Mher Davtyan, Co-founder and CEO of NorArar
HundrED has not validated this innovation
Why did you create this innovation?
NorArar is the Armenian word for 'a new scene'. Our after-school program was designed in response to displacement after the war in Nagorno Karabakh. Too many children suffered the impact of war experiencing learning disruption, lack of supportive relationships and toxic stress. Our first project responds to academic and social-emotional needs of school-children in a mid-pandemic, post-war context.
How does your innovation work in practice?
We create a social-educational support system around children experiencing difficult circumstances in life by engaging them in an after-school project and providing individualised mentoring. In the after-school project children select a number of clubs they are interested in: the clubs are courses on social-emotional learning, core curriculum subjects, art therapy and community experiences. We do baseline assessment of academic and social-emotional skills and progressively measure student achivement in both domains. 15 children, participating in the first phase of the social-emotional learning club showed overall progress of 0.3 on a 4 scale rubric on social-emotional learning throughout a period of 9 weeks. This means children have improved relationships by making new friends, decision making by creating personal vision and exploring their furture aspirations. 9 children get blended mentoring by meeting their mentors, trusted adults, for personal growth experiences and conversations.
How has it been spreading?
After the first phase of the social-emotional learning clubs, 25 children were engaged in a more comprehensive summer school, wherby they had visits to community centers, studied Maths, English, Armenian, Art and Social-Emotional Learning clubs. The results of the summer school were encouraging that is why NorArar brings together all the aforementioned academic and social-emotional learning experiences under the umbrella of a single project, called 'Make a Bar of Soap'. The outcome of the project is to help children understand the process of cold-process soap making, which is going to be a safegaurded therapeutic immersion in real life learning. Maths, Chemistry, language learning and entreprenurship will be integrated to prepare children for creating their soap brand and selling it.
If I want to try it, what should I do?
You will need to adapt NorArar social-emotional course with formative and summative assessments, implement the child safegaurding policy to ensure a safe space for learning, organise mentor recruitment, training, use our mentoring handbook to guide mentors. You will need a team of an education program lead, 4 teachers for clubs, volunteer mentors. Main resources: salary, stationary and whatsup.