Welcome to Gekko Kids
Gekko Kids is an educational space using non-traditional approaches to educate and enich the lives of hundreds of displaced children on the move.
Gekko Kids (Gekko) was conceived by Better Days in May 2017 to challenge existing notions of education in emergencies, and schooling for refugees. Today, Gekko Kids provides informal alternative education located in the center of Mytilene. Our students are from 12 to 18 years old, and the majority are unaccompanied minors (UASC) meaning they have come to Lesvos without their parents or guardians and as such are extremely vulnerable. Education at Gekko is provided by our experienced team, all of whom have prior exposure and experience with refugee education and education in general.
Teaching Hours per day
Gekko’s 3 Pillars
Our approach focuses on three interdependent components of Socialization, Integration, and Accreditation. The student is ‘the subject’ of our approach, education being something experienced with teachers and peers, rather than something delivered by teachers to students. Our focus is to ensure ALL students have a positive experience of education and awaken their curiosity, challenge their biases and build their confidence
Students build emotional and social skills, develop a sense of belonging, sharpen their ability to communicate and encouraging healthy and positive attitudes towards themselves and others.
Students have access to skills, knowledge, and subjects to help them transition back to formal education, and acclimate to and integrate with their host communities.
Students obtain recognized qualifications to support their integration, schooling, or future employment prospects, and come away with from their time at Gekko with something tangible.
Socio Emotional Learning (SEL)
Learning is more than academic. We apply SEL methodologies to help our students to grow socially and emotionally.
Trauma Informed Pedagogy
Migration and dislocation can be traumatic experiences. Better Days ensures students feel safe first, so they are free to learn.
Individual Education Plans (IEPs)
Some students need more specialized support. Gekko has dedicated IEPs for its more at-risk students to chart their progress and achieve their goals.
Gender Specific Programming
The pathways to growth and development are different for everyone. Our progamming includes gender specific offerings for both boys and girls.
Our core curriculum includes Greek, English, and Math, key skills for any of our displaced students. Our core curriculum is designed to help students navigate their new context and promote readiness to return to formal education. Outside of the core curriculum, other academic subjects such as Biology, Geography, and Environmental Science have been taught.
At Gekko, we support our students’ skills development and career goals by providing them the opportunity to sit official exams and acquire recognized certificates and qualifications. After thorough preparation with their teachers, our advanced students have the opportunity to sit both the TOEIC, and Ellinomatheia (Greek language proficiency).
More than academics
A dedicated third space for practical science and the arts (STEAM) at Gekko, Gekko X was built to be a mixed use space for a wide range of programming and educational approaches.
Not a traditional classrom, the modular space of Gekko X and its equipment allow interested students to study the arts (music, photopgraphy, art, drama) and a variety of STEM focused offerings such as ECDL modules, Robotics, and 3D Printing.
Designed with alternative approaches in mind, Gekko X has multiple independent learning areas for advanced students to encourage co-teaching and self directed learning through platforms like Khan Academy.
More than academics
Arts is a major component of Gekko programming as we encourage our students to explore and express themselves through creative outlets. In cooperation with partners, Gekko offers a variety of arts focused programming for our students.
Music (with Connect by Music)
Art Scholarships (with Poliana Studio)
Photography (with The Light Space).
Gekko X has hosted multiple student exhibitions of art and photography.
SPORTS & DEVELOPMENT
Sports is not just about physical activity. Gekko currently hosts Socrates, a football program for displaced children with a dedicated Socio Emotional learning focus.
Art By Gekko Students
We’re always looking for talented educators and volunteers.
Sponsorship through Monthly Giving
- School supplies for new students
- A healthy snack every day
- Safe transport to and from school
- New materials for our courses
- Field trips and outings for our students
- Prizes and rewards for our student achievement
- Support our volunteer teachers
- Help with the cost of exhibitions and special events for our students
- Examination fees for students