SPARKS is an innovative character development program.
It develops develops the psychosocial skills and well-being of students as well as their identity as world citizens. The program allows teachers to create a safe space for meaningful discussions among students, where participants reﬂect both on themselves and on their interactions with society. Through various workshop sessions, students start developing a more positive outlook on themselves, others and the world, which in turn generates the spark to engage in service projects, and become positive agents of change in the community.
The SPARKS workshops are designed to be organized independently by schools or other organizations working with young people aged 12-18 through educational kits . Each kit consists of:
• A short documentary to launch the workshop (4-5 minutes),
• A handbook to guide its implementation.
The SPARKS program starts with a training session in which Gemmes trains teachers on how to run a SPARKS workshop, both in terms of the content of the educational kits and on how to create the most conductive environment for safe and meaningful exchanges amongst students.
SPARKS includes a series of short documentaries (four to ﬁve minutes) about lives of inspiring young people around the world. Each episode highlights the personal transformation experienced by a young person during a time of crisis and how they became agents of change for their community.
The SPARKS episodes are being filmed in five countries by five female directors.
The series tells the stories of ten young people, from different social settings, backgrounds and cultures, who have all decided to contribute, in their own way, to a better world. Each episode deals with a different theme.
It's a medium that's widely consumed by teenagers, especially in short formats, and one that captures their attention. It's also the best way for young protagonists to tell their own stories, directly to other young people.
Beginning a workshop with a SPARKS episode quickly connects young people to another reality, helping to launch and nurture meaningful discussions. The positive emotions aroused by the video become a source of inspiration, inspiring viewers to take action for the common good.
Each SPARKS episode is accompanied by a handbook for educators.
The handbooks have been developed for teachers working with young people between 12 and 18.
One handbook allows a minimum of four hours of workshop time and up to more than ten hours. It is designed to be easily adaptable to the time available to the workshop facilitator and can be split into several sessions.
Throughout the kit, speciﬁc guidance is provided to help set up the workshops and suggest some key ideas to bring out. As a bonus, suggestions have been added to transform certain activities into long-term service projects.
The program requires a financial contribution from schools. Its amount depends on the number of trainers and the number of students.
The SPARKS training aims to support teachers in the facilitation of SPARKS workshops. It is a comprehensive and practical training conducted by our team of trainers, where teachers learn how to create the most conducive environment for transformative workshops and get acquainted with the content of the kits. The training (4 to 6 hours) can be conducted in person or in a hybrid format. Gemmes then provides follow-up support to the teachers.
In France, Gemmes works with Réseau Canopé Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, an agency of the French Ministry of Education in charge of training teachers.