An award-winning subscription box service that teaches children about the wonders of the world is taking its adventures on the road by launching classes and clubs around the region.
Geo Journey, based at the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), has earned a huge fanbase with children across the UK who receive monthly explorer kits to help them discover new countries and cultures. Subscription numbers soared further during lockdown, as homeschooling parents looked for new and innovative ways to keep children engaged in learning.
Now the company, which is run by sisters Christina Armstrong and Fiona Waistell, has recruited Rachel Shanks to help deliver classes for pre-school age children and after school clubs for youngsters aged four to nine.
Sessions will be arts and crafts-based and themed around a different country each week, with lots of interactive elements to bring geography to life.
Founder Christina said: “We have had such fantastic feedback from our subscription boxes and we know teachers and parents have been using them with great success. That sparked the idea to develop a way to deliver the content live and in person.
“We’ve worked with Rachel to develop fun and lively sessions that really grab the children’s attention.
“Geography can sometimes be considered a bit of a dry subject but it has the potential to ignite such excitement and imagination. We’ve been waiting for COVID-19 restrictions to ease and now we can’t wait to get out there to meet our little explorers in person.”
The Geo Journey sessions will feature the much-loved subscription box mascots Geo the owl and Atlas the Labrador puppy, with each class starting with a letter explaining the duo’s most recent explorations. Children will receive a passport that will be stamped after each session, which will include dressing up, snacks and activities inspired by the country of the week.
Rachel, who has over ten years’ experience of teaching in primary schools, will launch the first classes in Newcastle in June and further sessions will be rolled out in the Sunderland and South Tyneside areas soon after. The move is part of the company’s longer-term business plan to franchise the live sessions.
Geo Journey was set up by Christina six years ago and after running from a home-based office, the business moved to a dedicated work space at the North East BIC.
Continued growth and accolades including a prestigious MadeForMums gold award, and the Women in Education award at the Wearside Women in Business Awards means the sisters are now preparing to take on a second unit.
Fiona said: “The great thing about being at the BIC is the flexibility to move as we grow and diversify the business. This is especially important for businesses who are adapting to the impact of the pandemic and might need to scale up or down over the coming months.
“Knowing that we can move into a bigger office or take on a separate storage unit when the time comes, takes away the headache of finding new premises and changing our address.”
For more information about the work spaces and support available at the North East BIC visit ne-bic.co.uk or call 0191 5166200.
• Geo Journey’s first live session will run on Wednesday, 23 June from 1-2pm at Great Park Community Centre, Newcastle. The four-week term is aimed at pre-school aged children.