Through Bright Sparks our desire is that the children are empowered to fully engage with all educational opportunities afforded them, increasing the child’s educational potential and develop positive attitudes to learning. As the parents and children work together the adult-child bond is strengthened as is the respect from the child to their parent. During the sessions, relationships develop both intra and inter the families who participate, building social capitol.
What we offer is unique to the families in Brighton and Hove; when the parents were asked:
‘Outside of Fresh Start do you know of any other opportunities, like Bright Sparks, to attend family focused activities within a charitable organisation?’ There was a 100% response that they did NOT know of any other opportunities.
We looked at the following subjects:
Bright Sparks took place over 6 weeks during the Spring term of 2019 providing opportunities for parents/carers to engage with the children in a variety of activities. Each week has a theme which the activities encompass whether it is in literacy, numeracy, computer studies, craft or cooking. We followed the theme of the Commonwealth.
If the families require help, the volunteers sensitively empower the parent to help their child. A meal is provided each week for the participants. There is provision for younger siblings, with age-appropriate activities.
The following observations were made as to the effectiveness of the session with the volunteers at the weekly evaluations:
The parents were increasingly supporting and encouraging of each other, they became more secure as they shared their experiences, frustrations and difficulties. There were positive changes in how the families worked together. Parents took increased responsibility within and for their families. Some of the children were beginning to make connections between their choices and consequences, both positive and negative. It became a place where children and parents shared in the celebrations of each other’s successes and achievements. These outcomes are in line with the aims and objectives of all that we do at Fresh Start.
33 individuals attended this course made up of 8 parents/carers, 15 children from 6 families plus 10 volunteers and the Project Manager.
Children were asked - Please tell me what was good and what you enjoyed the most.
Adults were asked - Any other comments; what worked well, what didn’t work so well?