To date, eight schools and 383 children and their families, in Greece (Thessaloniki, Alexandroupolis & Athens), completed the mission of becoming FAST Heroes. As FAST Heroes they were trained in class to identify stroke symptoms and seek help by dialing 999. Yet as the debate about the value of staying home during this pandemic heated, it raised big questions for the local implementation team from the Department of Educational and Social Policy at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Greece with the Principal PI Assoc Professor Hariklia Proios, PhD CCC-SLP, a member of the Schools for Health in Europe Network Foundation (SHE). After some discussions we agreed to seek new ways of implementing the program during these times in digital form. Given that quarantine lockdown also keeps children away from their loved ones, such as their grandparents, it seemed like an opportunity for children to show them how much they love and care about them. At the same time, children are trained to form a mature and responsible attitude in matters of health, which will accompany them for the rest of their lives and will make them responsible citizens.
Our solution was to transform the in-class program into a series of 5 videos with a duration of 15 minutes each. Parents were asked to register on the website www.fastheroes.com first and then watch the videos in the same sequence the program was developed for in-class implementation. The videos contain a variety of interactive image and sound combinations, such as digital storytelling, handcraft, painting, games, missions, etc.
The pilot included 33 children from ages 3-9 from various cities of Greece (Chalkida, Eleftheroupolis, Kastoria, Katerini, Naousa, Patra, Piraeus, Thessaloniki and now including Cyprus (Limassol and Nicosia)). As part of the pilot, parents were asked to send a photo after following each session to show the implementation of the home activities. The team was delighted to see the resourcefulness of these families and excitement they have in learning the symptoms of stroke. Below we share some photos from our little FAST Heroes in quarantine taking part in our digital pilot version of the program.
As a result of the success of this digital pilot the video campaign was launched to the families across Greece in partnership with KIDOT festival.
We hope that FAST Heroes can bring families together during this time.