It's summertime and the young people of the Community of Sant'Egidio start the Summer School for children. The youngest are eager to go to school, catching up on their school subjects with the help of the young students. Actually, the young students themselves are happy to participate because they have experienced distance learning for long months, too. The pictures show a centre where one of Rome's Peace Schools is summering in compliance with Covid-19 preventive measures.
So what are Sant'Egidio Summer Schools?
They are free educational summer centres organised by Sant'Egidio in all the cities where the Community is present. They are intended to help the most vulnerable children who have been left behind during the pandemic and have dropped out of school. Thus combating school drop-outs starting from the areas where educational poverty is most severe. They are organised during the summer, before school starts again, in line with the Community's proposal, which has also received the backing of the Ministry of Education this year, to keep interruptions to teaching to a minimum and to support teachers' efforts.
How are they organised?
The daytime activities take place with the help of volunteers, high school and university students. In addition to remedial schoolwork, art and music workshops are also organised to promote the social skills children need.
What about secondary school children?
Older pupils can join the "Summer Courses", which are courses on specific topics: subjects from the school curriculum, cooking, art, music and aspects of human ecology, such as solidarity and friendship with the lonely and elderly.
Where do they take place?
They are organised in neighbourhoods where educational poverty is most severe, and where Peace Schools have already been working. They take place in many different locations: public or private schools , parks, Peace Schools, and much more, depending on creativity and availability.
How are they funded?
The Summerschools are completely free and run by volunteers, so costs are very low. Every local Community of Sant'Egidio has set up ad hoc projects for the activities, snacks and venue hire in its own town or district, and has activated a network of solidarity with donations and fundraising in schools and on social networks.