Environmental Education, Health & Quality of Life
Educational action has as its basic principle the integral and harmonious formation, and seeks to encourage the reflective spirit of the child and the young, preparing them for the construction of the critical awareness of the adult, so they can learn to be and live in society as conscious subjects, participatory, with discernment between good and evil, correct and incorrect.
The Project on Environmental Education, Health and Quality of Life in Public Schools will be attended by 68 State schools of Piracicaba and region with its 35 thousand students, in which will be developed didactic activities that involve two major themes:
- 1) Environmental Education, where contents related to the structuring of organic gardens, gardening, planting of trees, composting, selective collection, water reuse and urban springs will be developed;
- 2) Healthy Lifestyle, which will address issues for health improvement and disease prevention, which mainly involve good nutrition and regular physical activity.
1. ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION
Through environmental education students understand that they are part of a whole and that their attitudes can positively impact on preservation or negatively on the degradation of the environment.
The educational action contributes to the formation of conscious citizens on the importance of preserving the environment and of the ability to make collective decisions on environmental issues necessary for the development of a sustainable society.
The formation and sedimentation of ecological awareness among the students and local communities aims to carry out socio-environmental transformations and awaken proactivity for the revitalisation and conservation of the environment.
1.1. Vegetable Garden
This is an activity in which we develop the theory and practice of using spaces to produce vegetables through simple techniques with the use of local resources.
In this way the child learns in a practical way that one can produce part of one's own food and become a multiplying agent in the family and the community in which one lives.
The school environment is a place to expand, learn, compare, create, discuss ideas and relate. In order for all goals to be successfully achieved, there is a need for this place, from so many perspectives, to be a pleasant environment. Therefore, having a leisure space that brings inspiration and comfort is totally justifiable, and the garden can fulfill this role within the school.
Gardening at school is another stage of the project, which aims to demonstrate to students that the garden has great importance in a particular area, as it transforms idle existing spaces, often taken for rubbish, in a pleasant and welcoming place.
1.3. Planting Trees
Planting trees in schools aims to promote proper feelings and environmental awareness, develop students' critical sense of the current situation of the environment, arouse interest in knowing the species of native trees in the region and which have historical representation in the municipality , encourage the development of urban afforestation programs in the public and private spaces of the municipality.
To achieve the objectives in schools, interactive learning methods will be adopted, in which students themselves will be the protagonists in the educational process. Involving and pleasant activities will be prioritised to make learning attractive and enjoyable.
During the development of the activities will be debated the main issues around the theme of waste in our society as well as application of composting techniques, which transforms organic waste into fertilizer through controlled biological processes.
Besides the theory about the different models and functioning, the knowledge is put into practice through the construction of a compost in the school's premises, capable of transforming the remains of food into fertiliser, in a controlled and safe way.
1.5. Selective Garbage Collection
The proposal of the selective collection of school waste is an educational action that aims to invest in a change of mentality as a link to work on the transformation of the student's environmental awareness, making them the diffusers of the awareness of the pre-selection of waste in their residences, which will lead to the reduction of destination of waste to landfills.
In the teaching-learning process, questions will be raised to make the student aware of the importance of adapting behavior as consumers and to seek to use the rule of the five Rs (reduce, rethink, reuse, recycle and refuse) to make the world cleaner through the correct disposal of each discarded waste.
1.6. Water reuse
Today, high water consumption, people's lack of awareness and the use of natural resources from the environment aggravate the concern about the scarcity of drinking water throughout the planet.
Thus, the school is considered a space conducive to the development of actions aimed at environmental education, since it can promote in the students a continuous search for the balance between human being and nature, and instigates them to disseminate this knowledge focused on sustainability.
1.7. Urban Springs
The environmental education is of paramount importance for actions that involve the preservation and recovery of springs, since the student, when acquiring this awareness, becomes a multiplying agent and awakens in the local population the proactivity with actions in different areas for the revitalisation and conservation of springs.
In order to achieve its objectives, themes related to the development of an integrated understanding of the environment in its multiple and complex relationships involving ecological, legal, political, social, economic, scientific, cultural and ethical aspects will be addressed.
2. HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
In addition to the ecological part, the project aims to promote actions to stimulate healthy eating and regular physical activity, with the goal of improving the quality of life of students, families and the community.
At present, childhood obesity is a serious public health problem, which is increasing in all social strata of the Brazilian population, whose main cause is the children's lifestyle.
The poor diet due to excessive intake of industrialised hypercaloric foods with few nutrients allied to lack of physical activity, which occurs mainly due to the lack of adequate public spaces with safety for practice and dedication of long time to entertainments linked to electronic media such as video game, computer and smartphone, lead children to develop obesity and associated diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
This scenario has direct consequences for the development of diseases and damages the students' current health and future when they become adults. Therefore, preventing childhood obesity means reducing the incidence of obesity and chronic-degenerative diseases in a rational and less burdensome way.
2.1. Healthy Eating
Nutrition educational programs must go beyond classroom activities. It is critical that schools support food adequacy initiatives provided to children in school meals, canteens and snacks brought home to accommodate the quantity and quality of nutrients.
In order to disseminate information about the importance of good nutrition for health, the project will not be restricted to teaching-learning in a school environment and will promote actions aimed at home-school-community relations, such as encouraging families to consume products of the gardens cultivated by the students.
2.2. Regular Physical Activity
The contribution of physical activity to health is related to the reduction of risk factors for the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as myocardial infarction and stroke, which are the diseases that kill the most in the world.
There is great concern about the reduction of levels of physical activity among children and young people, as there is now a marked increase in the time spent watching television, computer games and video games, which increases the rate of sedentary lifestyle and, consequently, the risk of various diseases, among them, obesity.
A large part of school physical education is held only twice a week, with special attention to collective sports, which is little when it is intended to improve health and reduce disease risks. For this reason, daily physical activity should be encouraged, giving priority to games and playful games in the intervals, entry and exit of schools. In full-time schools, these activities can be further explored and bring several benefits to the student population.
2.3. Body Composition Assessment
Through measures of weight, height and skinfolds, we will have important results, such as body mass index, percentage of body fat and lean mass.
These parameters will serve to outline a profile of each child in relation to weight and height for the gender and age group as well as the amounts of fat and muscles in the body. With this, it will be possible to determine which students are within the expected, who has nutritional deficits and who is overweight or obese.
For the development of the project on Environmental Education, Health and Quality of Life in Public Schools, the Terra Vida Institute signed important partnerships with the Teaching Department – Piracicaba Region and Piracicaba Department of Defense of the Environment (SEDEMA).