Hastings Polish Supplementary School takes initiative on World Cleanup Day

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On September 16, 2023, the Jan Brzechwa Polish Supplementary School in Hastings joined hands with the global community to participate in World Cleanup Day. Partnering with the park maintenance contractor, Idverde Hastings, the school mobilised its students, teachers, and parents to clean up Alexandra Park, collecting multiple bags of rubbish in the process.

As part of the world's largest civic movement that transcends borders and unites volunteers in 197 countries, the school wanted to give back to the community and highlight the values of civic responsibility. "We aim to produce not just bilingual children but well-rounded individuals. What better way to teach them about social responsibility than through direct action?" said one of the involved teachers. Indeed, the cleanup initiative was not just about picking up litter; it was an enriching, hands-on educational experience that underlined the power of collective action for a sustainable future.

This act of social responsibility aligns perfectly with the school's mission of ensuring children are fluent in Polish language and culture. Jan Brzechwa Polish Supplementary School, founded in 2011, is a non-profit organisation run by volunteers. The school not only focuses on language skills but also aims to familiarise children with Polish culture, literature, and traditions. Through activities like these, the school hopes to attract more students within the UK's Polish community who wish to cultivate a sense of cultural identity while participating in wider societal roles.

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Moreover, the school has recently begun integrating Forest School Ethos into its curriculum, conducted by qualified Forest School practitioners. Forest School activities encourage traits like cooperation, resilience, confidence, imagination, and teamwork. The Cleanup Day event was a natural extension of these values, where children could experience the direct impact of their actions on the environment, emphasising respect and care for nature.

Young students cleaning up Alexandra ParkYoung students cleaning up Alexandra Park
Young students cleaning up Alexandra Park

The cleanup was not just an isolated event but a part of an ongoing process. Parents and teachers were actively involved, making it a community-wide effort that extends the school's educational environment to a real-world context. “This being our second year of participation, we plan to make this an annual event going forward. The smiles on the faces of our kids and the bags of rubbish they collected were all the motivation we needed to continue such initiatives," stated another teacher.

For families seeking a holistic educational experience that blends language, culture, and social responsibility, the Jan Brzechwa Polish Supplementary School in Hastings stands as a shining example. This World Cleanup Day, they didn't just clean a park; they made a statement for a cleaner, better future. And they invite you to be a part of it.

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