Young instructor Naomi Bonilla Hoshikawa launched our work with vulnerable children of homeless families in Paris to explore, discover and develop skills in the wonderful world of storytelling, creation of videogames and software development.
Association Aurore hosted the workshop at the Centre d'Hébergement d'Urgence (CHU) pour sans-abris on Paris 16th arrondisement.
Custom-created lessons adapted for children and youth ages 8 to 14 followed a hands-on approach based on magical inspiration and practical activities under guided supervision on computer tablets made available for each participant during and after the workshop.
Each participant was assigned a tablet, which remained at their disposal for continued use beyond the workshop.
In addition, participating children received a backpack with learning supplies. Both the tablets and the stocked backpacks were fundraised by Naomi herself.
We used multiple applications to engage the children, including Scratch, Scratch Jr., PocketCode, Lightbot, Code-a-Pillar, SpriteBox, Draw your Game, and other software with a combination of our own custom activities and examples with others freely available online.
From Monday to Friday, there were two 1hr 45min. sessions, each with two 45 min. blocks with a 15 min. break between them:
- Session 1: 2pm - 3:45pm, with a 15min break at 2:45pm.
- Session 2: 4pm - 5:45pm, with a 15min break at 4:45pm.
At the end of each week, a joint group of instructors and advisors assessed the experience and progress and adjusted content and strategy for the next week.
All participating kids received diplomas and special prizes (robots, educational tools, etc) were awarded to those with most significant achievements and games created.