In early March 2010, the head teacher of gymnasium “F. Ferrucci” in the town of Larsiano, Italy founded jointly with the parents of students in the ninth and tenth grade, the school board and the students themselves an association for cooperative learning. The project covers the creation of a school cooperative with student members assisted by external experts with the purpose to teach the students about cooperative values and principles and their practical application.
The cooperative’s activities are organised in three stages. In the first stage, following takes place: the cooperative is constituted and a name is given to it, elections of the managerial bodies take place – all activities simulate completely the provisions of the Italian cooperative law. Each member of the cooperative pays (with the explicit permission of the parents) an equity contribution amounting to €2..
The second stage of the activities covers setting of objectives and tasks. The students discuss in a general meeting the proposals of each member and systematize the following objectives and tasks for TeenCoop:
– Organization of multicultural dinner designed to integrate students from different ethnic groups through their specific cultural values and specific national cuisine;
– Conduct of Easter lottery;
– Realisation of a final bazaar.
The funds raised in the form of equity contributions the cooperative is investing in the purchase of missing materials. The members produce in volunteer labour a variety of products to offer for the lottery and final bazaar.
At the proposal of the Board, the general meeting of the cooperative accepts to donate the funds raised for the purchase of an ambulance in memory of their classmate who died in a car accident, to build a school in a nearby village and to collect foodstuffs for a shelter for homeless animals.
Social effects – the project is socially exclusively successful:
– all activities performed unite the members of the cooperative and attract the sympathy of many students who recognize the cooperative idea, values and principles;
– the cooperative has an exclusive educational effect for all participants in the tasks set. We should, in particular, distinguish the enhanced ethno-cultural tolerance;
– the members of the cooperative are taught in the main economic principles through practical tasks in real conditions.
The measurable results are as follows:
– The sales in the final bazaar provided a donation of over €400 for the purchase of an ambulance in memory of a classmate who died in a car accident;
– The sale of lottery tickets resulted in over €800, donated to construct a school in the village of Njiro;
– Donated foodstuffs to a shelter for homeless animals:
o rice: 18 sacks;
o sausages: 2 kg
o food for big dogs: 32 kg
o food for small dogs: 62 kg
o cat’s food in jars: 37 jars
o meatballs for dogs: 23 kg
o meatballs for cats: 4 kg
o anatomical collars: 2 pcs
o clothing for dogs: 2 sets
o blankets: 4 pcs
The cooperative created its own facebook site and blog at http://www.teencoopferrucci.blogspot.com/
– Due to the public and media interest, the members of the cooperative started their regular column in the local newspaper.