The Schoolbox Project provides mobile, solar-powered schoolhouses that operate out of converted shipping containers. The containers can be dispatched to where they are needed within a few days of being ordered, fully stocked with supplies. They can be relocated with one day notice. The values, policies and volunteer handbook of the project travels with each Schoolbox. All volunteers, no matter how short or long term, receive online and in person training on how to work with children who have been through trauma. Each Schoolbox is staffed with a program director as well as with a rotation of vetted, trained teachers and volunteers.
WHAT WILL EACH BOX BE?
An Art and Play Program - rotating crafts and art projects for children who have had little opportunity for creativity and emotional expression during an extended time of trauma. Quieting, reflective and nature-inspired activities are emphasized to provide balance to the steady diet of "sensory junk food" regularly available to children in refugee camps.
A Schoolhouse - the space allows for organization and structure of instruction based on division of age and languages spoken. Regular, daily and weekly volunteer teachers provide language and other lessons.
A Mother + Baby Safe Space - designated hours before and after school for mothers with babies is an opportunity to provide a sense of community as well as to provide culturally sensitive care to women/mothers (available in camps where no other Mother/Baby spaces are available)
A Solar Powered Charging and Wifi Zone( available in camps where power is limited).
WHAT MAKES US DIFFERENT?
There are a few unique ingredients that are found in every single Schoolbox program.
- No Time Outs- we do not believe in exclusion or isolation as a response to communication of a need offered to us via challenging behavior. All behavior is communication.
- No Kick Outs- Each day, a volunteer is designated the 1:1 of the Day to be available to children who need extra support in class. Children are never turned away due to behavior.
- No Photos- We prioritize full presence in each moment and work hard to develop trusting relationships. For this reason, as well as to protect children at risk for exploitation, we do not allow photos of the children.
- Rhythm and Predictability- we open and close in the same way each day and provide gentle rhythm and simple routine. For children who have known only uncertainty for much of their lives, having a place where they always know what comes next becomes incredibly important.
- In-home support is offered to families of children who are in need of additional support to be able to thrive in our programming. Services are offered on a voluntary basis and delivered wherever the family sleeps, whether it be in a squat, tent or other temporary shelter.
- Volunteer Training and Support: our volunteers receive online and in person training before ever setting foot in a camp. Once in the field, volunteers have access to a 24 hour crisis support line and a 24 hour advice nurse.