Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support

by Caritas Austria
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Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Caritas Lerncafe - Free learning support
Jun 1, 2021

Covid-19 and the impact on the Caritas Lerncafes

Remote support at the Lerncafes (c)Caritas
Remote support at the Lerncafes (c)Caritas

Like all educational institutions, the Caritas Lerncafés had to close down during the lockdown measures in Austria most of the time during 2020 as well as the beginning of 2021. Physical learning with the children and young people was not possible over most of the time. However, the staff and volunteers of the Lerncafés quickly adapted and found alternatives in order to stay close to the students despite social distancing measures. The clear goal was to continue the support for children and adolescents facing absolute unprecedented times.

The dedicated Lerncafé colleagues were available to the children and parents at all times by phone, email or other digital media tools (e.g. Zoom, etc.). Some Lerncafés have arranged fixed learning appointments with the children by phone and were in regular contact to solve learning tasks together and to work out new learning methods. The telephone was an important communication tool, as not all children had a laptop or an internet connection and therefore found it particularly difficult to cope with the demands of home schooling. Some Lerncafés also created support folders for sensory perception training, as this area should also continue to be supported in addition to the school requirements.

Beautiful successes in challenging times

In 2020 about 2000 children and adolescents were supported at 56 Caritas Lerncafés all over Austria. Despite all the challenges with school closures and home schooling, remote support for the Lerncafé kids proved to be highly successful – and welcomed by our students. In total 96% of the Lerncafé participants successfully completed the respective school level and could advance to the next class. More than 950 volunteers supported the employees at the Caritas Lerncafés.

How big the demand for such free learning support really is in Austria can be seen on the waiting list for free Lerncafé places. Currently almost 1000 children and youth are desperately waiting to receive learning support within the Caritas Lerncafés.

What does the Lerncafé support mean for children

An 11-year-old Syrian girl has been in Austria for about a year. She attends grade 1 of a NMS (new middle school) and has been in a Lerncafé in St. Pölten since spring 2020. The language barriers of the child and the parents were very big at the beginning. The parents described the girl as very inquisitive and as one who learns very easily. As the girl had very little German language at the beginning, the team hoped that they could help her in the Lerncafés and that the communication between the learning facilitators and the child would be reasonably successful. To achieve that the Lerncafé included a trained DAF teacher (DAF = Deutsch als Fremdsprache; German as foreign language) as a volunteer who was able to support the child well in her learning. They not only worked intensively on homework together, but also went through certain DAF topics week by week. The volunteer even took private practice utensils for the girl to the learning café. The girl was extremely inquisitive, very motivated and ambitious - she often asked questions and always made sure she did the tasks correctly. She talked a lot with the Lerncafé team and the children and also regularly asked them if she was pronouncing words correctly, what article the noun had and what certain things were called. She often emphasized that she would like to speak even better German and constantly asked for practice sheets for home. Thanks to the great commitment of the volunteers and the ambition of the child, immense learning progress was quickly achieved. In the meantime, she can conjugate verbs in all tenses – after almost not being able to communicate in German at all one year ago. The girl's parents are also very eager to learn German quickly and well and are very grateful for the support in the Lerncafé.

Remote support at the Lerncafes (c)Caritas
Remote support at the Lerncafes (c)Caritas
Covid measures at the Lerncafe (c)Caritas
Covid measures at the Lerncafe (c)Caritas

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Organization Information

Caritas Austria

Location: Vienna - Austria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @CaritasOsterreich
Project Leader:
Andreas Jagersberger
Vienna, Vienna Austria
$625 raised of $60,000 goal
 
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