked teachers and volunteers to give feedback on our free certificates and posters.

Lucia and I asked the focus group participants about a selection of our existing resources, and we discussed what their reasons were for using or not using them. This helped us identify the resources that volunteers find most useful. As a result, the Code Club team has tailored our welcome pack for new clubs, so it now includes the most popular ones. And during a brainstorm with the participants, some great ideas for new resources also came up, which we will poll in the wider community over the coming months, so watch this space!

We’re making it easier to take part in our competitions

We also discussed Code Club competitions, which are an initiative we launched last year for active clubs. It was reassuring to hear from volunteers directly that the competitions have been very well received.

However, we learned that some clubs were unable to enter because some volunteers plan their sessions many weeks in advance and so hadn’t had enough notice from us. Therefore, for our latest competition, we made sure to send out a ‘save the date’ email a few weeks before the launch, and we also extended the submission window. The club leaders told me that children would be excited to take part together with young people from other countries, and so our new competition is open to every registered Code Club across the world!

Lucia particularly wanted to talk to our volunteers to find out more about children’s learning in the club sessions. She says:

The discussion with club leaders really helped me understand how they perceive the children’s learning. We want to find the best way to support them with learning resources which help children learn the right skills, and which also fit with volunteers’ ideas of how they would like informal learning in their club to look.

We’re taking your feedback on board

By listening to and understanding what our focus group participants told us, we’ve been able to make immediate improvements to our offerings for you. I really enjoyed the discussions, and in 2019 I’ll be running regular sessions to reach out for your feedback and understand what makes your Code Clubs tick.

If you’ve got questions or feedback about Code Club, you can drop Dave a line at

Run a Code Club during your lunch break!

Connor Adams is a software developer at BNP Paribas. Once a week during his lunch break, he runs a Code Club at a primary school near his office in London. Here he tells us why he got involved with Code Club and how volunteering makes him better at his job.

I first encountered Code Club when they had a stall at a technology conference I was attending, and after speaking with someone from Code Club, I was pretty keen to get involved. I’ve always been into computers and technology but not always into coding: I work as a software developer at BNP Paribas but studied maths at uni, so I’ve learned most of my coding skills on the job.

I remember using Logo at school — I enjoyed getting that turtle to draw pretty shapes on the computer. Yet now we can offer children so much more, and we are able to do so at scale, thanks to organisations like Code Club. I wish Code Club had been around when I was at school!

connor-blogConnor at his club (left) and with Dave and Sarah from Team Code Club, helping out at a Coolest Projects showcase event (right). 

I have been running a Code Club for over two years now. To start off with I was nervous, but I soon found my feet. I really enjoy my time there and usually leave feeling energised, which is not the case after lunch every day!

Running the Code Club at lunchtime is really convenient for me. It’s easy for me to get away from my desk, but I think it works well for the kids too. It makes the session a bit shorter than an hour, around 45 minutes, but it’s enough time for the kids to get stuck into some code and complete a short project or two.

Code Club has been a great experience for my personal development, so it’s more than just the fuzzy good-feeling stuff of volunteering: it allows me to practice my public speaking, teaching, and mentoring skills. They say “If you can’t do, teach”, but if you can’t teach something well, do you really understand it?

I’ve also learned about interacting with children, which is a skill in itself. Kids can be very refreshing, they have lots of energy and ideas. I think that running a Code Club is a worthwhile endeavour, and it’s also great fun!

Do something worthwhile with your lunch break

Do you have a spare hour per week that you could spend inspiring children to code while working on your personal development? Then sign up to volunteer with Code Club at!