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Popular Kids Coding Dojo Opens In Greenwood

Writer / Julie Yates
Photography Provided

A new activity option for children ages seven to 14 has come to Center Grove. Code Ninjas, located at 1259 North State Road 135, offers children the opportunity to learn coding while having fun playing video games. Stop by the dojo and there will be no questions as to why Code Ninjas’ mission statement is, “Kids have fun, parents see results.”

Joshua Grow, Center Grove resident and owner of the franchise, feels the business combines the things he enjoys participating in.

“I’ve been involved in software for the last 10 years,” he says.

“Currently, I am a software development engineer in downtown Indianapolis. I’ve always offered free tutoring for students at Ivy Tech and I love kids – they are so fun and fantastic to work with. I was scrolling through Facebook and an ad for Code Ninjas came up. I clicked on it, looked at the programs they have and immediately knew this was a perfect match for what I would like to offer within our community. All the curriculum was laid out and handled with care. It put all my interests in one place, so I made an inquiry. It’s a good fit for me and ties a large portion of my passions and interest into one.”

The Code Ninjas facility is 2,570 square feet and, just like in karate, the room where all the action happens is called a dojo. Children, or Ninjas, at Code Ninjas play their way to earning different belts, starting with white and ending at black. Colored wristbands corresponding to belt levels are used to not only scan into the program as they enter but to also show off their progress while inside. There are belt up ceremonies, including gong ringing, candy bars, and a certificate of completion, to celebrate moving from one level to another.

The location is conveniently located near numerous other child-centered businesses.

code ninjas“I grew up in Lebanon, Indiana,” Grow says. “My wife Quinn and I moved to the area three years ago. We visited friends in Greenwood and it seemed to be a great community. It’s a wonderful location for Code Ninjas as it’s in the same building as a wrestling academy and a cheer and gymnastics studio. There is so much for kids to do in one area.”

A typical Code Ninja is a child with a high interest in video games, plus a desire to make them. There is a one-to-five ratio of staff to children. COVID-safe protocols are in place. As children progress through their belts, they can learn up to four languages.

The first is Scratch, a good language for younger ninjas and an integral part of “Fun-damentals” coursework. It’s a drag and drop editor tool and doesn’t require any typing. During white through green belts comes JavaScript, one of the best-known web-based languages – a wonderful skill for anyone to learn. Blue belt introduces Lua, a programming language used in the popular gaming platform Roblox. Finally, in purple through black belts, is C# in Unity3D.

code ninjasThis platform is used for developing many Triple-A games produced by companies such as Steam for PC, Nintendo Switch and Xbox.

Participants have several options from which to choose. Code Ninjas Create is the standard program and allows eight one-hour sessions per month. A set time can be scheduled or ninjas can drop in at parents’ convenience. There are also summer and year-round camps involving Minecraft, Roblox and YouTube.

Reservations are required for two programs. Parents Night Out includes two hours of working on fun Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities and building video games or working on robotics. Birthday parties for up to 10 Ninjas are a two-hour celebration of playing video games and STEM activities.

Code Ninjas is located at 1259 N State Rd 135 Suite B in Greenwood. For more information on programs and fees, visit CodeNinjas.com or call 317-360-9732.

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