As the title of the project (ROOTS – Return Our Origins Through Sharing) already suggests, we want to return our children to basics, to their origin and to share their knowledge about the past with other children from the European Union. As the Philosopher George Santayana said, “To know your future you must know your past”. This goes hand in hand with the announcement that the year 2018 is the year of cultural heritage. In the past few years, we observed that children don’t care where they came from due to their constant use of modern gadgets, social media. They sometimes live in an imaginary world which has nothing to do with the reality and therefore they lack the knowledge how to cope with different situations, how to communicate with the eldery as if they would lack respect of what their forefathers were, and even some might feel ashamed of its origin as they are new at school, come from another country and are different from the majority in several ways. We want children to respect others because of their roots. In this way social inclusion is encouraged. By knowing their past youare able to set goals for the future.

All the students visit primary schools (age of 6 – 14). They take part in different activities according to and adapting their age. Each participating school has a school coordinator and a project team consisting of teachers of different profiles (history teacher, science teacher, technology teacher, art teacher, class teacher, teacher for special needs). At each school such team is responsible for carrying out the tasks.

Through both project years, children go outdoors, visit elderly generations and learn about the past, culture (traditional dishes, dances, songs, customs, games, tales) and observe their natural environment. The presentations and learning about one’s culture will be carried out on children’s meeting “Sharing the Origins” in Spain. The exchange of tutorials and carrying out the tasks not only teaches children some new dances or songs etc. about the customs their forefathers had but they also practise a foreign language, develop their digital competence as the tutorials and presentations would be made in films and posted on blogs.

The mascot torch travels from one country to another and carries a message with a task related to Olympic games. At the end of the project it reaches Greece where the last meeting with the children is planned. The activities and the results are put on the website and children write a blog reporting about the events at their school. The exchange of tutorials is on the blog. Before the first meeting with children T-shirts, lanyards and posters are printed for all the children taking part at the meeting.One could sumarize the activities and the results in a short way as in our project the topic is returning one’s cultural heritage and is extended to:

  • tangible – monuments, books, clothes, traditional dishes
  • intangible – dance, song, old games, folk traditions, chants, handmade crafts
  • natural – observing flora and fauna, water
  • digital – recordings of tutorials, presentations of dance, cookery books, website, blog.

Through the project the cultural heritage is enliven. Furthermore, the Europe 2020 Strategy emphasizes social inclusion. By taking part in the project children learn to respect their origin and the origin of others. The less priviliged children feel more self-confident and it will be easier for them to make friends. They are respected as all are made aware that we are all special, unique and we share common history in the past. Furthermore, we all are one, we belong to one unity – the EU.In addition, through the project work teachers learn about other kinds of didactics, methods that were not carried out at present. Children go on a field work and then pass their knowledge to the others by showing and still developing digital competence.

As not only teachers and pupils are involved, the number of people involved in the project is greater.The pupils’ relatives, local people with special knowledge, experts have a special role, since they are the source to whom children go and learn. About 3,000 people directly and indirectly participate.The competences developed in this project are also supported by the European comission:languages, cultural awerness, digital competence, civic competence, personal and social competence, learning competence since children learn about their heritage, use different language, present their gained knowledge through digital media, meet new people. All this contributes to the personal growth of students, teachers, parents, local people and other experts involved.