Creative Inspiration in 2015

2015 has been an exciting year for the Scratch Foundation! You might have heard that we changed our name, but that’s just one small part of our incredible year.

Several months ago, we launched this blog to help us share stories about people who are doing interesting things with Scratch.

We continue to draw inspiration from this community. From organizers and educators, to enthusiasts and developers, people are doing incredible things with Scratch.

We wrote about people like Kartik, Naveen, and Christina — high school students who have organized clubs, camps, and celebrations to share their knowledge of Scratch with other young people.

Then there were the educators describing how they use Scratch in the classroom — Enzo who used Scratch to teach Algebra; Juliann and Angela who created a buddy system, pairing third graders with kindergarteners; Leanna who organized the very first Scratch Educator Meetup in Kentucky; and Jesse and Brian who integrated Scratch into their applied CS program — all sharing unique perspectives about their work.

And our list of enthusiasts continues to grow — young people like Zach who created his own YouTube channel loaded with Scratch tutorials, and Linda who so elegantly described why she loves Scratch. We also met people like Mark, the software engineer and father of two young children who volunteered his time to develop the Android version of ScratchJr; and Steve and Kerry, artists who launched a collaborative new media art project using video games as a platform for community dialogue in Chicago’s South Side.

These stories are inspiring, yet we believe there is still more to do. We want Scratch to reach more young people, in more places. We also want to share our perspective — we put a high priority on creativity and self-expression, not simply learning to code.

Collaborating with like-minded organizations is one way to do this. We launched incredible partnerships this year with PBS Kids and Cartoon Network.

By working with PBS Kids to create a new version of the free ScratchJr app, we can invite young children to bring PBS Kids characters to life and tell their own stories. In the process, children learn how to create and express themselves with the computer, not just to interact with it. The PBS collaboration also helps us reach more people. With support from the US Department of Education and Verizon, PBS is developing an outreach plan to bring PBS Kids ScratchJr to kids in high-poverty areas, both in and out of school.

The Scratch Team’s collaboration with Cartoon Network was another amazing project. Cartoon Network’s reach into nearly 97 million homes helps us reach potential new Scratchers. Using characters from the new show We Bare Bears in Scratch projects invites kids to try Scratch — kids who might not see themselves as people who can code — and create their own stories, games, and animations.

As a new organization, we are off to a great start. We have been welcomed into the very community we are hoping to expand and support. Looking ahead to 2016, we hope to continue these rich collaborations and find new groups to work with who can help us bring Scratch, and our way of thinking about coding and creativity, to more people.

We’ll continue to tell these stories in 2016. Drop us a note at info@scratchfoundation.org if you’d like us to share your story.

Happy new year!

Lisa O’Brien
Scratch Foundation Executive Director


If you would like to make a donation to the Scratch Foundation, please click here.

Scratch is available for free, for everyone. Through gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations, we raise funds to support the entire Scratch ecosystem, including development of new technologies, organization of events, and dissemination of learning resources. The Foundation’s fundraising efforts will ensure that Scratch will continue to thrive as a creative tool and community for everyone, for years to come.