“Kids love games,” says Rob Bumm, owner of Code Ninjas, the Avon location of a national after-school and weekend program teaching kids to code. “Tapping into that interest gives them benefits beyond what they get in school.”
With 300 U.S. locations, the program has found its niche with kids ages 7-14 who are interested in everything from single-player games to the rapidly growing esports phenomenon.
“The great thing about this age group is that they’re sponges,” he says. “They absorb information and feed off each other.”
“It’s not just about coding,” says Bumm, who discovered Code Ninjas while looking for a program for his 13-year-old son Eric. “There is a social aspect of collaboration and problem-solving. The kids come out of this with life skills.”
In addition to coding, participants also work with robotics, drones and on other STEM activities. With the flexibility offered by weekend or after-school drop-ins, Code Ninja kids involved in other activities can set their own schedules.
“This is the opposite of school,” says Bumm. “They know it’s a place where they can put their own spin on things.”
8:00 AM EST
September 20, 2019