Finding a Community Partner

If you’re interested in signing up for igniteCS but don’t yet have a community partner identified, check out these tips for how to reach out and develop a positive experience.

What types of partners are great to work with?

Partners can be any community organization or institution that works with K-12 learners, and has a set physical location for regular meetings. For example, schools, libraries, community learning centers, after school programs, or non-profits like the Boys and Girls Club or the YMCA. The learners don’t need any prior CS experience — that is what you and your volunteer group will bring!

How do I contact a community partner to offer our group’s volunteer service?

There are a number of ways to do this if you do not have an established relationship with any community partners. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started!

Example email or letter

Hello, my name is ______, and I am a student at ___________ studying computer science. Some classmates and I are signing up for a Google program called igniteCS to bring computer science basics to local K-12 students. Google provides the materials, and we provide the volunteers. Our group would love to partner with you to create a safe and trusted environment for your students to learn more about computer science.

Here’s what you need to know about igniteCS:

igniteCS is an initiative by Google that provides opportunity for computer science (CS) undergraduates to volunteer in their local communities. igniteCS uses a near-peer model wherein groups of undergraduate students mentor K-12 learners in CS topics.

Additionally, igniteCS is:

  • An interactive way for K-12 learners to become exposed to computer science and a diverse set of role models who study it.
  • An ongoing experience (generally ~5-10 hrs over multiple sessions).
  • A way for CS students to gain valuable leadership and teamwork skills outside the classroom.
  • An opportunity for partners to incorporate CS education into their organization.
  • Flexible. The most successful programs have partners who work closely with the undergraduate volunteers to come up with the best model for their learners.

igniteCS is not:

  • 1:1 tutoring in CS.
  • A hackathon (one time event).
  • Led by Google employees.

We are very excited about working with you to bring these much needed 21st century skills to our local community. Please let us know if you’re interested by reaching out to me; we’d love to get started right away!

Signed,
Student Name
University, Major

Speaking points for a phone call
  • Introduce yourself, including the school and group that you are affiliated with.
  • Explain that you would like to speak with someone about participating in a program called igniteCS, created by Google to provide computer science basics to local children.
  • If nobody is available at that time, ask for an appropriate e-mail contact to pass along the information.
  • If you are able to reach someone on the phone, discuss some of the high level program goals; including some of the content your team would hope to teach.
    • igniteCS is a Google run initiative that provides opportunity for computer science (CS) undergraduates to volunteer in their local communities. igniteCS uses a near-peer model wherein groups of undergraduate students mentor K-12 learners in CS topics. Additionally, igniteCS is:
      • An interactive way for K-12 learners to become exposed to computer science and a diverse set of role models who study it.
      • An ongoing experience (generally ~5-10 hrs over multiple sessions).
      • An opportunity for organization leaders to understand more about CS through participation.
    • igniteCS is not:
      • 1:1 tutoring in CS, a hackathon (one time event), or led by Google employees.
    • Suggest dates when your group could begin and meeting times
    • Discuss available equipment, if any, or materials that you and your team would supply
    • Confirm the best way to stay in touch throughout the program (phone, e-mail, or other communication method)

Do you work for a school or community organization who's interested in having igniteCS volunteers?
Fill out this form and let us know.