We live in an alert world, full of stress, pollution and lack of humanity and become increasingly more indifferent to everything around us and do not have time to listen to friends, family, strangers, and why not, to the land. Yes, to the land. It has so much to tell or to reproach. So, let’s stop for a while from the fast pace of life and listen to its voice. By means of the project "Voices from the Land" we want to integrate language and landscape, art and culture. In this respect, the project is an exploration and celebration of oral and written language of science, art, performance and the human imagination. It can be done with people of all ages and abilities, in any landscape, with any language. Our pupils use natural materials to create ephemeral art in an outdoor setting. With bare hands and natural tools, they rearrange leaves, grass, stone, twigs, sand, ice, snow, mud, pine cones and other materials by using color, form, shape, pattern, light, and shadow in order to create art in simple contrast to surroundings. Then they take photographs of their art works with digital cameras. They will write poetry about their experience while creating the artworks and their feelings about nature. The artworks and the poetry will be collected in a memory book and the pupils in the countries involved in the project will send the books to each other. The project invites partner pupils to discover simple miracles of everyday life, the landscapes that surround us, insisting on the fragile relationship between people, nature, art and the passage of time. We discover miracles looking the beauties created by nature and have unique feelings when we look at the ants’ walk or listen to the crickets’ song. The miracle of the European friendship will wear the mark of our partnership. 1. The concrete objectives of the partnership are: to generate writing and develop communication skills across the curriculum, to communicate, collaborate and negotiate as a member of a creative team, to express thoughts, ideas and experiences through written and oral language and performance, to embed language and science in everyday experiences, to use internet-based applications to document, layout, design and publish pupils’ products and to draw inspiration from the land that sustains us all, and appreciation for the local community landscapes, to include our pupils learning process by using poems and games, to make a cultural bridge between European countries by offering to the pupils the chance to broaden their point of view, to have an idea about cultures, traditions, histories and social lives of different nations. 2. There are more subjects and problems we intend to address by involving us in this partnership, whose main goal is the environmental education like a vital component of lifelong learning. In order to reach European standards in education, it's important to set up links within the different communities. Together we can improve the teaching methods, sharing information by using English as language of communication, to develop our pupils’ journalist skills, to get better results to all the subjects in their curriculum. The sciences and the arts are used together under the flag of creation, being all the time encouraged by those around us who love nature. Though the supposed intend of education is to prepare pupils for real life, schools segregate pupils into classrooms by age and this artificially limits the environment in which the child learns about interacting with people with different interests and life experiences. This project is able to stimulate, to encourage, and to cooperate. Geography, History, Math, Drawing, English, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Music, will interact together in a reel of developing skills and knowledge at European level. 3. Through workshops, exhibitions, magazines, trips, transnational meetings, the achievement of some PowerPoint Presentations of our project activities, we will manage to achieve all our objectives. Working together as a united team, all the European partners will set up their project corner, will maintain a permanent contact by e-mail, will contribute to the project website achievement, and will organize symposiums and conferences in their towns for promoting the project ideas. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. All the schools participating will have an equal and well defined role inside the project, the work to be done being equally distributed. The contacts will be regular and the participation of all the partners in transnational meetings will be assured. In each school a project team will be created to work on various topics, discuss about the activities progress, evaluated achievements and timing. Before starting the project we select our pupils’ three most beautiful drawings and photos to decide together our partners during the first mobility which of them will be our project logo. This is also the mobility in which each partner school will come with own proposal for the project anthem (a Video or audio song and lyrics) in order to select a common one. Cumhuriyet İlköğretim Okulu from Kırşehir City, Turkey will be the project coordinator, responsible for communicating with all the partners, preparing the timetable, filling in and sending all the documents, monitoring the project progress, and for publishing “Welcome, Seasons!” booklet. Scoala cu clasele I-VIII "Liviu Rebreanu" from Mioveni Town, Romania will be responsible for creating and editing the project website, using the partners’ pictures, presentations or texts and for creating a Google Group to exchange ideas about our tasks. Gimnazjum w Kijach from Kije Town, Poland will be responsible for publishing the “Minidictionary in Our Languages” which reflects our daily life aspects through basic words and for achieving copies for partners. Istituto Comprensivo Aristide Leonori from Rome City, Italy will be responsible for preparing a dissemination plan, for creating puzzles with the prettiest places in our countries. Colegio Publico don Alvaro de Luna from Maqueda Town, Spain will be responsible for preparing evaluation tools, achieving quizzes, questionnaires and tests in English to check pupils’ knowledge, publishing “A Guide of Good Practices”. 6/Thesio Dimotiko Sxoleio Grizanou from Grizano Village, Greece will be responsible for preparing outlines and exploitation of results plan, for realizing CDs with the project best photos and presentations of our schools, towns, countries, project activities, disseminations, the transnational meetings. Daugavpils Saskanas School from Daugavpils City, Latvia will be responsible for achieving the albums with the most beautiful photos of the pupils’ art works, a result of the interacting with the local environment, a proof of improving skills along the project. 1. TURCIA – KIRŞEHIR (187 Km from ANKARA and 629 from ISTANBUL) Our school is situated in the centre of Kırşehir. Kırşehir is a small city between Ankara (the capital) and Nevşehir (Cappadocia). People in Kırşehir give importance to education very much. So the education level is very high here. Also our school is the one which has lots of successful pupils. Our school is one of the oldest schools in Kırşehir. The staff number of our school is 128 and the pupils are nearly 2,400. We have classes from 1 to 8 grades, their ages being between 7 and 15. Besides these we have kindergarten as well. The school takes place in the centre of the city which as a result of this we have no places for the children to play. With the help of this project the pupils will have chance to know the importance of the nature in our lives. We want open our pupils’ mind toward many cultures because we think the future is a multicultural future and discover in the other cultures what is similar or different by our culture is the first step towards respect, tolerance and collaboration. Our pupils and their family are very involved towards European projects. 2. ROMANIA – MIOVENI (120 Km from BUCHAREST) There are 40 classes in Scoala cu clasele I-VIII „Liviu Rebreanu”: 18 primary level classes and 22 gymnasium classes. Each class has got between 20 and 25 pupils. The patron of our school is Liviu Rebreanu. It is the name of a famous Romanian writer. The school subjects of the gymnasium classes belong to different curricular areas, guided by a responsible teacher: “Language and Communication”, “Math and Science”, “People and Society”, “Sport and Physical Education”, “Technologies and Arts”. Most of our pupils’ parents work in the car factory of our town. Some of their parents are left for working abroad and their number is increasing more and more. That’s why, we want to involve them in this project, too, in order to have school like a second family, and this can be possible mainly due to the wonderful world of a Comenius partnership between different European schools. For its involvement in ecological activities within the Program called “Eco-School”, our school was awarded with the Green Flag and we are proud of this. Besides, due to the support given to environmental projects in all the schools of our town, the Town Hall Mioveni was awarded with the Green Flag, too. Mioveni is one of the seventh towns of the Arges County, with a population of about 36,000 inhabitants, and it has got five districts: Mioveni, Colibasi, Faget, Racovita and Clucereasa. Our school is located in the district having the same name with the town, the district with blocks of flats, the others being with houses. Mioveni Town is known as the town of the Romanian car due to the fact the first Romanian car was manufactured here, taking the old name of our country land - Dacia. The car factory has begun a Romanian - French cooperation after the Revolution since December 1989 and now it is called Dacia-Renault Car Factory. There are several formers pupils in our school who are now teachers here and we are very happy that they have chosen this beautiful profession. One of them is even the actual principal of our school. Our school has got a great gym hall, two IT labs, and different offices for almost all the subjects taught, and many other facilities which form its material base, created for the benefit of our pupils’ education at modern standards. This project will make our school known in Europe and the partnership with the other six schools a fruitful one. The teachers and the pupils of our school are ready to implement this interesting project, being a great challenge for them. 3. POLONIA – KIJE (101 Km from KRAKOW and 235 from WARSAW) Lower Secondary School in Kije is placed in a small and green town in the Świętokrzyskie Mountains in the south-east of Poland. It is situated about 25 kilometers from Kielce (the main city of the region) on the way from Warsaw (the capital of Poland) to Krakow (the old capital city). Most inhabitants are farmers and some of them commute to neighboring towns or go to work abroad. As a result some of our students suffer from the fact that their parents are living abroad to earn some money, while grandparents are looking after them. However, the unemployment level is still rising in the area. The majority of students come from small villages situated near Kije. Their school day starts at 8 am and finishes at 2.15 pm. They have seven lessons every day and study Polish, English, Russian, Math, ICT, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, PE, Art and RE. The pupils have breakfast and lunch in a school canteen. Our school offers attractive forms of learning and promotes foreign languages and computer technology. There are three computer rooms and a language lab in our school. Some of our pupils find learning difficult and they have regular psychological consultations or individual teaching. Despite all difficulties the pupils work hard and try to do their best at school. Most of them have never been abroad and their shared dream is cooperation with pupils from different countries. They are interested in foreign languages, especially English and Russian and they hope to use their language skills in real life. They find this project a chance to meet new friends discover other cultures and broaden their horizons. 4. ITALIA - ROME Istituto Comprensivo A. Leonori is located in the outskirts of Rome, nearby Ostia. It comprises three sections: a kindergarten one (3-5 ages), a primary one (6-10 ages), a first grade secondary school (11-13 ages). The social context is very various. There are pupils with a good standard of living, but also pupils with learning and behavioral problems. There are foreign children, mostly from Eastern European Countries and from Asia. We organize many activities to help the children to become integrated into the Italian and European society. We are especially involved in a program for disabled children and disadvantaged pupils in danger of social exclusion with the Municipality of Rome. We have also a special curriculum for music: piano, flute, violin, and guitar. There is an orchestra and a choir and most classes have interactive boards. There are computer labs, a pottery lab, and a science lab. 5. SPANIA – MAQUEDA (40 km from MADRID) Our school is a state school of infant and primary education, from 3 years old till 12 years old), with fifty six pupils. They are grouped in cycles (first cycle, second cycle and third cycle). Pupils of three, four and five years old are in the same class. Our school has got five classes. The centre has got the following teachers: two teachers for infant education, three for primary, two for physical education, and the others are specialist in other areas, for example two teachers for English area. Pupils haven’t got specific social disadvantages or specific needs. There are some migrants, as morocco and some of Latin origin. Our school is located in a very strategic point of communication, at about 30 kilometers from Toledo, and 40 kilometers from Madrid (the capital of Spain). 6. GRECIA – GRIZANO (392 Km from Athens) Primary School of Grizano is a small public school in the village of Grizano. Our school was built in 1929. It is a well-preserved traditional stone building in the centre of the village. In our school there are 74 pupils, 8 teachers of primary education, one physical education teacher, one teacher of English, and one teacher of French. There are 6 grades and apart from the core subjects (Greek Language, Math, Environmental Studies, Religious Education, etc.) pupils are also taught English, French, Physical Education and Information Technology. There are six classrooms in our school, one for each grade, and there is also a computer room, a gym, a teachers' office and a playground. Our pupils are experienced on working on cooperative projects with pupils from other countries and, specifically, this year we have been working on 3 e-Twinning projects that have to do with literature, art, music, nature and foreign languages. However, it would be a great opportunity for pupils of a small agricultural village to work on a Comenius project, as apart from learning to work collaboratively and communicate, share ideas, concerns and parts of their lives with pupils from other countries, they will also have the chance to escape the “school boundaries” and travel to new places, meet people of their age, learn things about their culture and their way of living. It will be a unique experience for all of them and for some of them it might be their only chance to travel to other countries, since travelling abroad is considered as a “luxury” for most of their families. Grizano is a small village in the municipality Farkadona, in the Prefecture of Trikala in central Greece, and it has approximately 1,600 inhabitants. It is an agricultural area and the main occupations of the inhabitants are agriculture, cattle-breeding, construction work and small commercial businesses. However, many of them and, consequently, many of our pupils’ parents have immigrated from Greece mostly to Germany, as well as other European countries in the past and, either they still work there, or they have come back, live and work in the village. As a consequence, there are pupils in our school who live with their grandparents, as their parents work abroad. The last two years, it is observed that more and more families decide to immigrate back to Germany and work there due to financial problems. 7. LATVIA – DAUGAVPILS (239 km to RIGA) Daugavpils Saskanas School is a primary/elementary school (pupils’ age is from 7 to 15). It is a school from one of the economically disadvantaged (the poorest) area of Latvia (Latgale). This school has been working with two or three education programs: for ethnic minorities (approximately 50 % from children are not Latvian, they are Russian speaking children), general education programs (for ethnic majorities) and for children with special needs (children with disabilities - 1 child). Daugavpils Saskanas School does not have experience in Comenius projects. But at the same time this school is an active participant of e-Twinning projects. The e-Twinning project “ICT You & Me” was awarded by Latvian NSS (one of the 6 best Latvian e-Twinning projects) in 2011. Sakanas School has been Eco School from 2010. School had experience in CLIL lessons organization too (for example Math in English).