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The desire to create a “School of Gratuitousness”, was initially planned with the least and most marginalised in mind and also as a guarantee of full integration into the education system of people with disabilities, thus bringing about the "Society of Gratuitousness". This gave rise, in 1995, to the founding of the Pope John XXIII Community Service for Schools.
The school of gratuitousness was initially planned with the least and most marginalised in mind, thus providing a better school experience for everyone.
It is based on the concept of gratuitousness, that being what is freely given rather than subject to market forces and the profit motive, in order that each person is valued as a unique individual. The service has put this concept into practice by drawing up a “Manifesto for the School of Gratuitousness”.
Community members who are teachers bring this particular aspect of the vocation into the schools in which they work.

Action

The Service for School operates on two fronts, educational inclusion and the school for gratuitousness.

Educational inclusion
The action taken for educational inclusion initially consisted of helping Community families deal with the difficulties their children, both natural and welcomed in, encountered during their schooling. This support was soon extended to families outside the Community, resulting in the launch of some real action campaigns in some Italian cities, fighting to obtain a suitable number of hours of teaching assistance. The service has also put pressure on politicians and legal experts to achieve this aim.

The School of Gratuitousness

  • In recent years the service has been making a study of the pedagogy of the school of gratuitousness, gaining greater training and working in state schools. Currently some of our teachers are implementing the school of gratuitousness pedagogy in both primary and middle schools. This work has enabled us to put together the book “Scuola del Gratuito, Esperienze” (Experiences in the School of Gratuitousness) published by Sempre.
  • We have given our support to some Italian schools wishing to implement the pedagogy of the school of gratuitousness.
  • A training/refresher course on the pedagogy of the school of gratuitousness will be presented at the next conference on the school of gratuitousness to be held on 17/18 October 2015.
  • The training group for the school of gratuitousness currently holds monthly meetings discussing educational themes relating to altruistic pedagogy.
  • The service has a blog  and a facebook page containing articles, experiences and reflections on this pedagogy.
  • The Service for Schools also takes part in the educational round table of the Italian Families Association Forum.

Other action
Training courses for schools have been created in response to the educational and cultural needs of young people in drug rehabilitation programmes and in order to coordinate the action taken in schools by other services of the association, such as projects dealing with peace and civilian service, the prevention of distress youth disadvantage, musical and theatre workshops, etc.

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