Playgroup for inclusion – April 2022
The School Center for Inclusive Education in Băbeni provides educational services for children who have special educational needs, diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, Longdon-Down syndrome, and associated disorders. They need, in fact, special programs in which they are monitored and through which they evolve. The classroom activities are sustained by specially trained teachers and the need of materials was high.
This is when the idea of a Playgroup sprung. It would consist of sets of materials which would support the instructive-educational and therapeutic activities that take place in the classroom. We managed to set it up with the support of our partners, a start-up in the mobile apps world, Wave Studio.
This is what we did together:
- The Băbeni Center informed us about the need of a special space for learning by play.
- We were joined by a partner with educational interests, Wave Studio, who resonated with the project and for whom supporting various learning processes and the encouragement of creativity were perfectly aligned with their internal values and philosophy: „Building a Playgroup for children with special educational needs was a perfect match with our CSR philosophy […] The idea of community was a natural fit within our top company values. We are always searching to be good with one another and furthermore, to be good with the society we were brought up in. As shareholders in a successful business, we feel lucky and grateful. […] Access to education and information, along with the encouragement of creativity favor evolution for all people, no matter the field they are willing to thrive in. We should love if there were no kids or adults for whom education is a luxury. Thus, having access to resources we could direct to others’ wellbeing, we want to support various learning processes, said the founders of Wave Studio.
- With the help of Wave Studio, we turned one of the rooms in the Center into a Playgroup, a special space which would allow the children to make the difference between work and play. According to one of the Center’s teachers, „changing the environment, leaving the classroom and arriving in a space that encourages play, playful activities help the children with autistic disorders to integrate these types of activities into their daily routine, to make the difference between types of activities and to create temporal schemes according to the type of activity they are involved in”.
- We have provided almost 450 educational materials, among which educational sets, construction and wooden cubes, puzzles, abaci, magnetic boards, educational and creative games, dominoes, modelling clay and a posture chair for children.
- The materials we provided have a double goal: they will be used in the classroom and in the Playgroup’s special designated space
- 200 children and 72 teachers will benefit from all these materials.
We are pleased this space came into existence and, thus, the children in the Center will benefit from all the materials that will help them acquire autonomy and independence in their school and social life.
The Playgroup was one of the two projects pastel Association developed for CSEI Băbeni. The other one was Save with first aid, with the purpose of helping the teachers in the Center acquire the basic notions regarding the first aid. All information would help teachers to rapidly and firmly intervene if one of the children in the classroom (as seen above, all with various disabilities) would face medical emergencies. The project concluded later than we expected because of the pandemic.