Building WordPress Meetups for Youth Expanding the WP/WC Experience

Building WordPress Meetups for Youth Expanding the WP/WC Experience

William Jackson and Aida Correa Jackson
My Quest To Teach and LoveBuilt Life, LLC

WPJaxKids Meetup Teachers
WordCamp Jacksonville KidsCamp Organizers

WordCamp Europe Kids Workshop Teachers
https://europe.wordcamp.org/2023/wordpress-workshop-for-kids/

WordCamp Europe 2023 is quickly approaching, and we are so excited about the upcoming workshop. Building the future of the WordPress community starts with creating the opportunity to provide building networking skills, embrace artistic creativity, encourage digital innovation, exposure to STEAM,
web development skill-sets with WordPress.

That may seem a lot, but the opportunities that are or will be available for youth, teens and young adults that are prepared and courageous to take
hold of opportunities are there. The WPKids Meetups can be provided as
a supplement and extension to WordPress Meetups for adults.

WPKids are growing across the nation and even internationally where kids / youth are provided a chance to Meetup with their peers. What better way
than with like-minded young people to inspire creativity, innovation,
and technological know-how.

WordCamp Europe will have several thousand people attend and most of them will be adults, the focus of WP Meetups is to provide a place for kids
and youth to feel included, valued and contributing. Involving children,
youth, teens, and young adults in an environment filled with business owners,
artists and entrepreneurs builds the future.  Seeing adults with dynamic skills and learning how to be business owners, entrepreneurs and thought leaders can be very cool at a young age.

Parents need resources that provide learning opportunities, innovative instruction to empower the children of developers, coders, graphic artist,
and business owners that help extend to their children. Children develop
at various levels, just having a laptop or tablet is not the answer to
learning, there should be instruction and engagement that covers the
learning styles of children attending and there should be fun! WordCamp conferences are amazing opportunities to provide a vision for where
kids and youth can contribute and influence the future.

WordCamp Europe can provide and international focus for the
growing number of WPKids Meetups that youth, teens and young
adults want to be involved and parents want their children involved.

This is a win – win situation for WP and WC. Being an entrepreneur
can be challenging when children are involved in the process of
managing a business as an entrepreneur. Attending WP Meetups is
another challenge when children are accompanying, having the
availability of a kids Meetup can make things easier for parents.
Providing activities related to STEAM, Tech and Web Development
enhances the experiences and broadens the exposure to new learning.

WP Meetups can provide the resources that kids will not receive
in schools, because the WP Community if filled with experts in
multiple areas. Planning and differentiated instructional teaching is
important because of the age differences and even the skill abilities
of children and youth that have learning challenges are getting
involved more. Just because a parent is heavily involved in web
development, coding, graphic design and other aspects of WordPress
does not mean the children are engaged and involved. So Meetups
for kids help to inspire and engage.

There should be flexibility in abilities, skills, and knowledge by
the WPKids Meetup volunteer to provide activities that build or
reinforce skills, provide individual and group projects and events
to apply these skills in presentations, speaking and involvement
at WordCamp and KidsCamp conferences.

The idea that just because there is a WP Meetup does not mean
that technology has to be involved the whole time. Aida and I
have provided WPJax Kids Meetup with instruction in building
web sites using Lego pieces when introducing Gutenberg,
integrating The Arts when teaching about Civil Engineering and provided chances to learn basic coding when having children write their names in Binary Code to show the thinking of digital devices.  Applying The Arts to show how the Internet connects web sites and how data is transmitted into
“The Cloud” for global accessibility. There is diversity and fun in learning. Everyone is given an opportunity to share their ideas and each person is respected.

Ford Bloggers William and Aida

Flexibility is valuable and having fun things to do is important. Just as the flexibility of the classroom when working with special needs children
this can be fun as well so everyone gets a chance to be involved and
engaged. Technology brings the opportunity for connecting across
age ranges and maturity levels. Volunteers that choose to work with
children do not need to be educators but should have a passion and
joy working with children. There should be a plan and availability
to resources for hands-on activities and even the children should
receive SWAG.

Creating an atmosphere similar to the adults in learning, engagement,
applying their skills in various forms of development and promoting growth.
The future is now to involve the youth of the future, with increasing numbers of parents working from home, that are home-schooling their children and attending conferences, workshops, seminars, and meetups there should be plans in place for the children. It takes volunteers and passionate people to
fill these roles within the WP and WC community. WordCamp conferences only succeed because of the volunteers that share their skills, knowledge
and abilities and KidsCamps are active and engaging because parents see
the potential they bring to their kids and future potentials for careers in the growing areas of technology on many points.

KidsCamp Teacher
KidsCamp Teacher

Parents have access to opportunities that allow not only their professional
and personal growth, but encourages their children as well. WP Meetups
are a win – win situation for parents and their children. Incorporating WordPress, Gutenberg, STEAM, The Arts, Hands-On learning and using
digital tools to guide children beyond their current skill levels and to prepare for the future.

WPJax Meetup and WPJax Kids Meetup
https://www.meetup.com/wordpress-jacksonville/

Workshop for Youth and Teens https://europe.wordcamp.org/2023/wordpress-workshop-for-kids/