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Diary

In this blog we are posting news from around the network, reflections on general news items and other broad-ranging items of interest. Current contributors are Sightlines Initiative directors Robin Duckett, Liz Elders, Debi Keyte Hartland and Chris Merrick.
We have a Library View (see left column) to help you find past articles.

Today - International Children's Day

Well, that caught me up short! Did you know? Google told me, no-one else.

So here is Wikipedia:

"Universal Children's Day takes place annually on 20 November.[8] First proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children."

Is this forgotten now in the UK? Is it buried in the same drawer where we will find the iconic phrase from the 1989 Children Act: 'The children's interests are paramount'?

Wikipedia continues:

"Universal Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children."

Whatever the day, let's take the opportunity, delight and opportunity, not only promote society as fit for children but also a place where children's voice is heard: 

The image is from  the 'Planetary Messages' video of the children of Reggio, and they have something to say, as do all of ours - can we listen? Here it is: I know we've shared it before, but ...

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Bright young campaigners ...

Here is an outstanding example of a light in the darkness. 

We all know that these are difficult times, and that on the vulnerable frontline are the pioneering initiatives.One such is the outstanding ReMida Odense, a centre for creativity conceived and run by our colleagues of the Denmark Reggio Network.

You can read about the ReMida centre here. It is under threat of closure, and of course they are working hard to change this course. The organisation has been immensely bolstered by the efforts of Vigga and Elise, two local children who have set up a local and Facebook campaign. It is not only heartening but necessary to have the power of a community involved in educational actions such as ours - the history of Reggio is a prime example.  This is such a  strong example of community action – and a powerful example of children as advocates and leaders in society. Well done to them!

You can read about their 'Save Remida' campaign on Facebook here, and if you want sign their petition.

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Rocking the boat ...

"The hand that rocks the cradle needs to rock the boat."

Here in Reggio Emilia it is the first of a six-day discussion and reflection of the members of the Reggio Children International Network, with the officers and pedagogues of the city's early childhood services.

Karen Callaghan of the Reggio Network in Canada, suddenly recalled this motto of the Ontario Coalition for Better Child Care, as we discussed the mood of the representatives.

As it turned out, the phrase was very apt for us, as we began to set to. We are all committed to constructing a strong education, which listens to the children - and we are passionate about informing the international community, politicians, parents, educators, all. It is a pedagogy of hope, as Claudia Giudici, President of Reggio Children reminded us, with this phrase of Paolo Freire's. 

Nando Rinaldi, the new president of the Institute of Schools and Preschools of Reggio, said thoughtfully and determinedly, "'knowledge' grows - it is not static or academic, it needs to be lived, it depends on all our participation."

Stubborn and Resolute

Loris Malaguzzi was stubborn and resolute in his vision, Claudia said -a typical person of Reggio Emilia. And in this room of 33 representatives, from 22 countries, there was much of this, We are ready not only to rock the 'boat', but to figure out how to build new ones.

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