An early morning of outdoor activities for 40 pupils from the six Venetian schools
participating in the project: thus officially kicking off the project “Kindergarten of the Lagoon” – “Kindergarten of the Lagoon”, wanted by the Prada Group and Unesco and presented last May. For this first “outdoor education experience” which coincided with the International Day of Education, the pupils of the kindergartens met on the island of Torcello; with them Lorenzo Bertelli, head of Corporate social responsibility of the Group
Prada, the representatives of Unesco Vladimir Ryabinin, Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores and Francesca Santoro, and local institutions with Massimiliano De Martin, councilor for urban planning, environment and private construction and Laura Besio, councilor for educational policies of the Municipality of Venice .
The open dialogue with schools and families aimed at actively involving the children – the promoters explain – was fundamental for the definition of the program and for its implementation, and likewise the direct relationship with the Municipality of Venice and the territory was decisive for the success of the project. The Municipality of Venice has made available a vaporetto and a tram dedicated to the transfer of children, while the Emilia Bosis Foundation has lent the spaces of its villa on the island of Torcello for the first cycle of lessons.
The lesson program of the Asilo della Laguna is based on the principles of outdoor education, a didactic approach whose pillars are experiential learning, the environment and the well-being of the subjects involved, with the aim of creating a bond between children and the Venetian lagoon ecosystem. At the basis of the project is the idea that the Kindergarten of the Lagoon can help children better understand the ocean and the central role it plays in sustainable development.
In addition to placing nature at the centre, this project aims to enhance the traditions and culture of Venice which, together with its lagoon, is a UNESCO heritage site and a symbol of climate change. The didactic plan aims to contribute to the development of children and their learning processes, gradually leading them to be interested in the observation of fauna and flora and to discover the characteristics they have in common. It is also an accessible way – explain the organizers – to discover a love for the natural sciences.
The open-air lessons cover various thematic areas such as the relationship between plants, animals and the natural elements of the lagoon, their characteristics, similarities and differences. Children will explore the beaches, learn through drawing, collaborative games and small scientific experiments, to recognize and enhance the lagoon habitat, to one day become “ambassadors” and “spokespersons” of this heritage.