"Go Alive - European Initiative for Youth Empowerment, Mindfulness and Wellbeing"
Department of Management Science and Technology, University of Western Macedonia
Municipality of Kozani
Charitable association “Kozani Children's Home “Saint Stylianos”
4/. Informal group of young people “Greek Odysseuses” https://greekodysseuses.wordpress.com
Long-term positive social change requires investing in youth. We will support gifted kids with fewer opportunities to reach their full potential through evidence-based workshops and enrichment activities, addressing local issues.
Our series of seminars will empower parents and teachers with cutting-edge educational practices.
A resourceful web portal and handbooks distribution will guarantee the sustainability of our initiative's impact and its outreach to more students, families and teachers.
Kozani and neighbouring rural municipalities, Western Macedonia Region, north-western Greece.
Western Macedonia is a disadvantaged region, ranking 3rd in Europe in youth unemployment (54% vs 15% EU average, Eurostat, 2020). It’s also among the less dynamic areas in terms of research, technological development and innovation activities. Unlike the large urban centers, the area lacks extra-curricular opportunities for bright children. These are the most capable of making an impact as active citizens, especially in an area where the coal-based economy raises lots of environmental concerns. All these stress the need for young generations to lead a social change, an endeavour which is difficult to bear alone. They need support to develop the 21st century skills such as leadership, critical thinking, emotional intelligence, collaboration, creativity, etc, in order to realize this change.
Equal educational opportunities are at the core of democratic principles. Our idea is to provide development opportunities for bright adolescents, similar to the ones that are found in large urban centers. Moreover, we plan to funnel their energy and enthusiasm towards the implementation of team projects, which address local issues and strengthen community bonds. These hands-on meaningful experiences will help them to further develop their soft skills, and build trust to their potential to lead the social and environmental change their community needs. Our project’s focus on tolerance, respect for diversity, and other core community values, combined with their newly developed essential skills, will further facilitate their successful engagement in public life.
We’ll target underchallenged bright adolescents often neglected in schools, selected via open calls and teacher recommendations according to the broad view of giftedness, defined as the combination of
-above average ability in any field
We will also assist their families to better understand their kids’ unique needs and present research-based ways to support them.
We will help schools learn to identify giftedness, to accommodate gifted children in the classroom through best practices in instruction, and incorporate soft skills directly into the curriculum.
We plan to benefit directly at least 100 children, 200 parents, 200 teachers and indirectly hundreds of local educators and their students via the promotion of our web portal and handbooks.
1 Design workshops based on the Enrichment Triad Model, that encourages kids’ creative productivity by exposure to various topics and trains them to apply advanced content and methodology to areas of interest
2 Build a web platform to back the project with resources for students, parents & educators
3 Update teachers on the current definition of giftedness and research-based best practices for developing students' soft skills
4 Reach out to schools and partners to select students
5 Roll out weekly student workshops, enriched with real world projects implementation, field trips, eminent local speakers
6 Hold pre and post-project meetings with families for general and child specific pedagogical guidance
7 Create a handbook of good practices on gifted education for schools and families
Following completion of the program, students will have gained significant skills and confidence in them, as research proves. Local outreach initiatives will both strengthen community bonds and help adolescents build trust in their potential to play an active role towards community progress.
Benefited parents will be able to better understand their children’s needs, leading to improved family relations. They will also feel empowered to implement their new knowledge after the project.
Local teachers will be trained in how to foster soft skill development and better teach gifted students.
Rich educational resources provided in the webportal and the handbook will be valuable tools in the hands of interested students, educators and parents, ensuring further outreach of our project’s impact.
Democracy can be significantly strengthened when focusing both on its "people" part (demos), by including more people in decision making, and on the "power" part (kratos), by empowering them. Our idea encourages young people from Western Macedonia, Greece, to become among others politically active long before they get to vote, starting at a local level. Our world is full of charismatic youngsters that have an eloquent voice resonating deeply with their generation, like Malala Yousafzai on the universal right to education. Our initiative aims to highlight the talents of young people and support them to leverage their strengths, in order to prepare the ground not only for local progress, but also for a better collective European future.
We are excited to work on this meaningful project that will have a positive impact in our region. Having dealt with initiatives involving young people, we are well aware of the multiple returns when investing in these ages.
Our experienced local partnership, our individual educational skills and field knowledge, combined with our long civic engagement, will ensure a solid head start and promising outcomes for the project. We know that change doesn’t come spontaneously, so we want to contribute with our initiative to the collaborative efforts for making Western Macedonia a better place to live and Kozani a supportive city. We aspire to open doors for promising youth from every background, keeping always in mind that every child is charismatic in its own way.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Project management 14000€
Scientific coordination 14000€
Workshop curriculum development and implementation 25200€
Space Costs 2520€
Travel costs 2800€
Web platform 2300€
Handbook development and printing 1500€
Final Event 300€
Other expenses 1800€
The difference between the requested funding and the total budget will be covered with the support of our partners, funding from European Solidarity Corps and our personal time contribution
Unforeseen issues regarding the implementation of similar projects for bright adolescents that other teams have undertaken.