Thursday, April 11, 2013

School work? What...?!

I present to you a group photo of the 2nd Diapolitistiko School of Plateia Vathis.

Within the photo you can see four of our volunteers with lots and lots of young smiley faces (this was suppose to be a funny picture)!

I get a lot of questions with my use of the term 'School Work.'  Therefore, I'm going to take the time to explain its meaning.

Each week, I begin by posting a request (like this) on facebook:
"One of the projects that Streetlights frequently does is a broad social work in school of Bathis Square (a depressed area of Athen's center). It includes a two hour weekly program and there is a need for VOLUNTEERS ... hint, hint. The activity operates on Thursday from 2 to 4 in the afternoon and 22 kids ages 13-15 years old participate on average. If someone is interested and speaks Greek, please send a message to get in touch!!!"

I stay open to the fact that a lot of people want to participate in projects that have to do school, so I try to keep a look out for such people :)

After that I move along to create an outline of what the time scheduled will be (I try and make this as clear as possible), this way all the volunteers know what to expect and know what will be required of them. I try to avoid any confusion since we are dealing with a large group and we need the team to be on the same page, focused on what each team member will be doing.

The schedule usually looks like this:
THURSDAY SCHOOL PLAN.2:00pm – 2:10pm Arrival and chill with the kids. Balloon animals?2:10 – 2:30pm Ice breaker games. 22:30 – 2:50pm Watch the movies from last week. Laugh.
2:50 – 3:00pm Break. Chill with kids. More Balloon animals?3:00 – 3:05pm Get into 4 groups.3:05pm – 3:50pm ain activity: The “MUSIC VIDEO”.3:50pm – 4:00pm Icebreaker and finish off.

Each team leader is given a paper with the schedule. Before we go to the school, we like everyone to debrief together and make sure everyone has an understanding of the plan. Usually when we arrive at the school, the students can be found "all talking at the same time" or blowing off steam by hitting each other - their actions are similar to unsupervised sibling relations. Therefore, in order to create peace and some sort of order we begin by asking the students to tell us what the team's values should be! We remind them our simple answers: to enjoy our time together, to respect one another, no hitting, or swearing, to listen...etc. Furthermore, each time we go to the school we take time to remind the whole group that these are the teams values and this is what we live by.

Why do we do video? Its a very current topic, it teaches each student a skill, it gives a quick reward, and its something they can't find anywhere else.

Prayer needs:
We would love to be able to continue next year running this program, by increasing the days we go to the school (from one to two).  Also, we hope to have an end of the year festival.

On another note I want to share two videos that Isaac Owen has made during his visit with us. These are just two small clips that show the school work, streetlights, and my house! please enjoy and do follow Isaac's small video adventures as he continues to travel!

Video #1: Streetlights / My Home

Video #2: School Work / Streetlights

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