Suspension of in-person activities
Following the extensive social distancing measures in place in Greece, all in-person Spark activities have been suspended.
We cannot give any guidance at this moment as to when classes could resume. We will do our best, but we would like to caution you that classes may not resume this school year.
In general, we expect to follow government decisions on public school, in terms of when to reopen and whether the school year could be extended - in that case we are happy to extend our classes as well. However, we will have to assess each situation individually, to safeguard the safety of the children in our classes, that of people who work for Spark as well as people who work for or volunteer in our partner organizations.
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.
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.