The Department of Education of Castilla y León signed a collaboration agreement with Fundación Adsis on November 21 for the development of an innovative community service learning project. The objective is to achieve an educational action aimed at the development of social and civic skills, in order to improve the reality through community services.
"In Fundación Adsis we have been developing many awareness workshops and working on training processes with young people. This project is a bridge to be able to apply what we have learn in real life", explains Álvaro Gómez, educator of the learning trough service project.
The program, which has been developing as a pilot experience since last year, has gone from 7 educational centers (4 in Salamanca and 3 in Valladolid) to the existing 1,400 in the region. "The project has allowed us to work with centers we already had a relationship with. It has been much more than we expected and, starting from something simple, networks have been built", says Álvaro.
The experiences of young people getting involved with their neighborhood are fundamental because they make it possible to integrate the service to the community with the learning of subjects, promoting the civic responsibility of the students.
The participants of this educational proposal are trained by getting involved in real needs of their communities, in order to improve it. Students can analyze their neighborhood, develop improvement proposals and carry them out. It is an innovative and experiential teaching through learning methodology, that enables critical thinking through academic learning, personal growth and citizen responsibility.
Young people stimulate their creativity and their entrepreneurial capacity by getting involved in their community by solving problems and working in teams with educational centers and local social organizations. It is a complete experience of social construction.
"At first, young people did not believe they could work to help. Their thought they would just come to the center, examine it and that would be it. So when they saw that what they had learn was going to be put into service to the citizens, they coudn't believe it. It is something very new for everyone. Young people are very restless si it key for them to be able to go work outside, not on paper. When they take that step and get in contact with the real world, that's when the change of thinking happens. None of their fellow classmates had done this before so you could really feel their motivation and commitment. Some have even stop their extracurricular activities, like football, and started spending their leasure time going to provide services to the community. It is something very circular, a process of transformation", explains Álvaro.
The Department of Education will make available to the foundation the advice and spaces that are necessary for the proper development of the initiative. For its part, Fundación Adsis will carry out training activities on the methodology, aimed at the participating teachers. In addition, teaching materials, support and guidance will be provided to the educational centers.