CORONaVIRUS UPDATE

Resumption of in-person activities

Following the extensive social distancing measures put in place in Greece, all in-person Spark activities were suspended, roughly from mid-March to mid-May.

Measures have now been widely lifted, and we once again available to resume in-class activities, where our partner organizations deem it appropriate.  We will continue to uphold social distancing measures - for example, we will be splitting classes in two, so as to limit the number of children in a room at any given time. We will of course keep a light, fun schedule for these few remaining classes - we know that these are far from normal teaching conditions!

We will also follow recommended hygiene practices and respect any internal policies of each organization.

 

We realize we are almost at the end of the school year. We are able to run activities through the end of June where that is possible, to get a little bit more out of the year. Please let us know if that is something you would like to do?

 

Remote classes

We are able to run remote classes, preferably with small teams of children. We have done that with children from the SOS Villages centre in Kipseli, the Christodoulio Foster Home and the Public Library of Piraeus. We thanks everyone for their help!

We feel it is a priority during this difficult period to give children a chance to socialize, even virtually, and to express themselves and stay active. We can run tailor-made, fun activities that are suitable for virtual classes. We have kept the number of children very small, so that our classes can remain interactive and engaging

 

If remote classes is something that could work with children in your organization too, please do reach out.

Foster Centres: Remaining active during lockdown

We are trying out various ways to help, both to keep children engaged in digital activities, but also more generally to keep them active, challenged and, we hope, entertained! Here are some ways we can help:

Additional computers for online school classes:

You may use any Spark laptops we are keeping on the premises, just let us know ahead of time. Please contact Anna Kamperou or the class teacher for any help with logins. Also, please make sure children wash their hands, and sanitize the laptops with a wet wipe after use.  Also, if you need additional laptops, let us know and we may be able to help.

Technical help setting up computers for online school classes:

If you need help setting up computers (yours or ours)  to participate in the classes, contact us, and we may be able to help remotely, either by helping one of your staff or in some cases by fixing the problem directly on the computers in question

Online content - finding educational content, simple programming, games

It is surprisingly hard to find good content online, to keep children engaged and productive. Please contact us if you need suggestions - we are putting together a list, together with help guides and short how-to videos. 

Remote tutoring and help for your staff

If one of your staff would like to engage the children at some online activities, including ones around the online content mentioned above, she may want some support to get started. We are happy to offer a few hours of remote tutoring to help her familiarize herself with the activities and answer any questions.

Remote classes

We are looking to offer live, virtual activities with one of our teachers for very small groups, of about 3 children each.

We believe reducing the group size is critical to avoid the communication problems plaguing large virtual classes. It would allow for almost one-on-one help for the children participating, and facilitating children engagement. We could do it for all the children in your Spark classes, or the ones most interested.

Please let us know if any of this could help your organization, and

contact us with questions, requests, or other ideas

A final note

As mentioned above, whenever children use Spark equipment, or any other shared equipment for that matter, it is important that they wash their hands, sanitize the laptops and follow any other suitable precautionary measures. 

More generally, although the virus-suppression measures are weighing on all of us, we urge everyone to do their utmost to comply. We should do so not only to protect our own health and the health of those around us, but also out of respect to our fellow citizens - crucially, respect for those most vulnerable among us, and for the medical staff who are in the front lines.

Spark Projects is registered in England with the Companies House (company number 11524316) as a charitable company. It has the registered charity number 1185912, and is additionally registered with the HMRC as a charity for GiftAid (HMRC charity reference ZD05751).