Hidden Sparks Helps Parents and Teachers with Emotional Impact of COVID-19

More than 600 parents and educators have joined Hidden Sparks’ monthly virtual seminar series focusing on how to combat the emotional impact that COVID-19 has had on the lives of students across the globe. The organization is a nonprofit focused on providing teachers and parents with the tools to support struggling students in mainstream Jewish day schools. The sessions were offered in different tracks for educators and parents.

The next session, which will focus on weaving emotional literacy into the academic curricula, will take place for educators on Tuesday, April 20. The session will be led by Hidden Sparks’ Social Emotional Learning Coach Lily Howard Scott, MS.

A program for parents will take place May 25. They will be joined by educators for the session focused on developmental and educational milestones that will be taught by Rona Novick, Ph.D, dean of the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education and Administration at Yeshiva University and co-educational director for Hidden Sparks. The session will focus on helping attendees understand why some students reach educational and social milestones with ease while others struggle to keep up, and what should and should not be a cause for concern.

Previous sessions, all part of the Hidden Sparks Without Walls series, have focused on helping children cope with COVID-19 related anxieties; developing the art of asking powerful questions; classroom design and its impact on educational development; collaborative problem solving; and vocabulary building in both Hebrew and English. In partnership with Ohel, Hidden Sparks offered sessions for teachers and parents on using Ohel’s resiliency handbook as well as how to help children handle the revolving classroom door of in-person days as well as quarantines and remote learning.

Those looking to register for either of the upcoming sessions or view archives of previous seminars can do so at: hiddensparks.org/hidden-sparks-without-walls/.

“The experience of last year, when schools were forced to go remote and children “zoomed in” from their homes, gave parents far greater insight into their children’s educational development and made them acutely aware of the challenges that their children were facing. Our webinars provide parents with greater understanding and tools to help their children. Hidden Sparks is privileged to be able to help schools in their vital mission and thrilled to be a resource for parents as well”, said Hidden Sparks Executive Director Debbie Niderberg.

“While the pandemic’s end is in sight and next year’s classrooms will likely return to pre-pandemic norms, it will take a significant amount of time and effort to mitigate the losses caused by Covid-19, and to the extent that parents have the best tools to help their child, is it to our collective advantage” she added.

Founded in 2006, Hidden Sparks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping teachers and schools educate struggling learners. Through professional development programs and on-site coaching for teachers, it helps educators deepen their understanding of learning and approaches for teaching all kinds of learners, particularly those who struggle. With 110 participating day schools and a total of 3,875 educators trained by the Hidden Sparks curriculum, the organization has impacted a total of 47,450 students since its inception. For more information please visit hiddensparks.org.


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