The SPARK Program aims to support and focus on children and families offering a suite of program initiatives across two main program components, Bright Sparks and Community Sparks, as well as partner with school, community, and government, to enhance support and build capacity.
Children 5 – 12
Bright Sparks is a program for newly arrived children transitioning into primary school. The Bright Sparks Program Learning Club includes social, language and recreational activities, designed to support children in their settlement. Activities are based in SPARK’s partner schools, outside of regular class time, and are facilitated by trained volunteers and school staff.
An intensive tutoring program for newly arrived children who require significant academic and social support to prepare them for high school. In Bright Sparks Tutor children work through a learning plan with a skilled volunteer. The children’s learning plan is developed by SPARK and their classroom teacher to address their individual academic and social development needs.
At the end of each school term all Bright Sparks children participate in a recreational session facilitated by volunteers. In Bright Sparks special sessions children participate in craft, art, sports, music, and drama activities. These activities are designed to develop non-academic skills, develop interests, build self-esteem and encourage enjoyment in
SPARK partners with Candy Stripes Circus to provide a series of circus skills workshops designed to support relationships between newly arrived students and their settled peers. Candy Stripes Circus engages an entire year group or school in workshops facilitated by professional circus members, SPARK volunteers and school staff. Children develop their communication, team work, and interpersonal skills whilst engaging in fun activities such as juggling, hula hoops, and spinning plates. Candy Stripes Circus workshops culminate in children using their newfound circus skills to create a performance for family, friends and school community to come and see.
1-2-3 Magic and Emotion Coaching
A positive parenting course open to all parents in the school community and facilitated in Arabic by SPARK staff and bi-lingual facilitators.
A free, weekly, pop-up library SPARK’s Bilingual Book Club is run in select primary schools. The Bilingual Book Club promotes the benefits of reading and literacy while offering parents an opportunity to borrow and read books in their own language as well as English. The Club promotes the benefits of bilingualism and encourages parents to read to children in their native tongue. SPARK currently have hundreds of books in over twenty languages.
SPARK engages with schools, universities and other organisations to raise awareness of the challenges faced by asylum seekers and refugees. In raising awareness, we hope to build knowledge not only of challenges faced but of the ways in which individuals and organisations can actively support the newly arrived community.
Community Capacity Building
SPARK work with and provide training to a team of bilingual workers, Community Liaison Officers, School Support Officers, teachers and community members. In the past we have run First Aid Training, Listening and Responding Training and Referral and Assessment training to build the capacity of local members of the community.
SPARK also partners with different community groups and organisations to run events that support both newly arrived and established families and the wider community. For a full list of partners please visit our Partners Page.