Ecological education is becoming increasingly important, and thanks to it, both children and adults can become more aware about the issues of the natural environment. The Ecological Congress for preschoolers and the accompanying Conference: “The Effects of Environmental Degradation and Preventative Means”, wanted not only to draw attention to all possible means of environmental protection from an early age, but also showed the need for dialog between various fields: scientific, local government and business, and the need to establish a common strategy and involvement of local communities in global problems.
On April 24th, in the Chair of Environmental Protection and Planning of the Institute of Chemistry of the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, the First Ecological Congress for preschoolers took place. The event organized by the VIVE Serce Dzieciom (Heart for Children) Foundation, Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce and MAC Group was the initiative of this magnitude in Świętokrzyskie, in which the voivodeship authorities, local authorities, representatives of science and business and over 150 preschoolers from Kielce kindergartens were involved.
– The pollution of the natural environment caused by human activity is often too abstract for children. They do not know the eco-principles very well, they do not feel that by taking care of their immediate surroundings they have an impact on the state of the environment. This is what sprung the idea of the Ecological Congress, to which preschoolers were invited and offered ecological education through games and workshops – said Grażyna Jarosz, President of the VIVE Serce Dzieciom (Heart for Children) Foundation, the initiator and co-organizer of the Congress. – Through education, children can learn habits that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. By taking care of our immediate surroundings, we have an impact on the state of the environment in which we live, and the imprinted and developed natural sensitivity and ecological education among children will cause the youngest generation to not be indifferent to the environment – added Grażyna Jarosz.
– As an educational publishing house, we make special efforts to support environmental education by organizing events such as the 1st Environmental Congress for Preschoolers. I am glad we could invite children to the workshops together. Nearly one million students use MAC’s textbooks and workbooks, which is an enormous responsibility. That is why we also publish books on ecology, promoting ecological lifestyle among children and suggesting ways to segregate waste and save water – said Grzegorz Kowalski, President of the Management Board of MAC S.A., co-organizer of the congress.
The Mayor of Kielce, Bogdan Wenta, officially opened the Congress by admitting that the most important thing is to start every action and all changes with oneself and to set a good example for the next generation. – I am very pleased that children and adults participate to organize such an initiative in Kielce – added Renata Janik, Deputy Marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship.
During the Ecological Congress, children took part in the following workshops: air and cleanliness research, the ocean and the coral reef, textile recycling, waste segregation, h2o lubię to, and listened to stories by Agnieszka Kaczmarczyk-Jara. interesting activities and games awaited the youngest in previously prepared rooms. The children sang together, made mascots out of textiles, and were given knowledge on waste segregation.
– It was awesome. I saw big fish and we made a colorful rain with my friends. I made a big cloth-man out of old rags. I learned that we have to take care of our world together with our friends, and that I can’t throw all the garbage to one trashcan. I am glad that we can learn how to take care of our environment together – said Jaś, a seven-year-old preschooler from the Sisters of the Holy Family Public Kindergarten with Integrated Classes.
– The Congress not just fun through education. The meeting had a much wider impact, and the accompanying conference: “The Effects of Environmental Degradation and Preventative Means” was a meeting of scientific representatives, local government and businesses, which started a dialog about choosing a common direction and actions to engage local communities in global problems – said Ewelina Rozpara, spokesperson of the VIVE Group, who conducted the conference.
The following persons took part in the briefing:
- Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences PhD. Eng. (dr hab. inż.) Barbara Gawdzik, Prof. of the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce,
- Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Engineering, Geomatics and Power Engineering of the Kielce University of Technology, PhD. Eng. (dr hab. inż.) Łukasz Orman,
- Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of the Jan Kochanowski University in Kielce, Prof. M.D. Marianna Janion,
- Polish MP Adam Cyrański,
- Deputy Marshal of the Świętokrzyskie Voivodeship Renata Janik,
- President of the Board of the VIVE Serce Dzieciom (Heart for Children) Foundation Grażyna Jarosz,
- President of the Management Board of the MAC Group Grzegorz Kowalski,
- PGE VIVE Kielce handballer Arkadiusz Moryto
The 1st Ecological Congress for Preschoolers was yet another initiative that is part of the Textile Upcycling trend. VIVE Group is the leader of Textile Upcycling. Textile Upcycling consists of many initiatives, including TRANSPLANTATION and ADAPTATION projects. The VIVE Group organizes educational campaigns aimed at different age groups, including an art contest “Recycling na miarę (Recycling to measure)”.