This last year has put our country, our communities and our families to the test, but it hasn't stopped the FA.C.E.-Farsi Comunità Educanti project from continuing to be a reference point in the four Italian realities in which it is present: even if in somewhat unusual ways, the activities dedicated to families, parents and children have never stopped.
A few weeks of forced suspension last March allowed the Lead Partner and the territorial representatives of Naples, Palermo, Reggio Emilia and Teramo to rethink and reorganize the 0-6 educational services exploiting all the potential of digital technologies: live streaming, web videos, social communities, dedicated online channels - one thousand, one hundred ways to continue being an educating community, even if at a distance.
But what is FA.C.E.?
The FA.C.E.-Farsi Comunità Educanti project - selected by the social enterprise Con i Bambini as part of the Fund to fight against educational poverty and entrusted to the Lead Partner Fondazione Reggio Children-Centro Loris Malaguzzi - has engaged since 2018 four difficult contexts on the national territory in Naples, Palermo, Reggio Emilia and Teramo to build places, networks and links that strengthen communities, starting with the promotion of quality education.
Started in autumn 2018 and actively taking off in 2019 and 2020, the FA.C.E. project has engaged over two thousand people in the pilot actions aimed at parents and children together. More than one thousand adults, including educators, teachers, psychologists, pedagogistas, parents, school heads, atelieristas, public administrators, and about 1,100 children up to the age of 6, both enrolled and not in educational services. These small intergenerational communities have acted together, around activities tailored to each territory and co-designed with families from the point of view of the network, the well-being and the educating community.
Free activities, beyond the hours of attendance at infant-toddler centers and preschools, which constitute experiences that can be replicated over time and in other places. Often on Saturday mornings, families, schools and experts have met for expressive workshops, courses, updates. The most diverse languages and themes have been explored, from music to digital technologies, from nutrition to infant massage. A way to get to know each other better between parents and children, between families, neighbourhood and school, in which the school has been able to play a role of connection between the various subjects of the neighbourhood and the institutions, health and social services of the area.
Becoming Educating Communities today
In Autumn 2020 the pilot services have restarted in mixed mode in Palermo with Ben-essere di Comunità and Orienta-menti, in Teramo with Piazze d'Incontro and in Reggio Emilia with Time Lapse and Cucina di Quartiere: all parent-child experiences have been redesigned in order to comply with all distancing regulations and carry on the activities in small groups with a limited number of participants.
Naples - The activities of FACE ZONE - suspended for a few months due to measures taken by the Government and the Campania Region to combat the spread of COVID-19 - came back to life (and with new color!) in January 2021.
Parents, grandparents and children have returned to re-experience the workshops designed to rediscover the beauty of growing together, uncovering the most diverse expressive languages in the three FACE ZONEs of the Ponticelli district: the central building of Istituto Comprensivo Marino Santa Rosa in via Volpicella, the complex of "Lotto O" in via Bronzi di Riace and the Remida Napoli headquarters in via Curzio Malaparte. From the exploration of waste materials, to storytelling, from digital technologies to natural materials: endless ways to cultivate the imagination of young and old alike.
The activities are once again suspended until a future date due to further restrictions imposed by the Campania Region.
Palermo - Thanks to the collaboration between schools, families, associations and the School Department of the Municipality of Palermo, last October the 0-6 year workshop activities of Ben-essere di Comunità resumed at Istituto Comprensivo Sperone-Pertini and at the headquarters of Associazione "Cuore che vede"; the initiative was held in person until mid-November and then moved online, due to restrictions imposed by the Government. An interesting news was the start of the second pilot action in the area with the launch of "Orienta-Menti", an innovative listening, training and information desk, but also a place where parents can meet, discuss and increase their awareness. Parallel to the meetings with the parents, workshops on expressive languages (clay and digital) were set up for children aged 0-6 together with expert educators.
Both activities will restart in person with a new cycle of free events in April 2021.
Reggio Emilia - Music, food, stories, body and emotions: these are just some of the expressive languages that were explored during the appointments of Time-Lapse in Reggio Emilia, restarted last November in mixed mode (some in person and some online) at Nido Scuola Giobi in Reggio Emilia and then transported online in December due to limitations imposed by the Government to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The next cycle of free meetings is scheduled for May-June 2021.
A small preview was held completely online on February 2021 with "Conversazioni Tematiche”, a cycle of 3 free online meetings dedicated to mothers, fathers, parents and families with children from 0 to 6 years to train and get informed on issues relating to parenting and growth, together with professionals in the social and educational field of the area.
Cucina di Quartiere, Reggio Emilia's second project action, was born as an opportunity to meet, get to know each other, exchange experiences and traditions, through the universal language of food. Covid-19 has changed our habits, changing the ways people cook and stay together but not the desire to meet and share stories: to continue the experiences begun last year in the square of Nido Scuola Giobi in Reggio Emilia, Cucina di Quartiere was moved online with a first appointment dedicated to a multi-sensory exploration of the secrets of olive oil. The next appointments are scheduled for May 2021, when the warm season will allow for outdoor activities.
After a first phase of mapping the services present in the neighbourhood involved (Regina Pacis) - carried out in collaboration with the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia – at the same time listening to the needs and desires of families, the two pilot services were co-designed by the network of partners of the Reggio Emilia area: Coperativa Comunità Educante, Istituzione Scuole e Nidi dell’Infanzia of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, together with other institutions and associations, including the Loris Malaguzzi International Center, Associazione La Cova, Nati per la Musica, PAUSE-Atelier dei Sapori and I Burattini della Commedia.
Teramo - With much courage and enthusiasm, began the second year of Piazze d'Incontro, the pilot service co-designed by the Municipality of Teramo, Isituto Comprensivo Zippilli Noè Lucidi, the third sector associations Teramo Children and Deposito dei Segni together with the families of Teramo, which provides a series of free meetings for parents and children of 0-6 years to rediscover the beauty of spending time together, through activities and workshops to explore different languages. The activities of Piazze d'incontro were then suspended in November 2020, due to the serious health emergency underway in the Abruzzo region. The restart of activities is scheduled for the months of April and May.
Restart from quality education. On Saturday, February 6, 2021, the doors of the new Primavera section of Istituto Comprensivo Zippilli-Lucidi finally opened to the Teramo community: it is in fact the second pilot action of FA.C.E.-Farsi Comunità Educanti in Teramo, with the aim of promoting the educational offer to families with children who do not attend the facilities or who do not find spots in infant-toddler centres and in preschools in the city.
The spaces made available have been redeveloped with reconfiguration interventions such as the replacement of fixtures, the repair of services, an update of the electrical system, with particular care in the choice of furnishings, designed to respect the theme of hospitality, well-being, of corporeality, of the accompanying of the first forms of language, creativity, imagination.
At the following link it is possible to find a more in-depth analysis: https://percorsiconibambini.it/face/2020/12/17/uneccellenza-che-diventa-realta-conclusi-i-lavori-della-nuova-sezione-primavera-a-teramo/
For any real-time updates on the FA.C.E. project visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/frchildren or our Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/fondazione_reggiochildren/
FA.C.E. – Farsi Comunità Educanti
The project FA.C.E aims to increase access to educational services for children aged 0/6 years in order to fight educational poverty in four Italian areas characterised by fragile contexts. It sets up participatory paths and educational services with local institutions and communities.
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