Education is a community effort, and Hatch Canada is a willing contributor to immerse coding within that community. When given the opportunity to partner with a Toronto District School Board After-4 program, they rose to the challenge and provided more than just an educational experience – they offered support to the school and team that made it possible.
We had a chance to sit down with Katina, an After-4 chairperson, who brought Hatch into the lives of their program’s students.
How did you learn about Hatch?
In the spring of 2015, I joined a parent-run committee to organize and run an after-school extra-curricular program at my children’s school. A survey of the parent body identified coding and computer programming proficiency as the skill set they were most concerned was not being adequately addressed in the school curriculum and they wished their children to develop. One of Hatch’s brochures was sitting in a folder, and for whatever reason, it spoke to me. After researching and interviewing several coding education providers, the program Hatch Canada was able to offer was by far the most impressive.
What was your experience like when you first reached out to Hatch?
I called Hatch and Peter said, "We really want to bring coding in. We have a location at Yonge and Lawrence. Come on in and see if it's for you.” I loved that attitude! I took the subway with my 12 year old son and nephews. If they think it’s crap, they'll be honest and say it.
Hatch gave us the class for free. It was an amazing way to try something new and see if it was the right fit for the After-4 program. And it was a hit! The kids said, "That was great, we would totally do that!"
What made Hatch stand out as a good match for the After-4 program?
From the start, Hatch Canada was more of a collaborator than your typical outside program provider. In August, they invited us to send them students for a day to experience a typical coding session (gratis!), which in turn provided us with direct student feedback and a better understanding of their unique self-paced, portfolio building approach. They attended our Community Welcome BBQ in September to speak to parents directly and show students the kinds of projects they could create – another first for our school community.
That sounds like so much fun! How did the BBQ go?
It was incredible! At the time, the Teachers were on strike, so we were limited on people. But the 4 providers that were there were awesome! They really carried the event and Hatch filled a gap. Stuart (from Hatch) was walking up and down the the food line-up - telling everyone about program and Hatch and coding.
How was the turnout for your After-4 program once you added Hatch?
We thought we would be lucky if we had 40 kids - we ended up with over 100! Another great program we found was the Chess Institute of Canada, they were phenomenal as well. It broke down to 65 kids that signed up for Chess and 45 for Hatch. We didn't expect this kind of turnout. Moreover, the registration response was so great we actually had to change how our after-school program had been structured (foregoing a 15 minute transition period for snack & roll call), which Hatch Canada graciously accommodated.
Well, it sounds like Hatch and CIC were a success. What was the transition like with adding these new providers?
Hatch went beyond what most programs did - they helped. Their attitude was, "Anything we need to do to make the program a success," and they would bend over backwards to do it.
When you’re adding an After-4 program, there is a ton of admin. These things can be onerous, but they said we're totally capable of doing online registration and helping to get that going for us. They became my top provider, my partners in delivering programs, so that parents could get excited about this offering. We were a TEAM, and I didn't want to let Hatch down. We were all in it for the kids!
That sounds great! So what’s it been like since you’ve added Hatch to your program?
Throughout the fall, the positive feedback from both the parents and students themselves continued to escalate and we hope to offer Hatch Canada’s coding education to our children for the duration of their elementary school years. The attitude and professional manner of the instructors continue to impress us, and the administration at Hatch Canada has truly been a pleasure to deal with – they have really helped us establish the exact kind of program we had hoped for and assisted us in providing our children with a crucial foundation and interest in coding.
Anything else you’d like to add about Hatch?
I believe in this company SO much, I am willing to say great things about them! With so many challenges facing the world, we need programs like this. Education and open-mindedness are key.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience and kind words about Hatch, Katina!
Hatch offers more than just teaching code. At Hatch, there is a collaborative effort to bring your children an educational experience that will open a new world to them. Learn more about camps, weekly classes and after-school programs. Sign-up today!