Brownies and Rainbows to learn tech skills and welcome Ukrainian girls in Sheffield

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by Miriam Kuepper

Girlguiding UK will give girl scouts the opportunity to learn coding and app development to get more girls into science and tech, while a Crookes group will also invite Ukrainian children to skip the waiting list and join in the fun straightaway.

After carrying out a survey, Girlguiding found that just over half of girls (52 percent) aged 11 to 21 think STEM subjects are for boys and 42 percent said there were not enough women role models in STEM sectors.

In order to get more girls into STEM subjects, Girlguiding is introducing new digital skills activities for their programme for ages five to 18.

Kate Peysner is the leader of Crookes Brownie and Rainbow groups and is excited to start giving girls training in coding and app development once she and other leaders are trained to do so.

Kate Peysner is Crookes’ Rainbows and Brownies leader.

The Sheffield University lecturer, who doesn’t have skills in coding or app development herself yet, said: “Girlguiding UK is absolutely fantastic about providing up-to-date training, but we have not heard about this one just yet. 

“As soon as that is, it is definitely something we will be implementing, particularly because of the demographics of our children, many of whom have parents involved in the area.”

Ms Peysner recently announced that Ukrainian girls aged 4-7 and 7-10, for Rainbows and Brownies respectively, will be able to forgo the waiting list and join the groups right away.

The girl scout leader, who is a resident of Broomhill, said about offering this opportunity to Ukrainian children: “I just saw this opportunity, this small way of being able to help out.”

However, she expects the number of eligible children to be quite small, as they would need to live in the vicinity of Crookes and be of the right age and gender for Brownies and Rainbows respectively.

“We don’t have anybody just yet, but I do hope we do soon. We have a lot of children who joined us with either no or very limited English skills and we help them settle into the community. We love to see how quickly children learn from each other and communicate in a non-verbal manner.”

Ms Peysner is explaining a face painting activity and is acting out the Julia Donaldson story ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’.

For Ukrainian children, Ms Peysner plans to invite any caregivers and possibly the Sheffield host to come and do a session with the group: “We want to learn from them about their culture and this will be something we would ask people to do straight away. It’s just about getting them to come join the group, do some crafts and make some friends – that is what we do with Girlguiding,” the Brownies and Rainbows leader said.

In Sheffield, there are a total of 2,249 Rainbows, Brownies, Guides and Rangers, and 556 adult volunteers across 153 separate units.

Children can be signed up here.

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