A way of familiarising students with the principles of the business environment and the social entrepreneurial environment developed by a high school in Romania. Students run a business in the social services sector which is aimed at creating financial support for classmates who present a high risk of dropping out of school.
Purpose and process
Back2School aims to encourage a pro-active attitude in students through direct involvement in the life of their community. The 'educational vehicle' is the social mini-company they take responsibility for running. Its mission is the creation of a genuine system of annual financial support for classmates originating from rural areas whose families are at high social risk of school abandonment.
The scholarship system developed through this project covers a student's education-related costs, such as: books and textbooks; foreign language courses; dance, IT, debating activities; leadership training; summer schools; participation fees for various contests. Simultaneously, mentoring support for each student is secured with a view to helping them along their educational path. A network of mentors is identified from among the ranks of the school's s celebrated successful graduates.
There are 3 key stages in the project:
- Organisation of a social awareness campaign concerning the school abandonment phenomenon. This aims to attract funds in order to finance the scholarships. Steps = a) inform, sensitise and persuade young people and their respective communities to rise to the needs of high school students who find themselves in financial difficulty while lacking family support; b) launch the campaign online, on social media and socialising networks; c) sign partnership agreements with important firms from the local business environment to support the project.
- Production and commercialisation of handmade objects. Steps = a) students organise a commercial stand in school selling handmade objects, e.g. bracelets, cases and phone pendants, book signs or purses; they negotiate prices for the products on display in order to sell them; b) they also organise cultural and artistic activities for the school community with the aim of promoting popular traditions; money obtained from selling tickets for these events goes towards financing the scholarships for classmates at high risk of school abandonment.
- Consolidation of a mentoring network.
Tnrough participation in the project, which focuses on skills-based learning techniques, students have the opportunity to:
- carry out a complex task
- work on tasks both as an individual and in a team
- raise social awareness of an important issue for/within their community
- learn about the skills required for running a social enterprise/mini-company, including money management, business planning, product design and development
- recognise how their actions can have a positive impact on others.
Curricular or thematic relevance
Back2School has strong links with Citizenship; it promotes social entrepreneurship and civic awareness.
How to organise:
The project is run on an extra-curricular basis.
Assessment and evaluation approaches
Fully integrated into the project - the mini-company is particularly judged by the success of its social awareness campaign and achievement of financial scholarships for needy students.
Graduates' willingness to get involved in mentoring activities - either through web conferencing, debates or direct meetings - is crucial to the success of this project. In addition, the support of local companies during the social awareness campaign is essential.
helper do TM detail body (June 6th, 1st half)