Coderetreat events are easy to organize, only requiring enough sponsorship for venue and lunch. It is easy to find a sponsor in cities with strong company presence, but there are a lot of places that don’t necessarily have this. Unfortunately, this can be a detriment to running coderetreats and other community-focused, practice-oriented events. To this end, we are establishing the Coderetreat Community Contribution Fund, the c3f, currently operating as a non-profit and under review for 501(c)(3) status. The c3f is currently being formed to subsidize and support local coderetreat events in areas without a strong company sponsorship presence.

But this is just the beginning!

Before too long, basic programming skills and understanding are going to be as important as basic literacy; in fact, they are going to be an essential part of it. Unfortunately, the state of kids programming instruction is fragmented. There are a lot of fantastic programs running, such as KidsRuby, Hackety-Hack, Jason Gorman’s Developer-Teacher matchups and Stephen Howell’s work with Scratch, but these programs are all running in isolation. There are also a lot of initiatives in Academia, most of which have no idea about the industry programs. By bringing them together and focusing on our common goals, though, we can support each other and make a much larger impact. To this end, the long-term mission of the coderetreat community contribution fund is to help bridge the communication and support for these otherwise isolated programs. By creating a centralized organization, we also provide a beacon for large-scale support. The goal is to generate larger donations from both industry and academia that can then be used to effectively push the kids programming activities forward in a concerted way.

We are just in the early planning stages of the organization, and more information will be coming over the next couple weeks.