The school I dream of

July 20, 2023 By 0 Comments

In the context of the second pilot phase of NEW ABC, 25 children from the kindergarten of Chloraka-Agios Nikolaos had the opportunity to see the actions carried out by other children in Italy. When their teacher, Katerina Constantinou, presented them with the digital book created by children of the second grade of the “Scuola Dante Alighieri” Primary School in Italy, they were excited and proposed the creation of their own digital book in which they would present themselves and describe the school they dream of! You see, the children had already had the experience of creating a printed storybook in previous lessons, which they could only share with their family. Hence, they thought a digital book was ideal, since they could send it to friends, family, and anyone they wanted, wherever they were, easily, instantly, and inexpensively.

The ideas included in the digital book of Italy were the basis for the development of the book by the children of the kindergarten of Chloraka. This activity aimed to empower the children’s voices, to support them to express ideas and suggestions based on their personal interests and, subsequently, to visually capture their ideas and suggestions. The children were also able to develop digital skills and gained confidence in their abilities.

Children and teachers alike decided to create a digital book titled “The ideal school – The school I dream of”. Immediately afterwards, they started photographing their school as it originally was.  Then, they tried to render the school visually. Following; through activities and collaboration, they answered the first question: What would you like to mention about yourself? The children started by sharing their favourite food, game, activity, animal, etc. and then tried to render them visually. This formed the first part of the book.

Subsequently, they worked around a second question: What is the ideal school for you? What do you dream your school to be like? A brainstorming session followed, and all the children had the opportunity to give their views and discuss with each other. When each child came up with an idea, they began to render it visually. Then each child photographed their drawings, and with the help of their teacher, they co-created their own digital pages, in which they presented themselves and the school they dream of. The children’s voices were recorded and incorporated into the pages of the digital book. The children were delighted to share the digital book with their family, friends and relatives. Of course, anyone who is interested will be able to access the book that the children made once the manual with the actions that took place in Cyprus with the support of the SYNTHESIS Center for Research and Education is completed.

All children participated in the creation of the digital book even if they did not speak Greek well or even if they had recently joined the class. Some of the ideas the children had to make their school better were to have more play areas like a football field, a basketball court, a castle, and lots of games like cars and Lego bricks. Many children even dream of a school that is clean, free of litter with lots of flowers and trees and a lush vegetable garden. In addition, there were suggestions from the children for a school with lots of books, balloons and a school where all the children go for a walk together, paint with watercolors outside in nature and dance.

In conclusion, this activity emphasized that every child is exceptional, unique and special. That each child has his or her own voice and that we need to give space, time and opportunities for active participation in the learning process so that all children are visible, and their voices and wishes are heard. After all, as many of the children confessed: “I love to hear my voice in our book!”