How-to Guide for Volunteers

Make a difference in a classroom today!

Why volunteer?

Check out some testimony from past volunteers:

  • “The best part of my experience was that the entire class were women and people of color. It bodes well for the future of our industry to have a chance to reach and excite these kids.”
  • “Especially enjoyed getting to encourage young girls in technology. Felt like I was helping the next generation in my local area.”
  • “I LOVED seeing how excited the kids were. One amazing thing was that the teachers noticed that some of the students who didn’t do as well academically were excelling at thinking like a developer and helping others learn - giving them a place to feel confident.”

Anyone can volunteer

Volunteers and speakers in tech:

Do you have a connection to CS or tech? If you work in software engineering, at a tech company in any role (non-engineer or engineering), or you’ve taken computer science courses, you can help inspire students! Many students have never met anyone who works in the tech industry and our teachers love being able to connect their classrooms to professionals and university students.

You can be a guest speaker in a classroom, or help a teacher run the activity. Visit a local classroom to inspire students to keep learning computer science.

Anyone passionate about expanding opportunity:

Do you believe that learning computer science can open doors of opportunity for students? Help out in a local classroom or organize an after school event! You don’t need any background in computer science to host an Hour of Code. And, just offering to help out is often enough to convince your child’s teacher, a friend, or a club to try an hour.

How do you get started?

  1. Send this email to your child’s teacher offering to help them run an Hour of Code.
  2. Offer to host an Hour of Code event after school at a local school. Use this How-To Guide to help you plan.

Recruit your co-workers to volunteer

Tell your friends and co-workers about the Hour of Code. Thousands of teachers are looking for volunteers, so ask them to sign up as a volunteer. Ask your employer to get involved. Send this email to your manager or the CEO to get everyone on board.

How to prepare

  • Pick out a video to show to help focus the class and get them excited to do an Hour of Code.
  • Check out the Hour of Code Volunteer Toolkit which includes an overview, timeline, preparation material, and marketing material. Everything you need to be ready for your volunteer experience!
  • If you're going to be doing a tutorial during your session, spend 30 minutes trying at least one Hour of Code tutorial.
  • If you're visiting a school, complete any background checks or required paperwork.
  • Review these tips about how to interact with students.
  • Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with #HourOfCode.
  • Connect with the teacher to discuss what you plan to speak about during your session.
  • If you are a virtual volunteer, test A/V and screen sharing capabilities beforehand.

Day-of Hour of Code Event

When you're hosting an Hour of Code event, follow the sample agenda below to help guide your day. Before then, make sure you sign into the school and greet the teacher the day of the event. Confirm the agreed schedule for the day and discuss any talking points.

Sample agenda:

Time Agenda item
1-5 minutes Show an inspirational video.
5-10 minutes Introduce yourself and learn more about the students:
  • What do you work, what do you do, and what do you love most about your job?
  • What or who inspired you?
  • How did you get interested in computer science?
  • Did you have a mentor?
  • Share a story about how tech affects everyone.

  • Ask the students questions and leave time for Q&A.
  • What jobs are they interested in, what are their favorite tech gadgets or apps, and how do they think they are built?
  • Do the students have any questions for you?
  • 30-60 minutes Code! Walk around, answer questions, and guide them through tough puzzles. Try not to give students the solution outright, instead, try asking them questions so they can answer themselves what went wrong, and encourage students to ask each other if they have questions. Learning from each other is a great learning opportunity.
    1-3 minutes Thank everyone and share inspirational parting words. Hand out any of your company swag (stickers are awesome)!
    After Make a lasting change: Talk to the teacher about turning the Hour of Code into a full computer science course! Go to with your teacher to fill in what this school teaches today and encourage them to pledge to bring ccomputer science to their classroom.

    After the Event:

    • Share your photos and stories with at
    • Remember to enter in your volunteer hours in your company’s volunteer tracking portal.
    • Share about your experience on social media #HourOfCode!
    • If you do take pictures/videos during the event, especially with students, make sure you get teacher/parent permission if you would like to post your stories on social media.
    • And, check back in a month: Is the teacher interested in offering a computer science course? Share resources and professional learning opportunities to help them do this.

    How you get selected as a technical volunteer of guest speaker

    • Teachers will be searching for volunteers on our volunteer map.
    • Try to make your profile as complete as possible to increase the chance that a teacher will select you.
    • A teacher will contact you through this form (your email address will never be shared with the teacher). If you are receiving too many requests from teachers, you can always update your preferences by clicking the link to edit your information or unsubscribe, provided at the bottom of any email from a teacher.

    Volunteering during the Hour of Code FAQ

    I haven't been contacted by a teacher yet. How can I still volunteer?

    Try searching for local schools and call the principal/teacher/front office and ask how you can help.

    How long do classroom visits last for?

    An in-person classroom visit usually lasts 60-90 minutes while a virtual classroom visit usually lasts 20-30 minutes.

    What age group is the Hour of Code activity appropriate for? and our partners design all the Hour of Code activities to engage students of all grade levels (K-12), boys and girls, from all backgrounds. Everyone, even adults can have fun playing!