Six schools implement Service-Learning projects in the rural area (Part 2)
Schools from Hotar (Bihor county), Dragu (Sălaj county), Sânpaul (Cluj) county, Budacu de Sus (Bistrița-Năsăud county), Moșna and Alțîna (Sibiu county), bring students who get involved in IMPACT clubs closer to meetings focused on democracy, active citizenships, human/children’s rights, discrimination or social inclusion. Students plan and apply activities that promote social inclusion among peers as well as in the community.
In the program Inclusion means learning for everyone, students develop community service projects (Service-learning projects), where they involve their peers, members of the community and parents alike – all guided by the teacher leaders of IMPACT clubs.
Lower secondary school “Ioan Alexandru” from Sînpaul – Younger siblings
The Minions Impact Club in Sînpaul creates the “Younger sibling” project, coordinated by the club leaders Rodica Marchiș, Sandra-Bianca Bocșa, Maximiliana-Theona Mariș and Augustin Merdan.
The project involves 30 students, aged 7 to 11 years old, alongside 15 students from lower secondary school that come from socially disadvantaged environments (from Romanian and Roma communities), as well as others that come from needy or dysfunctional families or who have parents working abroad. Some children encounter financial difficulties and cannot always come to class, they have learning problems in undertaking their tasks and in adapting to the school environment. These students are likely to drop out of school and they risk illiteracy.
The project joins NGO Go Free and the youth initiative group from the Sânpaul commune, the World Vision Foundation – counseling for students and parents by special education teachers, the town hall of Sânpaul, teachers from Lower secondary school “Ioan Alexandru”, healthcare professionals from the medical clinic of Sânpaul.
The tangible results are the following: 30 students from primary school the 15 students from lower secondary school get help to successfully integrate in the school, 50 parents will receive counseling to understand the role of the school and the role of education in the harmonious development of their children. The target groups participate in common activities (parents, students, teachers, etc.) which increases the level of cohesion in the community.
A fund and donation (stationery, clothes, food) raising is organized in the implementation of the project, to help children who are financially disadvantaged. There are common activities for parents are students, in order to do homework in pairs. “Younger sibling” involves volunteers and IMPACT club members “adopting” a student who has difficulties learning, a “sibling” they help with homework once a week.
The project also includes a School for Parents, with presentations and workshops for parents so that they can help children with homework: “How can I help my child”, “What do I do for my child”. There are also hikes aimed at getting to know the touristic attractions in the commune and fun games in the school park. On the 1st of June, IMPACT club members and volunteers prepared gifts for children through “The joy of giving”.
Lower secondary school No.1 from Dragu – Equality through playing
The “A new life” IMPACT club initiates the project “Equality through playing”, with the coordination of the IMPACT club leaders Nemeș Mihai Cătălin, Munteanu Andreea, Bene Veronica, Dobocan Ionela.
The issue that the IMPACT club members wish to tackle is discrimination among students, parents and the community. They want to improve the community park, by adding benches, thrash cans, flowers and by reconditioning slides, swings and adding informative signboards containing details about discrimination and tolerance. They also want to organize various activities with members of the community on the topic of discrimination and more.
Through this project, students learn that there are problems in their community that arise based on ethnical differences. These issues are manifested through offensive language, resentments and especially through the fact that children are somehow forbidden from playing with children of a different ethnicity.
The club members aim to underline human values through this service-learning project, encouraging tolerance, communication, awareness of differences and similarities between children and the diverse world that surrounds them. In the implementation of this project, they want to benefit from team work and accepting opinions from all members of the community, regardless of ethnicity.
The beneficiaries are 100 students from Lower secondary school No.1 from Dragu, aged between 7 to 15 years old, 50 parents from the Dragu commune and the villages Adalin and Voivodeni, community members and 20 teachers from the aforementioned school.
Also, 100 students will know their rights and will learn to respect, to help and especially to share what they have with others, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, sex, age, and financial status. 50 parents will be involved in actions/workshops focused on antidiscrimination and reducing the number of discriminatory incidents among students and parents by 60%, as opposed to the previous percentage (30).
As far as the activities are concerned, there are certain fundamental workshops: cultivating the respect for law in the community, human/children’s rights, seminar on countering discrimination, on diversity and on inclusion. “Our community’s values” – artistic and cultural activity that promotes cultural diversity in the community.
Hotar Lower secondary school – Respect for diversity
The Number One IMPACT Club implements the service-learning project called “Respect for diversity”, with the coordination of the impact leaders Ilea Luminita-Maria and Pop Cristina.
The problem that the Number One IMPACT Club is trying to tackle is ethnical integration in the local community. In implementing the project, they learned that people in their community were confronted with religious discrimination, self-isolation from fear of verbal, physical psychical violence. Club members aim to promote human values, encouraging dialogue and tolerance among citizens through an increased degree of awareness in regard to differences and similarities among humans and an increased appreciation of the diversity of the world around them.
The project beneficiaries are 100 students from Lower Secondary School No. 2 from Țețchea, 50 students from Lower Secondary School No. 1 Hotar; 80 parents and grandparents from the villages Hotar, Țețchea, Telechiu; 4 primary school teachers at the No. 1 Primary school in Telechiu, 11 teachers from Lower Secondary School No. 2 from Țețchea and 8 teachers from Lower Secondary School No. 1 Hotar.
Activities in the project also included the topic of judicial education, “Cultivating respect for the law in our community”, the school drop-out prevention campaign: “Say NO to school drop-out!” from April to May, activities for the European rights and values presentation and promotion among youth, as well as the cultural and artistic even “Cultural values in our local community”.
In the future, students will be able to formulate opinions on inclusion, using concepts about civic rights and obligations; will build arguments and explanations regarding the project theme; will manifest adaptation and openness to change; will be able to evaluate information; will be able to appreciate everyone’s uniqueness; will manifest autonomy of thought and acceptance of differences and diversity. Local authorities from the Țețchea commune and parents were also involved in this project.
Service Learning or Learning through community service projects is a method that facilitates student learning by involving them in solving a real problem in their community (school, neighborhood, town, etc.). Supported by teachers, students identify needs of the community, they debate solutions, they unite for a common goal and act in the community. Students reflect and evaluate their progress, guided by their teachers.
This project is co-financed from the Program for Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship in Romania, financed by the EEA Grants 2014-2021 Inclusion means learning for everyone – Working together for an inclusive Europe.
European Economic Area and Norwegian Grants (EEA) represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in reducing social and economic disparities in the European Economic Area and in consolidating bilateral relations with the 15 beneficiary states from Eastern and Southern Europe and the Baltic states.