50 children registered for the Summer Club this year, among them a record number of little ones; in fact half of them were between 4 and 7 years old. The Summer Club ran every day from 9am till noon, same as last year. Activities varied between indoor games and outdoor sports for all groups. Activities included play dough for the little ones, painting and paper mache, creating our ideal sustainable island, making our own newspaper, computer games, dancing and whatever creative ideas our volunteers came up with to make the sessions as enjoyable for the children as possible, while at the same time being educational.
An innovative element, in line with the theme of this year’s summer club, i.e. Nature Takes Care, were the weekly outings. The children of Centru Tbexbix spoke, played, saw, sang and visited places connected with the environment.
At the end of August, during the party with the parents for the closure, they showed all the little important achievements to the audience present for the occasion including songs, dancing and asanas.
After the end of every programme Didi, Katherine and volunteer staff sit together for a number of sessions to reflect and evaluate the programme and repeatedly check whether the activities are measuring up to the benchmarks required from a project to deserve to be called a Neohumanistic Education project. In the case of this year’s summer club, once again there was a lot of positive feedback from all volunteers: “In our lessons we don’t privilege just one skill or intelligence but we work on all intelligences, physical, creative, artistic, cognitive, interpersonal, emotional, social… “ wrote Chiara Guida. “ The children are becoming really good in problem solving, sharing, working in teams. They learn that what they do affects others, and start to think of others’ needs” wrote Christine. “From watching my colleagues I learned a lot – the perseverance in using recycled stuff in the artistic and beautiful way of Chiara, the funny side of Katrine, the silent hard work of Christine, the multitasking capacity of Lawrence… were Chiara Zecchin’s comments. “I learned a lot from this experience. Using new techniques and moments of silence helped me to manage the children better.” commented Katrine.
Of course there are things we need to improve, and we need to continue going deeper into understanding better and better the individual as well as the collective needs of the community that we are trying to serve.
Regular training is vital for staff development and revitalisation of the project. During September ten days were spent in retraining in preparation for the winter session starting in October. Again the focus was on planning, implementation and evaluation of each activity according to Neo humanistic Education guidelines. Special skills like teaching English in the phonetic way, classroom management, silent time and improving creativity were all topics addressed during the training.