Civic education, Environment and sustainability

The G R E E N schoolyard

Environmental lab – Eco-awareness for children

Creators

Who is behind this?

Anastasia Staicu

Asociatia SNK

https://www.ecologos.ro/

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

Teaching for a greener future and bringing children closer to nature is our goal. Our incentive is to raise awareness on already happening ecological issues by embarking schoolchildren in fun tailored workshops about the environment, suitable for all key stages of education. Outdoor learning activities mean a vote to further a positive impact on our planet.The project encourages free access to essential information such as ecological measures in a democratic society.

Where will your project idea take place?

We focused on 4 small cities: Giurgiu, Tulcea, Ramnicu Valcea and Bran.

What is the local challenge?

Even though there is an increasing level of interest in environmental education, Romania made small steps into applying concrete measures to mitigate the impact of human activities on the environment. The impacts of climate change on agriculture, forestry, water management and human settlements are a growing concern at a local and national level. As part of this issue, environmental education is not mandatory in the current national curricula, at primary and secondary level. We aim to compensate for the children’s lack of formal education on this topic. We are doing this through experiential activities as well as learning-by-doing. The activities are focused on local issues, which enable the children and their teachers to act on environmental threats and problems in their local community.

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

We organize the educational activities around a local issue, identified by the participants, which will give them the opportunity to take action on a specific and relevant topic in their local community.
The dedicated workshops enhance a better understanding of the effects of human activity on the environment. The initiative works towards the welfare of community members, creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, and encourages individual actions for common wellbeing. Children will feel more responsible for the common good and the surrounding nature. The workshops are not only stimulating the children’s interest in nature but also are meant to increase their focus on responsible behavior.

Who are you doing it for?

500 schoolchildren (aged 6-16 years old) will join the activities during our project. We focused on four small cities in Romania, characterized by high biological diversity but facing economic challenges: Giurgiu and Tulcea located in the Lower Bassin of Danube River, Bran and Râmnicu Vâlcea located inside Southern Carphatians Mountains.
The project will be organized in cooperation with municipal libraries, museums and schools in order to promote an active educational model that can be replicated in school practice and therefore to increase participation in community action.

How do you plan to get there?

Our teaching methods consist of learning by playing and direct experience, amusing experiments, fun educational activities about climate, small science experiments.
We will organize 5 different workshops in each town. The main topics that will be addressed during activities: Where do the day-to-day products come from? What is the point in recycling? Can local nature feed me?What can I do for my community? These questions find an answer and a practical application in day-to-day life.
We will use an educational kit made of visuals, charts, games and other teaching materials that will be arranged in learning stations on the eco-playground.The workshops are supported by a mobile fast folding-frame outdoor projection screen or smart boards that ensure interactivity while keeping 2 m distance.

What are the expected results?

Children’s awareness of the environment: more children would have learned that our home is not just the house we live in, but also the place/ town we live in.
Children are expected to learn new behaviors for a sustainable lifestyle such as separate waste collecting, buying local food, reducing plastic use and saving energy and natural resources.
The ambition is to encourage thoughtful contact with the natural world, to enter a long-term dialogue with the future generations about our common home.
Qualitative measures instead of quantitative ones and practice over theory might just be the right recipe for enhancing active citizenship in Romania.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

A mutually shared purpose builds up a stronger community. Operating actively in communities might be a good answer for restoring a special sense of belonging and responsibility towards the other and the environment.
We bring together most dear two values: education and the environment. Strong motivation and a fair process of education drive change.
Bringing fair and transparent information to children sharpen the role and responsibility of the children not only in their community, making them aware and acting upon an informed status. Like most of the educational activities, the workshops are an occasion of widening personal decision-making, promote and influence change in the community.

What is your story?

At Ecologos, our goal is to help individuals understand the impact they can have on the environment and start implementing the change themselves. We organize eco-trainings with children in schools, during festivals, cultural events such as International Parking Day or during running events organized in natural areas. We have also developed a course programme for companies that aim to reduce their ecological impact. Seneca Publishing House, another project of SNK Association, is the first green publishing house in Romania. It publishes books about ecology and the environment by using recycled paper, other eco-friendly materials and paper from FSC sources. We calculate the amount of CO2 emissions and we plant trees to reduce the impact of books printing.

€ 45000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 45000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Expenses for 6 months project (on average 5 workshops/month)

Outdoor Entertainment Gear and media: 12.000 EUR
Event logistics: 4000 EURO
Office supplies for workshops material: 3.000 EUR
Books to share with the participants: 5.000 EUR
Marketing expences: 5000 EUR
Travel & accommodation expenses: 4.000 EUR
Personnel costs (2 x 6 months): 12.000 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

Innovation ideas, Improvement proposals
What would you make different?
Which improvements and actions in the educational or ecological field have the most effect in your country? What would you like to experience in an educational workshop?

Team

Iulia Enache

alexandra.teleuca

MonicaSerban

Anastasia Staicu

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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