by Julia Beneventi
She left fifteen years ago, and has taken in dozens of kids from the neighborhood every summer morning to help them with their homework. Today Professor Fausta Villa, 69, a retired pedagogue and former secondary school teacher, runs a similar project but on a very different scale – and always for free. This year, the enrollment for her morning summer camp is 150, “and it will probably continue to increase towards the end of the month,” she says.
Mrs. Fella, how many years ago did you start your activity in the parish of Saint-Beaux?
“Four years ago, and I’ve been retired for eight. The parish was immediately willing to let us have nice, large premises with a soccer field, basketball hoop, table football and table tennis. Then I also called the nearby San Giovanni Bosco Primary School, and the school was which informed parents of this service.
But homework always gets done, right? Indeed, duty first … as they say.
“The activity lasts for two hours from 10:30 to 12:30 a.m. from mid-June until August 31. It starts with doing homework, or revising anyway, then eating a snack and playing. Children and boys from age three up to about 14, The end of middle school.”
Really great service for families, but it won’t do everything itself, right?
“No, indeed, years ago when I could manage everything at home, I was assisted by some of my former students, ‘maestrini’ as I call them, who took part willingly. As also today: ‘maestrini’ in the project are about fifty. I have undertaken to ensure that They’re all on a smaller card, which gives them some discounts, and to be recognized for school credits.”
And you never stop, all summer long?
“This year, for the first time, we will be closed on August 14th and 15th, due to a bridge. We also do this in winter.”
“Yes, but only on Saturday mornings, for full-time students. In that case, I also get a lot of help from other colleagues, ex-teachers like me.”
All this for free: one might ask, but why?
“Look, activity hours are limited anyway, we’re talking about two hours. And I don’t feel the need to earn anything. Also because many of the families that come to us are foreigners. Many children come from Ghana, Nigeria, from Poland or Romania, but also “From Bangladesh and Pakistan. It is therefore a valuable opportunity to establish the first Italian cultural and linguistic foundations. The same mothers, who must attend if the children are less than three years old, can learn the language better.”
You have given so much to this project, and what will you get in return?
“A kick of life (laughs). I apologize because I know it’s not a very elegant expression, but it is. The energy and dynamism of children and youth is transmitted to me and all the ‘teachers’. And I would like to add one thing.”
“All this would not have been possible without the parish, which provides us not only the buildings but also a snack and takes care of the cleaning of the spaces. If the project is expanded, it is also thanks to the municipality, which included Strapapera Ludoteca and the educational center Memo. So, in short, it managed to structure itself Better “.
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