07 November 2022

Presentation of the Charter in response to the Educational Emergency of Fondazione Reggio Children 

Live from the Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi in Reggio Emilia the launch event with guests, national and international speakers

According to the survey of Istituto Piepoli, for 3 out of 4 Italians there is an educational emergency in our country. For 44% of the Italian population, the relationship with families and social services needs to be improved.

It was presented Monday, 7 November in an event at the Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi in Reggio Emilia the Charter "Quality Education, a global challenge" drafted by Fondazione Reggio Children and adopted as its Charter of Values. 

The Charter therefore affirms the fundamental role of quality education, not only 0-6 but 0-99 years, as a response to the, not only educational, emergency in Italy and in the world. 

Emergencies due to various causes: health such as the pandemic, political, social, economic, food, climate, war. 

Carla Rinaldi, President of the FRC: "We need a cultural change: the first step is to recognise childhood as a matter of political and social rights". 

Carla Rinaldi, President of the Fondazione Reggio Children, presented the Charter illustrating the key values and goals of the educational manifesto. 

"Thanks to the educational experience of Reggio Emilia and the projects that Fondazione Reggio Children has carried out with many partners, we have set our values in this Charter. 

A contribution to the debate on the theme of quality education and to recognize childhood as a protagonist in society - she explained - Today the Charter begins its journey with this first initiative to promote cultural change: the recognition that childhood deserves, as a political and social subject. A childhood which has rights and potential to respect and listen to. This childhood is a culture that cannot be missed, a quality of the human being that remains all his life. Education is the answer, especially in the many emergencies that primarily impact children. Childhood culture and quality education would help all societies to live better, in Italy and worldwide ".

The event, moderated by Davide Nitrosi, deputy director of the QN-National Newspaper, saw the presentation by the Italian population survey "Childhood Culture, Quality Education, Educational Emergency" created by Istituto Piepoli for the occasion on behalf of the Reggio Children Foundation offering many food for thought. 


Gigliuto: for Italians education is a collective process but children are not yet considered "citizens" 

"Italians have a "widespread" view of children's education," explained Livio Gigliuto, Vice-President of istituto Piepoli. “A collective path with blurred boundaries, in which every moment is an opportunity for learning, entrusted to an integrated work of school, family and social services, with an increasingly significant role of "others", from grandparents to sport, from scouts to parishes. While it surprises the modern approach to education, still many of our fellow citizens cannot see a citizen in a child". 


Vecchi: a collective mobilisation is needed to spread a stronger child culture in the country 

"The initiative of the Charter is absolutely centred and contemporary," said Luca Vecchi, Mayor of Reggio Emilia, Anci Welfare delegate, Anci Emilia-Romagna president, after an institutional mission in Mozambique, where "building a school means giving hundreds of children not only an educational opportunity, but also a lifeline, saving lives". "Talking in Reggio Emilia about how to help spread a culture of childhood is a fact of great relevance", continued Vecchi, recalling the "collective mobilization" that took place in the post-war city for the construction of the first kindergartens. "In addition to nests and schools, the PNRR, which with the Governo Draghi has made available 2 billion euros for nests, - continued the mayor Vecchi - we must work to spread a stronger culture of childhood. On the one hand, we need a political will that decides to put the right to the education of children first, because it considers the education of children the fundamental pivot of an idea of society, on the other hand it serves the awareness and collective mobilization. Investing in childhood also means investing in a new political season of expansion of social rights now that major global emergencies are landing on local dimensions with new inequalities". 


Sassatelli , Manodori: “Having tools to deal with change is a challenge for the near future” 

"The world is changing quickly, and today's children and youth will face a reality that will no longer be today" said Romano Sassatelli, President of the Manodori-Acri Foundation, which has supported numerous projects through the School Poverty Fund for Children.

“Having tools to deal with change is a challenge for the near future.” "Nobody excluded" reads a report presented to the European Parliament and this is the goal of our work, which is a common commitment, an intent that involves all forces in the field. For years we have been working on the educational front, together with the other realities of the territory of Reggio Emilia, and we are particularly pleased to have been able to collaborate in the birth of the Charter on education that we hope will be put in place by all our educational community".


Rodriguez, Enel Cuore: "Education is key to making future generations the protagonists of a more inclusive, sustainable and equitable society" 

Filippo Rodriguez, Enel Cuore Managing Director stated in his speech: The participation of Enel Cuore in a moment of discussion on the Italian education and training system was for us a source of both great satisfaction and pride, as well as a further opportunity to reaffirm the common purpose and objectives that unites our non-profit organization and Fondazione Reggio Children, with which I want to congratulate on the realization of the Charter on Quality Education presented today".

“Enel Cuore believes that education is key to making future generations the protagonists of a more inclusive, sustainable and equitable society – continued Filippo Rodriguez - This was also the reason why 7 years ago we launched together with Fondazione Reggio Children the project Fare Scuola: a virtuous initiative that in recent years has allowed to give new life to the school spaces of many – often peripheral - Italian cities transforming them into places of renewed sociality and learning, so as to offer children a quality and innovative educational model". 


Saulini, Save The Children: “Educational poverty is already manifested in the first thousand days for children in disadvantaged families, nests are a tool to strengthen resilience" 

Arianna Saulini, Advocacy Manager Italy – Europe, Save The Children spoke on the Educational Poverty Index and the relationship between 0-6 quality education and child resilience. "Educational poverty, that is the impossibility for children to learn, experiment, develop and flourish freely skills, talents and aspirations that we now know is crucial to development, is determined even before entering primary school, already from the first years of life – said Arianna Saulini. 

We support the initiative of this Charter because a quality education from early childhood offers, from our point of view, the opportunity to offer children a factor of resilience especially if they come from a disadvantaged socio-economic context. In fact, we believe that nests are one of the tools to combat inequalities and educational poverty and for this reason we hope that they can become a universal right and no longer a service on individual demand. Having attended a quality nest is an essential protective factor for educational resilience which helps to emancipate children from situations of social and economic hardship (+39% probability)". 


Gothson: "The Charter, a tool for alliances and participation to unite local and international thinking, democracy and education" 

Harold Gothson, Board Member of the Reggio Children Foundation, one of the founders of the Reggio Emilia Institute in Sweden and the draftsmen of the Charter, recalled the profound link that exists between democracy and education and the relationship with emergencies such as increasing nomadism, the climate and health crisis, stressing the need for a new declaration of "interdependence" between the beings of the planet, of "a new ecological and democratic citizenship". "Today Reggio Emilia is the right place to launch a Charter that connects local and international thinking - he said - that looks at important issues such as the presence of so many children in the world without school or in poor schools. This Charter, which comes out of the extraordinary experience of the schools of Reggio Emilia and the projects of Fondazione Reggio Children, is a hope to become a tool to expand from 0-6 to 0-99 years and needs participation, research, civic action, alliances, as a political platform to act, to create actions together". 


Delrio: “Quality education is above all a political challenge for people to be more conscious citizens” 

Senator Graziano Delrio welcomed the scientific committee of the Fondazione Reggio Children and introduced James Heckman, Nobel Prize in Economics in 2000. "Education is also and above all a political challenge. - said Delrio - Heckman speaks of education also as an economic fact but especially as a political fact. From the experiences of Reggio Emilia, as from the experiences that the Nobel Prize describes, we see how to cooperate doing things together is more productive than competing, not only in learning. This kind of education is a great resource for the community. Not because it generates people of power and success in the strict sense, but because it generates people more aware of being citizens, more able to fulfil their duties, as well as bearers of rights, able to be unselfish, to know the other as subjectivity, less racist, less scared of the other. Therefore, this founds the community, it founds civil life. Returning to the man who wants to live in the relationship, who recognizes that it is born in the relationship. The Charter draws this scenario: not a world of opposing powers, but another world where citizens are not customers, children are not pieces of marble to be shaped, but we can build a piece of a more human future of our society". 


Curioni: “Reggio Approach a democratic approach to education, heritage of all children in the world" 

Raffaella Curioni, Councillor for Education, Knowledge and University City of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, concluded the event recalling the need to "restart from fragility, rebuild more open communities". "From the data we have seen today - she continued - there is not so much awareness of the urgency of continuing to work in the direction of a childhood culture and quality education so the Charter will be an important tool to promote these goals. We put this emergency upon us. We have a role of great responsibility because the Reggio Approach is a heritage of children in the world who have known it. From the schools of Reggio Emilia to the suburbs of Mozambique, where the power of school, of educational play, of learning together is also manifested where there are barefoot children together with their parents, operators, the educational community that is created around them, The Reggio Approach is a democratic approach to education". 


Nobel Prize James Heckman: "Quality early childhood education programs make those children adults more autonomous and capable; they show the benefits even on the second generations, daughters of the children who attended them; a euro invested on a child is an advantage for the company because it makes 13%". 

Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, member of the Scientific Committee of the Fondazione Reggio Children, who for 10-15 years has been visiting and has carried out research in Reggio Emilia on the Reggio Approach and includes among its studies the research and formulation of important theories on the social and economic benefits of quality education for early childhood. 

La diretta dell'evento di presentazione della Carta sull'Educazione di Qualità, il 7 novembre 2022 a Reggio Emilia

Listen again and Share  

You can listen to the full event and speeches on Fondazione Reggio Children's Facebook page and YouTube Channel 

For any information, comments, shares, contributions to the Charter, please contact participate@frchildren.org


Read the full press release 

Last modified: 26 January 2023

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