Arcipelago Educativo
Educational poverty and learning loss – Italy – Summer 2020 and 2021 –
Save the Children and the Agnelli Foundation
credits: “Gianfranco Ferraro per Save the Children”
The extended suspension of school activities in the summer of 2020 in response to the Covid-19 emergency endangered the right to education and aggravated the trend towards educational poverty and early school leaving, especially among students from materially and cultural fragile backgrounds and those with inadequate access to out-of-school educational support.
To combat this phenomenon, we have supported Arcipelago Educativo, a project promoted by Save the Children and the Agnelli Foundation, with the aim of reducing learning loss in children and adolescents affected by educational poverty by offering them a chance to continue learning over the summer holidays.
The project’s activities helped recovering and reinforcing basic skills (reading, writing and maths) and to motivate students from participating schools to learn more.

The project also helped to improve the methods and approaches adopted by the adults (families, teachers, education consultants and volunteers) involved in supporting the education of children and adolescents.

credits: “Gianfranco Ferraro per Save the Children”

Teaching methods were developed in close collaboration with the schools and teachers to create personalised learning paths for each student, to facilitate the recommencement of normal scholastic activities in the next school year. The pillars of this approach are based on the understanding that playing facilitates learning. The more children and adolescents are directly involved in and aware of the learning process, the more skills they acquire and learn to apply.

The entire learning path is therefore documented in digital records that also serve as self-assessment and metacognition tools for the students themselves. Play, art, sport, outdoor activities and cultural visits are all used to stimulate the learning mechanisms that help reinforce basic skills.

A game of ten-pin bowling, for example, can provide a great opportunity to apply mathematical skills, while a theatre workshop serves as a chance to work on writing and grammar skills. Students’ participation in and awareness of the learning process are guided by metacognitive activities that stimulate reflection on activities and the objectives involved and on which aspects each student needs to improve for each specific skill.

The project began in 2020 as a response to new needs imposed by the COVID-19 emergency and was repeated in the summer of 2021.
Key numbers
(2021 edition)

12

weeks of activities between June and September

11

“educational islands”

10

hours of in-presence activities for every student

12

hours of distance learning for every student

600

young people assisted by in-presence activities and on-line tutoring

7

cities involved
(Milan, Aprilia, Turin, Rosarno, Bari, Venice and Naples)

500

volunteers recruited

6

educational packages for 600 parents