144 led by teacher Vilma Rocha, based on the interesting work done in the city of Reggio Emilia, in Italy At Centro de Educação para Surdos Rio Branco, for its part, the evolution continued with the implementation of elementary school, starting in 1996. “When students got to 4th grade, in 1999, the first phase of that process had been completed, and we asked ourselves what the next step would be. After some discussions, the group of students was included in the regular school,” says Sabine Vergamini. Initially, partnerships were concluded with municipal schools in Cotia and São Paulo to have the deaf children take regular classes with hearing students, always in groups and with technical pedagogical support —which involved hiring translators-interpreters of the Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) and the Portuguese language. Later on, an agreement was signed with Fundação Bradesco, which was opening a school in Osasco. In that journey filled with significant advances, the CES had its own building constructed, with facilities designed to meet the specific educational needs of the deaf, which included, for example, small classes with desks arranged in U-shape and lighted signs. Then, the Center’s first deaf teacher was hired in 1999, which Sabine Vergamini describes as a milestone in its history. That was a period when the theme of bilingualism in education for the deaf was gaining traction in Brazil —based on the premise that the deaf should be bilingual, mastering Libras as their mother tongue and Portuguese as a second language, without using both simultaneously so as to preserve the structure of each language. Implemented since then, not only has bilingualism valued social, cultural and linguistic diversity, it has also been boosting the students’ capabilities and skills, while contributing to their interaction with the world around them. Support for the families of deaf children was already provided by way of guidance sessions and Libras courses, which were now held by a deaf teacher, representing one further step in support of an effective inclusion of the deaf minority in a society of predominantly hearing people. Centro Profissionalizante Rio Branco, too, went through several changes that were planned based on the need to adapt its structure and practices to the transformations taking place in the world and in society, which prepared it for a new, challenging reality. In 1997, the decision was made to rename it Centro de Ensino Profissionalizante Rotary —for short, Cepro, an abbreviation in use to this day. That change was also important from a symbolic point of view. “‘Lar Escola’ (a Portuguese term for “Home School)” was no longer an appropriate name for the period, nor did it reflect what the Fundação wanted for that institution anymore,” says Eduardo Pimentel. “We also started to look more carefully at the job market to assess what we were educating our students for. We learned to visit companies and understand their needs before we planned our courses,” says Susana Maria Aguerre Hughes de Salles Penteado, director of Cepro. An initiative that yielded great results in the early 2000s was Programa Entra 21, which was carried out in partnership with International Youth Foundation and Merryl Lynch using funds from the Inter-American Development Bank. “It was an important occasion thanks to both the funds we raised —which allowed us to make a qualitative leap— and the ability they afforded us to expand our professional view of the activities we carried out, as we had to meet a series of requirements that were set in terms of targets and accountability,” Susana Penteado relates. Extending its action beyond its maintained entities, in 2004 the Fundação engaged in an initiative that has a strong connection with its vision for the future, its The Reggio Emilia experience: inspiration for pre-school education Located in northern Italy, in the Emilia Romagna region, Reggio Emilia became a benchmark city for pre-school education all over the world. The innovative work done there stemmed from an effort undertaken by local citizens to rebuild their schools after the Second World War. That joint effort became part of the basis for what was about to be known as the Reggio Emilia Approach, whereby the community and parents play a key role in the construction of education. Led and inspired by educator Loris Malaguzzi, the project progressively advanced, and other key principles by which it did so included the recognition that children must have some control over the direction of their learning and the need for preserving and stimulating their natural curiosity. Among other key aspects are a strong emphasis on symbolic representation – arts, painting, and music – as a learning tool and the maintenance of a playful environment.
Livro Comemorativo dos 70 anos da Fundação de Rotarianos de São Paulo - Uma história de ideias e ideais
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