In a region classified as protected Natura 2000 area, the Ria de Aveiro, how protection of oceans and beaches is related to Bullying? What's in common? The project seeks to answer this through Plays created for children. The treasure is “Respect” as a essential/transversal value. This project seeks to communicate a message of conservation, enhancing this action with creativity, with intervention in varied areas of behaviour, interpersonal relationship, self esteem and transmission of values.
In a region classified as protected Natura 2000 area (Ria de Aveiro: PTCON0061) children have something to say about plastic problem in oceans, on beaches and particularly in the salt flats in the a area of the lagoon, in Aveiro, also known as “Portuguese Venice”. Respect is an essential and transversal formation value of an individual. There are those who believe that the current ecological crisis is at the heart of a cultural crisis. Education of values becomes fundamental to try to achieve a more balanced relationship between Man and Nature. “The real treasure of Pirates” uses art to raise awareness to some current environment and social problems. The main objective is to inspire children to act more responsibly with the oceans, beaches, but also in the prevention of Bullying in schools. Plays foment the literacy of the Oceans in parallel with the prevention of Bullying. The main characters are a band of pirates, who portray in their social and behavioral relationships, the fine line between friendly play and humiliation. The plot exposes different situations that help the child to reflect how anyone is prone to being bullied. It’s not enough to just be different or stand out, just someone's will to belittle them. At the same time, aggressions between people are related to aggressions to environment. The preschool’s children also participated in several campaigns to clean region's beaches, which culminated in the creation of art pieces using the collected plastic garbage to illustrate a children's book "Wave of Change". It's the story of a girl, that during a walk in the salt flats of the Ria de Aveiro, sees a Long Leg bird whose neck is trapped in a plastic bag. The book ilustrates the journey of a plastic bag in the oceansand, the dangers it can cause in the ecosystem. The book was published and distributed by students and the rest were sold. Funds for which were used to rehabilitate a classroom. The story was read in several schools in the region.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
The main objective is the prevention of aggressions between children and against the environment. The mediation strategy is using different art forms to raise awareness for two serious problems of society: environment aggressions (in particular, the problem of plastics in the oceans) and aggressions to others (bullying). Raise awareness and promote values such as Respect and social skills, with a view to promoting well-being and self-knowledge. Contribute to the construction of a critical children positioning facing aggressions against the environment and against people, transforming themselves into agents of change in their families and community. Alert for the consumption of unnecessary plastic and for the reassessment of priorities in terms of consumption. Raise awareness for the problem of marine litter, particularly plastics, encouraging a change in attitudes and behavior. Pirates, ships, sailors, treasures and the sea (oceans) come together in a unique way with the arts (in their various forms: theatre, literature, music and visual arts), to bring to life stories where imagination and creativity have come together in a dynamic and captivating project about sustainability of our Planet Earth. After performing some plays for the children of our preschool, we were invited to create a Play for the other schools on the council by CPCJ de Aveiro (Aveiro's Protection's Commission for Children and Young) which will be filmed by the regional television channel of the Escola Profissional de Aveiro (CanalCentral), to be posted in Youtube. There is a strong possibility that this initiative will be replicated in more schools of the country. If we win this prize, we want to produced a pedagogical resource (book and ebook for childreen based on the story Play) that will be available and can be reused in other initiatives/actions. Art is impactful and is a very playful and touching way to make children and adults aware of environmental and social problems.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
The project “The real treasure of Pirates”is sustained in using different artistic processes and had excelent impact on Preschoolers Children of Casa Vera Cruz, essencially in the way children can be envolved and communicated society problems. Because Art is also Education, but a very playful and pleasurable way of educating, it's possible to awaken reasoning, sensations and expressions, but also work problematic themes. We believe that creative strands and communication through art have the power to clarify and motivate people to take action and finally act against the problems that affect us all. During this process, we noticed that children were more involved, acquired content easily, developed creativity, expressed themselves more easily but also enjoy themselves and felt pleasure in the projects they developed. The children talked a lot about what they were doing at home, the parents showed interest and were also involved. The project connects environmental sustainability and the problem of plastic in the oceans with bullying, as both problems are based on a common problem that's the lack of empathy and respect for others and for the environment, culminating in the creation of illustrations made by students of 5/6 years, through the technique of painting, cutting, gluing, molding and/or others, using the plastic collected on the beach. All works were prepared to be presented in an exhibition for general community, but it had to be canceled due to the pandemic. However, 500 copies of the children's book were made and distributed by the children and it's available for sale at a very affordable price.
Please highlight how the project can be exemplary in this context
As we are located in a city surrounded by different marine ecosystems, with an unmistakable beauty of this valuable wetland, the municipality of Aveiro is recognized by the various nature statutes assigned, being part of the Natura 2000 Network. These are more than reasons to value, conserve and sustainably promote the vast natural heritage existing in this region. The project prioritizes playful strategies that are close to the children's universe: drawing, painting, singing, acting, modeling. Children are encouraged to express themselves and communicate their ideas, feelings and imagination. Children like to share their experiences, tell something and ask questions. The different forms of art, communication, expression are impregnated with possibilities that always lead to the development of autonomy. Playing with languages, children can expand and value their social and affective potential, also satisfying their interest in learning, thinking and acting. The project managed to involve also the parents and relatives, the community, the local population not only in cleaning the beaches but also in the Theater Play presentation and through reading the book "Wave of Change" in schools. The topics of bullying and environmental education make it possible to work inclusion themes, as the contact with different cultures and with diferent means of expression as music, theatre, dance, painting or drawing, gives the opportunity to grow surrounded by in a highly stimulating environment filled with new learning opportunities. The child develops in harmony with himself, with the world and with others, but also with respect for diversity. The children, despite being very young, managed to create magnificent illustrations, reusing different types of plastic found on the city's beaches and thus conveying a message of hope for a better world, sharing small everyday actions that we can all do, at all ages, to fight problems that belong to everyone.
Please highlight how this approach can be exemplary
The three dimensions of the New European Bauhaus prize were achieved in the project “The real treasure of the Pirates” by the combination of sustainability (through region’s beaches cleanup campaigns by children, the creation of a children’s book “Wave of Change”- the trip of a plastic bag that appear in the Ria de Aveiro and the incentive to reduce the use of plastic in our daily life). From an early age, children must be educated to attitudes of sustainability in favor of planet Earth. Playing with art, this goal is achieved in a playful and fun way. So, this way, we reach the second objective, the aesthetics (quality creative experiences and style through the creation of illustrations for the children's book with plastics collected from the beach: molding techniques, painting on canvas, collage; but also by the creation of stories for children that relates important themes of our society, like environment, citizenship, respect, sustainability, diversity, equality for all). The dimension of inclusion is worked through the bullying subject, also in a playfull way, throught the Theather Play, but also sustainability and preservation of ocean's biodiversity. Children with special educational needs or with specific physical characteristics fit into the profile of victims due to conflict-generating prejudices. From an inclusion perspective, the goal is for children to learn from an early age the respect for your difference. Bullies are created by society, not born with prejudiced ideas. This happens at an early age, so work in this area through social values should start from a very early age.The book is for sale at an affordable price. In addition, the pedagogical manual will be available in book or ebook format to be used by teachers, educators, psychologists, mentors , as well as the Play will be available in online format. The illustrations created by the students for the book “Wave of Change” can also be borrowed for exhibition.
The results obtained were the publication of 500 books “Wave of Change”, the production of several Children Plays that work content related to environment, sustainability and social values for 148 preschool's children from Casa Vera Cruz and a Theather Play to be presented for all schools interested in Aveiro: “The real treasure of Pirates (1500 children in two sessions).This Theather Play has already been delayed twice due to the pandemic but is now scheduled for April 21, 2022, with the support of the CPCJ of Aveiro, the Chamber of Aveiro and CanalCentral TV. There were several short videos for social networks to continue to raise awareness of the issue, even during the pandemic. In addition, the expected impacts on children were to create awareness of being a “citizen of the world” and to foment respect attitudes for the environment and good management/sustainability of resources, based on the notion that Nature is not inexhaustible; raising awareness of environmental care and treatment procedures, adapting attitude to behavior, as a way of acquiring skills to intervene in and with ecological awareness; the concept of biological diversity as a essential value of life. Raise awareness that there are Microplastics in salt, food, air and water, as they arise, change habits and focus on prevention. Understand the environmental impact of plastic waste on the food chain, encouraging changes in the consumption habits of children and families in relation to plastic. In addition to the environmental and ecological issue, it's important that children become aware of the need to preserve all spaces and materials, with respect for the common good and in a logic of not wasting resources. And respect for others, their vulnerabilities and abilities. Education plays an invaluable role in the pursuit of the SDGs. To create a world more just, peaceful and sustainable individuals and societies must be equipped and empowered by knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.
Please also explain the benefits that derived from their involvement.
As children are the youngest citizens, they are the ones, who for the longest, can participate and influence the future. The children are who best guarantee the sustainability of sustainable practices over time, in a constant exercise of global citizenship. Children and young people are central to a global appeal for participation and the school is essential to advertise social and environmental problems, inspire and encourage people to participate in the development of communities. Parents became more involved and motivated to collaborate when children are also involved and motivated in the projet. It's also important to say that we have created different resources (books and plays) that can be used by different school communities and entities, so themes and activities can be replicated in diferent school of the country. Our school had the collaboration of the Commission for the Protection of Children of Aveiro and the collaboration of the municipality in the production of the theater play "The real treasure of the Pirates": financial funds, organization, granting of auditorium. We also had the support of a professional school in Aveiro that was responsible for recording the play.
“The real treasure of Pirates” aimed to reduce the incidence of aggression against the environment through empathic awareness. The mediation strategy appears in the form of a theater, as a bridge to raise awareness of two pressing problems of society: aggression to the environment (in particular, the problem of plastics in the oceans) and aggression to others (bullying). In this way, it was intended to educate smal children to participate/collaborate in various problems, environmental and behavioral challenges they face on a daily basis and on their future, guided by an open, critical and reflective dialogue with those who closest to you (family members), fulfilling the UN agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): SDG4 –Quality Education, SDG11–Sustainable Cities and Communities, SDG13–Climate Action, SDG14- Conservation and sustainable use of oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, SDG15 –Protect life on land and Goal16–Significantly reduce all forms of violence and ensure responsible, inclusive promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development. Increasingly, children are growing up without the kind of experiences that lead to the development of social skills. . Putting themselfs in the place of the other through art helps them to reflect on these social and environmental issues (In place of the friend who is attacked, thinking in the animals whose ecosystem is destroyed, gain consciousness of the implication of the natural disasters...). The strategy of educating through art demonstrates powerful messages and it is these messages that validate and give cohesion to social and cultural attitudes. People learn through experience and children absorb more through demonstration than through the verbal messages. Art can promote reflection about their own strengths and weaknesses, their own thoughts, attitudes and even character. This self-reflection can be followed bywork to develop your unique talents and gifts.
Through this project we bring together two themes that apparently have little to do with each other. Putting together the prevention of Bullying and the problem of Plastics in the Oceans does not seem logical. However, both are based on an essential value for the formation of an individual: Respect. When we work on the issue of social behavior, to teach children to respect others, we must enhance their empathy. If the little ones are able to put themselves in the other person's shoes, they will know that being respectful is essential for everyone to feel good. In this way, we make the child see that there is another reality besides his own. The same is true in Environmental Education. Working on themes related to environmental education in a playful way, with the encouragement of exercises to put oneself in the other's shoes (whether that other is an animal, a plant or even the customization of an ecosystem) are essential in the process of building a citizen's conscience. And so, in a single project, we made small plays for children's theater for our preschoolers, which we then turned into a larger Play for be presented in the municipal auditorium for Aveiro school community. We started with beach cleaning activities and ended up making canvas paintings to illustrate a book related to ocean plastic problem. The book creation process since the construction of the story to the illustrations done with marine litter, developed several skills in children in the areas of performing arts, music, story creation, imagination and creative ability. We involved local people in the process and we distributed the book in the comunity, which was sold to raise funds to renovate a classroom. Likewise, an exhibition was prepared for the population, which was not held due because of the pandemic, but it was still possible to read the story in different elementary schools.
Please provide clear documentation, communication of methodology and principles in this context.
At the same time that it intends to make children grow up aware of the importance of contributing for the conservation of the Ocean - today seriously affected by the negative impacts of human action - this project alerts to the importance of Respect in all aspects of life. Whether this is Respect for Others or for the Environment. The methodology used in this project can be replicated in other contexts and adapted to different schools contexts, as soon as the pedagogical resourse will be available as a book/ebook. Likewise, the exhibition of paintings produced by children using marine litter can also be borrowed to be presented in other places/schools. The book “Wave of change” is available for sale and the Play will be available online, creating a greater impact and the possibility of reaching more audiences. The creation of this both pedagogical resources, the book "Wave of Change" and the Play "The real tresure of pirates", that are tools to support the development and implementation of intervention plans in the context of classroom for teachers, other technicians and educational agents. As soon as the video of the play recorded by the regional television Channel Central is available on youtube, the CPCJ of Aveiro will broadcast the same to other national commissions, which later disseminate it to schools across the country.
@Casa Vera Cruz, 2020
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