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Meet the #EWWRAwards finalists: Col-legi Sant Josep on combining art, sustainability and creativity

Now that you found out who the winners of the EWWR Awards are, we would like to introduce you to the winner of the European Special Prize—the action titled EWWR Sustainable Art Alphabet, which was carried out by Col-legi Sant Josep from Catalonia and its partner schools. Learn more about this action from our interview with Josefina Vendrell Vila, the mastermind behind the project.

The Sustainable Art Alphabet devised by Col-legi Sant Josep and its partner school
The Sustainable Art Alphabet devised by Col-legi Sant Josep and its partner school

What did your action consist of?

“EWWR Sustainable Art Alphabet” is part of an eTwinning project called “WE ARE ART” which started in September 2018 and will end in June 2019. Six Europeans countries are taking part in this project: France, Italy, Greece, Finland, the Netherlands and Spain through Catalonia. As the project is about art, different tasks are scheduled for every month corresponding to a different branch of art.

For example, in March, we worked on poetry because March 21 is the World Poetry Day. Then, in November we worked on music, as Saint Cécile, the patron saint of music, is celebrated in some of the participating countries. We also wanted to enter the EWWR 2018 campaign. That is why we created an action for EWWR, the goal of which was to combine art, sustainability and literacy so that we could spread a message corresponding to each letter of the alphabet all over Europe. The action was developed in a cooperative way, because we split the letters of the alphabet into six, so four or five letters for each country.

Then, our children became the real protagonists when they designed creative letters with a meaningful message for each one. Later on, the students from all the partner countries recorded themselves saying those messages out loud.

Meanwhile, as parts of the project were being completed, the students learned how to upload the material on the eTwinning project platform. Finally, once the letters and messages were completed and they were audio or video recorded, we created an ebook that can be accessed on the project platform.

How did you come up with the idea?

I love art, I love life and nature, I love teaching my students English and I love eTwinning. So I always try to link the tasks I do in class with relevant and real-world situations. Students learn and get much more involved in activities when the task at hand requires real problem solving, observation and creation. It is amazing how creative they can be. And it is also necessary to let them think, discuss and make decisions about the world in which they live and the one in which they want to live in the future.

When devising the schedule of the eTwinning project “ We Are ART” with Cécile, one of the participating partners, last summer, I suggested to her to do this activity in November because Col·legi Sant Josep, the school where I work, usually participates in the EWWR in Catalonia. Last year we also participated in the EWWR with another action that stemmed out of another eTwinning project.

The great added value of the initiative is the cooperation between teachers and students and its international character, which multiplies its impact beyond our school gates and into communities across Europe. Our initiative brought together numerous children, teachers and schools in the pursuit of a common goal.

Why is waste reduction important for you and for Col-legi Sant Josep?

Waste reduction is important to me and Col-legi Sant Josep because we know how important it is to understand that life on Earth depends on us and on our actions. In my opinion, we should not say “Take care of our planet”, but rather that “humans have been destroying and maltreating our planet for years, now it is our duty to save it.“

We are a Green School and the entire community at our school is really sensitive to actions concerning sustainability. Parents, teachers, students and local institutions are working daily to transform their activities in order to make them more sustainable.
This is why I thought that it is very important to spread the message about sustainability, reducing waste and saving the planet while working together with the six European partners on this project. Just like an oil stain expands gradually, we too can spread our influence and actions to fight the climate change and to start a new, healthy era on Earth step by step.

Where can people reach you if they have any questions?

At school! I spend half of my life at school !Col·legi Sant Josep, the pre-primary and primary school. +34938390747
Escola Diocesana de Navàs, the secondary , high and vocational school. +34938390100.

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