Four students from fifth year, Segun Okubanjo, Rilwan Gbadamosi, Ryan Dunne Heenan and Amy Kelly were chosen to represent St. Aidan's in Bari, Italy for a school Erasmas+ Mobility on the project - 'Europe, A Heritage Made of Stories'. They were accompanied by Ms. Flynn and Ms. O’ Connor.
We were joined on the mobility by the librarian, teachers and three students from Killinarden Community School.
The students lived with a host family, and went to the Italian school, Liceo Scientifico Amaldi, in a little village Bitetto 20 km from Bari. It was a learning experience as the students were given an insight into each culture. Presentations of the respective schools were showcased. The students also worked hard to win the Kahoot quiz designed by the Spanish Team and based on the novel they all read in advance of the mobility ‘Don’t Tell Me You’re Afraid’ written by Italian author Giuseppe Catozzella.
The international students from Spain, Czech Republic, Italy and Ireland each prepared an activity in advance of the mobility to present at the school:- the Italian Team presented a very moving presentation about what the book suggested to them, the Irish Team prepared and performed a rap inspired by the book and the Czech Team recorded a Booktuber review of the book.
This was followed with the students working in international groups to discuss and present through art and dance what the book expressed to them see movie attached which captures all the fantastic creative and artistic work completed by the students
to reimagine the book.
The students were asked in advance to bring books related to writers from there country and read by their parents and grandparents. The students assembled these books in the Eurostories Mobil Library.
Each student also took part in a ‘Literacy Get Together’ working in groups to discuss books and reading interests and they discovered ‘that they have similar tastes but different in their own way’.
There were many highlights during the week including a 3.9 earthquake on the first day of the mobility. However by far the most riveting part of the week was the Skype session with Giuseppe Catozzella. He spoke with such emotion about his book and about how ‘books tell you who you are and give you back your soul’. As Librarians and parents we were so happy that our reading of the book by the students has captured the authors own sentiments about what he imagined for the story!
‘For me this is the image of #Europa: students from Spain, the Czech Republic, Italy and Ireland who yesterday for a #Erasmus project challenged each other, reading it in their own language, on a book that tells of the Journey of a girl who dreamed to be European. This is the future’!
The remaining days of the mobility were cultural days with visits to Bari, Bitonto, Alberobello, Ostuni, Polignano and the UNESCO World Heritage Town - Matera.
It was exciting and on the final night, European night was celebrated with a pizza and lasagna party!
The entire trip was an enlightening and fun experience.