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Exciting funding opportunity: Spark empathy and kindness

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Exciting funding opportunity: Spark empathy and kindness

Imagine if kids everywhere could discover what life is like for their peers across the globe. A new grant opportunity through Empatico is aimed at facilitating just that: building connections and empathy between communities that are geographically and culturally different through common activities and live video chats.

Empatico is a free tool for educators and afterschool providers that connects groups of students ages 6-11 with peers domestically and around the world. Through a combination of live video and activities, youth have the opportunity to connect and find common ground with others that come from very different backgrounds through meaningful conversations that spark curiosity, kindness, and empathy. All of the tools you need to bring this experience to your program are provided through Empatico’s platform: your partner group, activity plans, and built-in video, messaging, and scheduling tools.

Using Empatico takes three steps:

  1. Create a free account through their website, and browse and select the activities you would be interested in doing with your youth. These activities are standards- and research-based, designed to be easy for providers to use and students to engage. Among the many options, examples of Empatico activities include a discussion of local landmarks, where partners gather and exchange information about historical, cultural, and geographical landmarks in their communities; a conversation about the different ways kids play and the similarities and differences that exist between different cultures’ concepts of play; and an exploration of the weather in your communities and how weather affects our experience of the world. All activity plans include clear, well-outlined instructions that allow for seamless usability.
  2. Once you have selected your activities, you will be prompted to provide the days and times you are available to engage with another group.
  3. Empatico will then match you with another group that has similar interests and availability, and is at least 300 miles away. Once matched, you can communicate with your partner group through Empatico’s messaging platform and prepare for your scheduled interaction. Empatico provides on-demand help as needed throughout the process.

Spark Empathy Grants are now available to programs that use Empatico. Grant amounts range depending on the number of educators participating in this initiative—for example, applicants with 1-10 educators (defined as adults leading the youth groups in their activities) can qualify for up to $1,500; applicants with 11-20 participating educations can qualify for up to $3,000; and so forth. More information about specific eligibility requirements can be found on the grant’s website.

The requirements for the grant are simple: participating groups are expected to participate in implementation meetings with the Empatico team prior to the 2019-2020 academic year and facilitate at least four Empatico exchanges per participating group during the grant period. The grant’s funds can be used to address your network or site’s specific needs, including technology needed to participate in Empatico, stipends for individuals leading the implementation of the grant, or funding of classroom and community-level initiatives that promote empathy and kindness.

All applications are due by Friday, April 26, 2019. To find out more information and apply today, visit the Spark Empathy Grant website

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