The project, co-funded by the European Union (FEI, action n.4 / year 2010), read the role of school as central part for the education of all citizens
A2/A4 – La scuola formato famiglia,a project co-funded by the European Union (FEI, Action 4/Year 2010) highlights the fundamental role played by schools as the center of training for the entire citizenry, and helps the foreign residents of the City of Aquila tragically struck by the earthquake of 2009: if they are unable to attend training courses, then the school will come to them, thanks to the natural role of mediation played by the new generations. Teachers and students join forces to make home delivery not only of language, culture and technology – the keys to complete integration – but also learning tools and solidarity in order to combat suspicion and intolerance.
- Fondazione Mondo Digitale
- Istituto Comprensivo San Demetrio Ne’ Vestini
- The Sirentina Mountain Community
The Project’s title suggests the action’s strategic idea:
- A2 is the level of knowledge of the Italian language required for a foreigner to obtain a stay of residence in Italy according to the Integration Agreement. “Foreign Residents’ Responsibilities: acquire basic knowledge of the Italian language (Level A2) and sufficient knowledge of Italian civil culture and life, with particular regard to national health service, schooling, social services, labor, tax requirements, parental rights and responsibilities in the education of minors, and the organization of public institutions”.
- A4 is the page size (21 x 29.7) used by kids to print the pages to be sent out for “home-schooling” that go into the hands of the parents and foreigners who cannot attend training courses.
- The Family-size school is based on the inter-generational learning model. The teaching effort by the young teacher personalizes training by calibrating it to the needs of the individual student/adult. This proves to be a winning model especially in training areas that include the transmission of values, dialogue, and the sense of belonging to a community among their objectives.
Six “F. Rossi” middle school classes were involved in the following activities:
- The ideation and creation of teaching materials for parents and foreign residents unable to attend local training courses: the learning modules were oriented to the achievement of A2 level of knowledge of the Italian language, greater knowledge of Italian culture and the nations of origin of newcomers to Italy, practical pages on fundamental aspects of daily life, guide to online services available for foreign citizens.
- With contributions from the parents of foreign minors, the students prepare material on their nations of origin to be shared with their Italian classmates and members of other foreign communities.
- The students print the teaching material, adapt it as required, and then deliver it every week to the parents and neighbors in an attempt to reach the more isolated families and women.
- Students and teachers organize 3 meetings every year for listening comprehension and conversation tests.
- Students and teachers prepare an intercultural blog that documents the various phases of the project and promotes inter-cultural dialogue.
- Students and teachers organize video-conferences and public events open to everyone.
- Students and teachers create synergy with the other projects launched by the school.
- Students and teachers work closely with local associations for the involvement of the greatest number of citizens.
- In respect of other important deadlines, students and teachers set up itinerant Internet points to offer foreign residents assistance in complying with online procedures.
- To reinforce the key role of the school in training and educating the entire citizenry;
- To increase conflict-mediation abilities in teaching/training personnel;
- To train the new generations in solidarity, civil commitment, and volunteer work;
- To raise the awareness of the importance of inter-cultural dialogue in the classes through the development of an operating literacy plan;
- To promote social cohesion throughout the community;
- To promote dialogue and constructive comparison between people of different ethnic origin;
- To develop home schooling dedicated above all to foreign residents with mobility problems caused by poor public transport and distance.
Inter-generational and inter-cultural mediators – The new generations can play a crucial role in families as the most natural mediators between digital culture and e-government services (many administrative procedures that involve foreign residents are already digitalized) and Italian culture as bridges between the welcoming nation and the country of origin.
Conflict solvers – despite the fact that differences in ethnic origin can be the cause of conflict, these young women and men all have to live together in the classroom, and the experience is usually rich in cooperative and cultural stimulation and one to which they can testify to with their families as young peace ambassadors who have acquired an ability to communicate naturally with people of different cultures.
The school as the center of knowledge – the teaching material is prepared and the project’s blog is updated at the school’s multimedia laboratory. Once a week during the school year, the laboratory is already open to the public for the Grandparents on the Internet course and computer literacy courses for adults and the elderly. The more long-term objective of the action is the active involvement of the entire community of foreign residents in the planning of the courses and the respective training activities using the laboratory’s information technology tools.
The expanded community – new technologies permit video-conference connections at zero-cost for the greater involvement of the twinned schools, agencies, and institutions that have contributed to the reconstruction of the City of Aquila, a solidarity project that also received help from the “Abruzzesi Around the World” Association.
The innovative aspects:
- Training with support from new technologies,
- Intergenerational leaning model for the distribution of strategic integration skills throughout the territory,
- The promotion of a network of young “knowledge volunteers” able to carry the school into the homes of people far away,
- The monitoring method chosen (Real Time Evaluation),
- The planning of the action as a model of social innovation capable of including among its beneficiaries not only its direct benefit receivers but also the entire community thanks also to the construction of hybrid alliances throughout the territory (schools, local agencies, non-profit associations, foreign residents’ communities. etc.).
Attendance certificates were awarded to all the students who so successfully filled the role of intercultural and intergenerational mediators at the project’s closing event (June 30, 2012).