Impact clubs promote social inclusion
“Social inclusion means learning for all”. This is the title of the project that unites New Horizon Foundation and middle schools from Hotar (Bihor county), Dragu (Sălaj county), Sânpaul (Cluj county), Budacu de Sus (Bistrița-Năsăud county), Moșna and Alțîna (Sibiu county). The project title reflects our conviction regarding the essential significance of inclusion. The project contributes to increasing inclusion, and one way to do this is the activities of IMACT clubs in partner schools. These clubs develop community service projects for multicultural communities, that involve peers, as well as other members of the community, alongside parents.
IMPACT clubs are managed by teacher-leaders, knowledgeable in organizing learning through service-learning (learning through a community service), that empowers students to think and to create projects that are useful to the community, to work in teams, to take ownership. Therefore, the projects of the club serve the school community. Moreover, they actively involve students from the school who are not part of the club, as well as parents and other members of the community. This way, people from these multicultural communities can better communicate, get to know one another better, spend quality time together doing something useful for the progress of their community, and students are more motivated to learn in contexts that allow their efforts to be relevant – interactive, practical and useful.
What projects do the IMPAC clubs have planned for the second semester of the academic year 2019-2020?
At the „Aviator Ioan Sava” school from Alțîna, members of the GreenIMPACT club want to transform their school yard into an agriculturally-educational garden, with the aim of bringing forward the life of the farmer of Alțîna, who used to practice agriculture. The project activities will involve not only the school students, but also parents, local authorities, and students from other countries, from partner schools. This garden will host biology and technology lessons, local agriculture workshops, and picnics with produce from the garden.
At the lower secondary school S. L. Roth from Moșna, club members of the GreenIMPACT club will decorate the school yard with the help of parents, master craftsmen and local authorities. They will repair the school fence, set up benches, paint educational elements on the ground and plant flowers. With the help of the biology teacher, they will identify plants that bloom every season, and plant them so that there is always something in bloom, in order to create a relaxing space, with inviting smells. There will be reading, painting, music and physical education classes here. The drawings on the ground will allow students to have a space where they can play together, and they will be a resource for the physical education, music, and movement classes.
Students from the lower secondary school “Ioan Alexandru” from Sînpaul, members of the Minions IMPACT Club aim to bring to life stories, legends, folklore, traditional recipes specific to villages around the Sînpaul commune, craftsmanship that is no longer practiced, monuments and natural beauties. How will the achieve this? Through spoken word, in writing, in publications, online. They will hold a series of activities such as The Living Library, story time, with the involvement of local craftsmen, story tellers; they will organize hikes to Poiana Narciselor, Drumul lui Traian, but they will also have for instance creative writing workshops, after a treasure hunt.
At the lower secondary school No.1 from Dragu, members of the O Nouă Viață IMPACT club aim to rehabilitate the school building and yard, in order to create a pleasant and attractive learning environment. They will paint the school walls with key elements of different subject matters, they will decorate a reading hall for students, where there will be reading together events with parents and students. They will plant trees in the school yard, repair and paint the fence and they will build tables and benches from logs. At the same time, they will rearrange the sports hall and build a biology-chemistry lab – with the help of the Lego Club from Zalău and the After School Special IMPACT Club from the Mihai Eminescu high school of Cluj-Napoca – all of this with the involvement of all school students, teachers and parents.
At the lower secondary school from Budacu de Sus, the Micii Voluntari [Lil’ Volunteers] Club will decorate the creativity corner from the school yard, by adding wooden desks and benches, they will paint tires, plant flowers. They will hold reading together out loud activities and cultural and educational events there. They will also decorate and equip the library (that is not functional at the moment), transforming it into a relaxing and pleasant environment for reading and creative activities. They will involve students at the Arts High School in Bistrița in painting the library walls.
At the Hotar Lower secondary school, members of the Number One IMPACT club will establish a village museum. Alongside a curator from Muzeul Țării Crișurilor from Oradea, they will identify attractions that are representative to the local culture and will discover the cultural diversity of the area. Supported by parents, village elders and other leaders of the community, students will explore and mirror the cultural heritage of the commune. They also aim to collect information about past traditions, that they will present in various activities with a cultural and scientific dimension: The Living Library, sewing workshops, painting on wood and glass classes.
Unlike other times, when the club project where financially supported by New Horizons Foundation, the projects are now supported by the Administrative Council of every partner school: students from the club present their project to the school leadership and argue for the need of receiving support in the development of their project.
In the academic years of 2018-2020, IMPACT clubs hold their activities in the project “Inclusion means learning for all”, co-financed by the Program for Education, Scholarships, Apprenticeships and Youth Entrepreneurship in Romania, financed by the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The project – which aims to increase the capacity to increase the degree of social inclusion of schools from six villages from Transylvania – is coordinated by New Horizons Foundation, implemented in partnership with Schools from Hotar (Bihor county), Dragu (Sălaj county), Sânpaul (Cluj county), Budacu de Sus (Bistrița-Năsăud county), Moșna and Alțîna (Sibiu county), using a 360˚ that involves all factors contributing to quality education in a community.