Salemi. The school opens its doors to the territory and is a celebration of the people

At the end of the school year, the Istituto Comprensivo “G. Garibaldi -G.Paolo II” by Salemi opened the gates to the territory and it was immediately a popular celebration.

Hundreds of citizens from Salem and Gibellina flocked to. Most parents to the students. But also simple spectators, attracted by the hint of the large multicolored pope.

A grand reopening, requested by the principal, Professor Salvino Amico. It is excellently managed by a “strong and effective” leadership of teachers.
A complex school, the one headed by Principal Amico. Seven complexes, five in Salemi and two in Gibellina. 1100 students, 190 teachers and 40 Ata employees.

It’s the captain who makes the ship, a Greek friend of ours told us years ago.
And the event with the lively selection of gazebos made it visually visible.
The festive mood was palpable and coincided with the thirtieth anniversary of a tiring (started in Africa) and glorious career for the principal, an authentic old school man, despite his age. An enviable record.
As we enter the square in front of the school, we are greeted by a banner permanently scattered on the building’s pediment as a reminder of the Gramscian invective against indifference.

Immersed in the stream of people, we entered the stalls filled with objects and artifacts fascinated and moved.
A content-rich and aesthetically colorful exhibition that plastically told the public the results of the demanding project carried out for the school year 2021/22 with the ambitious title “A look at the world … the school creates” which evokes the lesson of Salerno educator Giuseppe Acone, an authoritative teacher and a refined Southern intellectual.

A narrative consisting of objects, images, colors and musical notes that involved the excellent teamwork and harmony between teachers and students. It is true that a good school depends on the quality of the human resources it possesses. It is the people who make the difference. And in this case, the difference is immediately obvious.

Most of the visitors were able to appreciate, they understood that if their children were able to perform so much quality work, the merit was the wise guidance of the teachers.

The demonstration, if still needed, of how many teachers work on dedication and self-denial, often in silence. And poorly paid, with some of the lowest wages in Europe. The chroniclers only deal with the School when a pink scandal breaks out.
But never when teachers are working with seriousness, or when in a rude way they are the subject of decaying verbal “aggression” by some parents. The bad habit of being on the parents’ side is cultivated, and it does not matter much if they are often as ignorant as goats.
Moreover. If there are still some institutions in Italy that are saved today, one of these is definitely the school.

The overall view of the square filled with visitors reminded us of the popular festivals that until a few years ago were celebrated in our villages on the occasion of periodic fairs.

We said a wide-ranging project, divided into a varied series of mini-projects, each with its own name.
In addition to the Mafia and Shoah theme, which was widely covered, numerous topics were addressed. Impossible to name them all, we limit ourselves to a few.

There is the project called, with a subtle pun, “I do not refuse” . It was developed by San Leonardo Primary School. From the title it is clear that it was intended to guide students to an approach, perhaps gradual, to the problem of respecting and preserving the environment under the banner of the slogan. “Environment respected future secured”. From where it is hoped that the infamous “garbage dumpsters” still raging in our districts will be banned in the near future.

While Piano Fileccia Primary School (we still prefer to call it “Montanari”, a Garibaldan who died in the Battle of Calatafimi, whose remains were buried for about a century at Salemi Cemetery) engaged in “How I See the World”. An intercultural training course with the aim of developing knowledge about people’s culture through the visual and auditory arts such as traditional music and songs.

Three teachers, on the other hand, tried to stimulate interest in images among young people with the named project “Tell photography through the written and interpreted word”. A very interesting and in some ways fascinating experiment, where photography is intertwined with storytelling, dance and music.

The presence of a pony among the stands aroused some curiosity, especially among the younger ones. Who was the main character in the project “My friend Cavallo … a different artist”. It is actually known that the horse, due to its special properties, can be used for therapeutic purposes aimed at children with childhood and adolescent psychopathologies.

Gibellina Lower Secondary School asked itself the question: “Will beauty save the world?” The response was encouraging. But with a deal. It is necessary to accompany the children in the rediscovery of “on a” he was born in “slow” (quite the opposite of what Celentano preached in a TV show) at a time when everything seems to be conditioned by “useful” and from “Fast”. If the project has sparked a serious attention among young people, others will one day confirm it.

Also in Gibellina, the same day, the boys marched to a peace march.
To make young people understand the value of nature, the forest and the trees, a day of the school course was dedicated to the improvement of the city park, joining a Unicef ​​initiative with an ecological and educational walk to make Parker a reference point for all citizens.

With the project “Let’s face each other and discover the world” art was given a central place in children’s educational path and image formation. Children are able to understand artists like Chagall, Klee, Miro ‘, but also to produce surprising results with a wide range of materials and techniques.

And finally, but not in order of importance, “Mathematics: The language of nature to observe the world”. These are math games suggested by the Pristem Center at Bocconi University of Milan. A consolidated tradition of the department and shared by many students. An annual prestigious event.

What are math games and what are they for? They allow you to move towards laboratory teaching and are a valid tool that helps open children’s minds, guide them and help them think right. And to stimulate interest in scientific disciplines.

Late in the afternoon, fifth and second graders appeared in a Flash Mob to say the least “No to bullying”. A phenomenon that unfortunately shows up more and more often. We should insist on the concept of “being” as opposed to the concept of “acting”. Make the young person understand that the archaic culture of possession is a sign of weakness and not of power.

Present at the event, the mayor Domenico Venuti defined the day “Extraordinary, an important moment, not only for the school, but for the whole community, and not just because the children have shown that they are a link with the community, with families. I remember when the separate collection was launched, the boys gave a remarkable contribution.I find it of great importance to continue with these issues, such as respect for the environment, legality, knowledge of the territory, improvement of beauty, the value of music.Congratulations to all, to the whole school, which has aimed to give a community a perspective through training young people who are engaged in knowledge of the area that surrounds them and try to work in harmony with it.A message that is only seemingly simple but absolutely disturbing.Respect for others, for the environment, for legality are all necessary elements to be able to build growth paths by concretely addressing the boundaries of today’s society such as individualism and excessive materialism, which unfortunately gives negative effects of not little interpretation. The event was an important moment to build a generation that looks at beauty, peace or togetherness. And these days, it’s not a little. “

This was pointed out by Rector Amico for his part “All the department’s complexes, from kindergarten to primary school, presented their works focusing on major themes such as legality, peace, environmental protection, the artistic heritage of our territory. Through the project, our department has created ‘beauty’, culture, the desire to restart by focus attention on “active citizenship”. It is a real celebration that could not avoid ending the concert with our “Garibaldi” orchestra, which presented the final essay to the students on the musical instrument course. Through this project, the school “discovered, rediscovered the local territory “with the aim of making students aware of the cultural heritage present in the area through cinema, theater, pictures and photos. with the aim of capturing natural phenomena and / or situations.It was a marvel annually to see our students wearing white coats, presenting their scientific experiments with attention, commitment and satisfaction. The various actors and guests who participated have appreciated the numerous and significant works that have made us reflect on the fact that we are true citizens, the protagonists of our territory. “

When evening falls, “Looking at the world” they were accompanied by music, dance, poetry and acting.
Some students from first-class secondary instrumentalists in the “Garibaldi” orchestra performed in a concert, while others demonstrated their skill in some recitative performances taken from Sophocles’ Antigone, from George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and from Frida Kahlo’s poetry repertoire.

As we listened to the tunes of the hymn Brothers of Italy performed by the boys’ orchestra, we were reminded of the considerations that Edmondo de Amicis made in his writing for an imaginary schoolboy from Italy in the late nineteenth century:

“Love your teacher, because he belongs to the large family of fifty thousand primary school teachers, spread all over Italy, who are like the intellectual fathers of the millions of children who grow up with you; poorly recognized and poorly rewarded workers who prepare a better people for our country than the present. “

By expanding the category of “teachers” to today’s professors and updating the number of those working in the school world, the considerations of the author of “Heart” still seem to us to be of an impressive topicality.

Franco Ciro Lo Re

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