Education and research

I Care about my City

Civic education & Urban exploration Kit for children ages 4-8 in Romania

Creators

Who is behind this?

Alma Cazacu

Grow Up Romania

https://growupromania.ro/

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

The project "I Care about my City" fills the missing school curriculum of civic education for preschoolers and primary school children. It comes to the aid of parents and educators in starting conversations with the little ones about the city in which they live and teaches them the rules of their community through play.
Urban Exploration Kit “I Care about my City” will be a box that contains information and activity cards suitable for children aged 4 to 8 years.

Where will your project idea take place?

Bucharest, Constanta, Iasi, Cluj, Brasov, Timisoara, Suceava, Craiova, Ploiesti, Sibiu, Galati

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

Civic involvement. We want to show children how the city works, what are its rules and how to take care of the place they inhabit. Urban spaces are affected by problems whose solutions are about educating citizens: green spaces and playgrounds vandals, sidewalks and pedestrian crossings blocked by cars, dog poo in public spaces. Civic Education officially begins in the 3rd grade. But the little ones are influenced by the environment in which they live from the first contact with it, the sense of belonging to a local community is created from an early age. Proactive information and citizenship education are at the core prevention and can change long-term mindsets and are more effective if they start earlier.

Who are you doing it for?

We set out to distribute 11,000 kits nationally: 6,000 in Bucharest 5,000 and in 10 other big cities in Romania with many children (Constanta, Iasi, Cluj, Brasov, Timisoara, Suceava, Craiova, Ploiesti, Sibiu, Galati). In Bucharest, the distribution will be provided by the Grow Up Romania, and in the country with the help of local partners: others NGOs, civic groups, community foundations, teachers involved in the community. Along with the 500 kits for their city, they will also receive a toolkit with tips and related civic education activities for children, which will encourage the development of the city-specific project. Total Target: 276,000 children, (urban environment) of which we propose to reach 4% of them in the first phase of development of the project (11,000 kits).

How do you plan to get there?

To give you a better idea of the project status, here are the completed stages:
Research, discussions with parents and educators
Dialogues with formal and non-formal educators, but also with parents
Adapting the materials following the feedback received
Organizing an online event dedicated to Education Early Civics Prototype development for the “I Care about my City” kit: visual identity kit, design, texts and activities for a series of cards in the kit.

And we are still in development with:
Co-opting a long-term partner for complete development of the project
Inclusion of the "I Care about my City" kit in the plan social responsibility
Production, distribution and communication of the Kit in 3-6 months from the confirmation of the financial support
Receiving feedback & organizing talks about early civic education and urban living issues for families with children
Evaluation and communication of results after 1 year from the implementation

What are the expected results?

Firstly there will be a much larger group of civic aware citizens, hopefully tens of thousands. Out of this large group we hope to see more small scale civic initiatives (e.g. groups of people pressuring the cityhall to make safer sidewalks for their children) around the country. These results will show in time, but just at the end of the project, after 1 year, we hope to have many of the target public (children, parents & educators) knowing more about their city and getting involved in policy making. We will pick a group of the kit users and keep in touch with them over time to get info about the usage and influence of the kit in their lives.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

Our project is aimed at early civic education - planting seeds in children’s minds about how to take better care of the cities they inhabit. We will provide info about how the city works (from urbanism, to water services, parks, local administration etc.) & activities about civic involvement (like creating a poster as a solution for awareness about an issue in the child’s neighborhood). Through the themes we will address we also aim indirectly at adults who will be reminded or will find out things about caring for their city while learning side-by-side with their children. In our previous experience with the Citizen’s Kit (a tool designed for adult use) parents involved their children in their actions for a better city. Knowing this, we believe the new kit will function similarly.

Why is this idea important to you?

The core team:
DANIELA OSTACIE Project manager 10 years experience in project coordination
IULIA GROVES Designer 12 years experience in graphic design and visual identity
CRISTINA CIOABA Communication 12 years experience in customer service and 6 years in online projects
ALMA CAZACU Local partnerships 15 years post-production video experience, 11 years experience in cultural & social NGOs

We have all traveled and observed life with children in other cities in Romania so we bring our experiences and professional know-how to this project. We were all born & brought up in cities, and also have gathered references of how it could be better from abroad or our own ideas. Also we are connected to parents, educators and NGOs from the other cities we plan to bring the kit to.

€ 51000,-

Total budget

€ 35000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Production (print + packaging) 33000 EUR
Distribution (courier + post) 1500 EUR
Promotion (online ads, radio, outdoor screens tbd) 2000 EUR
Personnel costs (plus taxes) 14000 EUR
Administrative costs 1000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to know about other similar projects done in other countries and how they worked in time.
If there aren’t any similar projects, we are open to suggestions for children activities which would help them care more about their cities.

Team

Grow Up Romania

DanaOstacie

Idea created on April 25, 2021

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