“The change begins in oneself and there’s strength in numbers”
This SCP focused on the renewal of habits and care of the closest environment from the school and town context. It involved the early-years and primary levels of a public school located in Jamilena, a small town near the Jaén, and took place from October 2021 to June 2022. Although many rural traditions and customs are maintained in this town, there is an excessive consumption of processed products, a misuse of means of transport and a neglected aspect of the environment. To address this issue from the classrooms, students and teachers made the educational community and the inhabitants of Jamilena participate in the importance of not only personal care, but also environmental care; promoting collaboration with the family association, the City Hall and a Secondary School. Therefore, the main challenge of this SCP was the improvement of some deeply rooted habits in the context of the school and the town which do not favor a healthy lifestyle as unbalanced eating habits or a polluted environment.
To address this issue, the teachers involved in the SCP set up an entry event to raise the awareness of students about the problem. For that purpose, they scattered garbage around the playground and passively awaited the reaction and action of the students. Then, the teaching team proposed a series of tasks in relation to the exposed situation, although students themselves decided about the actions to be taken to solve the exposed problem in each class and educational level. Some of this task involved creating an awareness campaign using statistics regarding healthy habits in our environment, collecting waste from the school, making protest in the town to raise awareness about waste reduction, posting photographs of the waste found in the town at different locations, promoting the use of bicycles for trips to school, growing a vegetable garden, etc. To make these ideas more far-reaching, students met with the city council to request their collaboration. In addition, other activities were carried out to encourage the SCP to go beyond the walls of the school as building an accompaniment patrol to come to school on foot, a healthy cooking Youtube channel involving the participation of families, a virtual solidarity race in collaboration with associations related to child illness, recycling and good habits tutorials in which the students recycling patrols trained and raise awareness on waste management of the Jamilena citizens.
The SCP was disseminated through the school website as well as on its social media. In fact, a logo and a specific hashtag (#YOHAGOMIPARTE) was used to promote the project. In addition, the SCP was presented in the 2nd MOST Fair at the University of Jaén showing posters, videos and a talk by participating students about the project. Moreover, teachers and students involved in the project created different merchandising items such as fabric bracelets or key chains designed and produced using a 3D printer in collaboration with a close Secondary Education school. Finally, the different festivities celebrated in the school throughout the months were linked to the project and, to facilitate its dissemination, choreographies and songs (working as jingles) were represented to bring it closer to the inhabitants of the town.
Some of the strengths that turned this SCP a success story included: the beginning from a real context, the used of co-creation dynamics between students and teachers to look for solutions, the key role of students as the main drivers of the SCPs, the dedication of specific spaces and time during school hours and within curriculum to the project, the collaboration between teachers, the promotion of inter-generational learning, the real impact in the town, the expected long life of the project.
Through this project the school was empowered as a relevant agent for the awareness of Jamilena about the importance of healthy lifestyle habits for the environment. In fact, this project has had a deep impact on Jamilena citizens so that the elderly people talked regularly about MOST and the participating students took ownership of the project and understood the need to include more people in the fight for their cause.