Venice, 24th January 2023 – To mark the International Day of Education (24 January 2023), Prada Group and UNESCO are launching “Kindergarten of the Lagoon”, an innovative outdoor education experience for pre-school children in Venice, taking place today on Torcello Island.
Presented in May 2022 at Ca’ Corner della Regina – the Venetian headquarters of Fondazione Prada – Kindergarten of the Lagoon is part of SEA BEYOND, a 2019 project led by Prada Group and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), aiming to promote education for the preservation of the sea and its resources.
Today’s programme included outdoor activities throughout the morning for 40 pupils from six schools joining the project, with attendance from Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, UNESCO representatives Vladimir Ryabinin, Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores and Francesca Santoro, as well as local institutions, Massimiliano De Martin, Councillor for Urban Planning, Environment and Private Building and Laura Besio, Councillor for Education Policies of the Venice City Council.
“Our future is in the ocean. We want young people to become friends of the ocean as soon as possible”, said Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.
“Here in Venice, hosting the Kindergarten of the Lagoon event today at our headquarters of Palazzo Zorzi, is a dream come true. Education is a priority for UNESCO. Ocean literacy is a way to have the responsible citizens who will make decisions tomorrow to promote a sustainable ocean”, highlighted Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe.
“SEA BEYOND and the Kindergarten of the Lagoon we launched today show that Prada Group is deeply committed in social responsibility and that the co-operation between private companies and institutions has a positive impact, far greater than the value of the initiative itself. Making culture more attractive for new generations is a goal for our Group”, concluded Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The Kindergarten of the Lagoon’s lesson programme is based on the principles of outdoor education, a didactic approach whose pillars are experiential learning, the environment, and the well-being of those involved, with the aim of creating a link between children and, in this specific case, the lagoon ecosystem. In addition to placing nature and science at its centre, this project strives to preserve and enhance the local culture and tradition of Venice which, together with its lagoon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a witness to the effects of climate change.
The first cycle of classes will end in June 2023; the new programme will start again in September, coinciding with the schools’ calendars.