The winners of the Awards for a Clean Environment, the 2017 edition tell us about the projects carried out and about the importance that winning these awards had on them.
ECOTIC: You are the winners of the category Grand Prize for Educational Institutions in the Clean Environment Awards Gala, 2017 edition. What does this award mean to you?
Elena Hrimiuc: Winning the category Grand Prize for Educational Institutions during the Awards Gala for a Clean Environment, 2017 edition, representă a recognition of the work submitted by all the partners of the project "Eco kindergarten Brânduşa", as well as a motivation to continue the development of ecological education activities to maintain a clean environment.
ECOTIC: Where does the passion for the environment come from? How did you come to develop projects dedicated to the environment?
Elena Hrimiuc: The low number of green spaces in the neighborhood, but also the formation of a positive attitude towards the environment has led to the need to get involved in environmental education projects to actively involve preschoolers, students and their parents in carrying out such activities.
Cthe teachers from Kindergarten with extended program no.11 “Brânduşa” were partners in many local, county, inter-county, national and international projects, among which we mention: “Nature, the essence of life”, “Friends of nature” and “Eco Kindergarten Brânduşa” - funded by the Partnership Foundation and MOL Romania.
Every week we carry out ecological education activities within the optional activity "Friends of nature" which is included in the Curriculum at the school's decision.
Within the European Comenius project, we carried out ecological education activities for a school year in partnership with the Environmental Protection and Forest District - Balta Mică Natural Park in Brăila to familiarize children with the specifics of the Danube area. The activities had a special impact on teachers, preschoolers and parents, so we continued to carry out sanitation, landscaping in the yard of our kindergarten and selective waste collection. Ecological education activities carried out in different areas of Brăila, such as the Public Garden, Kiseleff Park, the Danube Bank, the Zoo, Salt Lake, etc. they had a strong impact on both preschoolers, parents and the local community.
Every year I participated in activities carried out in partnership with the City Hall of Brăila: "Danube Day", "Environment Day", "Car Free Day", "Autumn Flower Festival", "Spring Flower Festival" etc.
Kindergarten Court with extended program no. 11 ,, Brîndșa ”has an area of 3970 sqm. The green space is a compact one surrounding the kindergarten buildings. Despite all the efforts made by the kindergarten and the ARIEL Parents' Association, they were not able to arrange them due to the lack of financial and material means. In the past, there was a mini-park in our yard with many towering trees, of different species, which provided children with a beautiful environment for spending time outdoors, but due to aging many of them fell one by one leaving an empty, unfriendly ground. The project "Eco Kindergarten Brânduşa" aimed at the complete rehabilitation of the entire land in the yard of the kindergarten.
Our goal is to provide preschoolers with a clean educational environment not only inside the buildings, but also in the kindergarten yard to provide children with an optimal climate for physical, mental and intellectual development. Ecological education is a priority for the teaching staff.
ECOTIC: What is the attitude of the little ones towards the environment, from your experience? Are they receptive to such messages?
Elena Hrimiuc: Preschoolers are nature lovers and want to know her, take care of her and spend as much time outdoors as possible. The children are receptive to ecological messages and have adopted an eco-civic behavior towards nature, a fact proven by the participation in large numbers and repeatedly in the arrangement, maintenance and protection of green spaces in the yard of Brânduşa Kindergarten, as well as in the activities of ecological education carried out.
The children learn by playing so that it was a pleasure for them to plant and take care of the vegetables in Grandparents' Farm: potatoes, tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, hot peppers, eggplants, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, corn, sunflowers. Periodically they noticed the vegetables, watered them and plucked the grass, and finally harvested the fruits they cooked in the kitchen arranged in the kindergarten yard.
For the children, the activity in the project was a challenge to discover new, interesting things. Another surprise was to discover how beautiful and different the leaves of some plants smell. It was a huge joy for the children to see how the vegetables grow in the garden and what they taste like. At the inauguration of the project we served everyone with a pie made of pumpkins from our garden. A very interesting aspect was the fact that no one destroyed the vegetable garden, although during the holidays the children from the neighborhood came to play in the yard. Every evening the courtyard was filled with children and parents who came to spend their time in a pleasant way. The children played in the wooden house, on the swings, on the slide or on the sand pit, and the parents rested on stumps or benches.
In the Public Garden of Brăila, 150 preschoolers accompanied by parents or grandparents solved the tests together to discover "What the Bunny hid?”. On this occasion, the children watered the flowers, studied nature through a magnifying glass, hugged a tree and said an ecological thought or message, then made decorative objects with natural materials. Our game “What the Bunny hid?”Was so attractive that they joined the groups and the children who were walking in the Public Garden with their parents.
The project included interesting ecological education activities in which children of different ages with a common denominator participated with interest and enthusiasm: protecting the environment for a "GREEN FUTURE!". Three greening actions were organized recommended by the representatives of the Balta Mică Natural Park of Brăila on the beach on the Danube bank, in Chiscani, in the Lacu Sărat forest, then we visited the Lacu Sărat nursery. The parents told us how impressed their children were after participating in the greening activities and how they then took an attitude towards the people they saw throwing packaging at the playground or on the street.
ECOTIC: What would be the message you would send to the new generation regarding the attitude towards the environment?
Elena Hrimiuc: We are all looking for solutions to protect the environment, but we must also act!
Regardless of age, it is good to get involved in carrying out ecological activities in order to maintain a clean environment and have a "Green future"!
Conduct green activities in educational partnership to create new and lasting friends!