Project Meeting in Kozje, Slovenia. September 19- 23, 2017

Green Europe Project meeting in Kozje

From 19th to 23rd September there was a project meeting in Kozje. Partners from Slovenia, Poland, Italy, Lithuania and Latvia got together to meet in person and discuss important project matters and to get to know Kozje and Slovenia.

Tuesday, 19th September

Students from abroad and their hosts started the day with a workshop where they got to know more about each other. It was led by the Kozje primary school pedagogical worker Ms. Drofenik and two teachers.
After that there was the welcome event in the multipurpose center Kozje where the guests were welcomed by the headmaster of Kozje primary school, Mr. Roman Gradišek, the school choir which under the mentorship of Mrs. Polona Pevec sang the Slovene, the European and the school anthem and by pupils from 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade under the mentorship of Mrs. Mateja Kolar acted out a cute play in English called 'I want my hat back.' They amazed the audience with their costumes.
All the guests presented themselves and a bit of their country on the stage.
The event was followed by a short introductory meeting led by the school coordinator Mr. Gregor Vrabec.
The guests then split into two groups and went on a tour of the Kozje kindergarten Zmajček Kozje and the Kozje primary school. The guests attended a music workshop inspired by nature led by Mrs. Polona Pevec Pungeršek where they made some musical instruments. To do that they joined the 8th grade.
Next, the guests visited the mayor of Kozje Mrs. Milenca Krajnc who welcomed them and presented the municipality along with its wonders and the history. The guests received a symbolic gift.
After that, the guests had lunch on Kozjanska domačija where they were served typical food for Kozjansko region produced only on farms in Kozjansko.

Upon their return back to Kozje Ms. Živa Grobelšek took them on a short tour of Kozje.


Wednesday, 20th September

On Wednesday morning there was the official project meeting. In the first part every partner country presented endangered landscapes in its vicinity.
Then there was a debate about possible solutions, the purpose of the project and in conclusion everbody agreed that the basis for any change in the world is awareness about pollution and also possible solutions to the problems connected to environment.
In the second part the teachers continued with the meeting and students split into two groups.
The first group went to the craft workshop led by Mrs. Alja Belak. Students drew models of a dragon on wood and then cut them by a saw with the help of Slovene students Matic and Alen. They filed and cleaned the sharp edges and coloured the dragon in green. When it dried, they drew the tail, mouth and eyes.
On the backside they wrote the name of the school and the country. They took the dragons home as a souvenir. Those who finished early, made another dragon or some other useful thing from wood. Ideas and plans for those things were made by students themselves.
The second group went to the art workshop led by Mr. Franc Grobelšek.
First each student received a gift – flax eco bag. The purpose of the workshop was to design the bag in such a way to remind them of the project meeting in Kozje and of friends of all the countries involved in the project.
Students were first familiarized with ways of transfering a picture onto textile, then they created linocut matrixes of their initials. The matrix enabled them to print their product many times, therefore their initials appeared on bags of every student in the group.

They also added the flags of the partner countries on the bags and were able to freely use acrylic sprays to decorate the bags even more.
In the afternoon Mrs. Lidija Čepin took the guests to Podsreda to the seat of the Kozjansko Regional Park. After the welcome of Mrs. Mojca Kunst they watched the video presentation of the park.
Mrs. Barbara Ploštajner presented and explained how the plant-based waste water treatment works and its purpose in protecting the environment, students attended a workshop and made their own sand filter and got to know the cleaning system first hand.
Mr. Dušan Klenovšek and Mrs. Mojca Kunst took the guests to the Podsreda castle. Mr Dušan took them to the attic and showed them the bats which are protected in the Kozjansko Regional Park. He also presented their way of life and what the Park is doing to protect them.
With audio guides they walked through the rooms of the castle and visited an exhibition about the nature in the Kozjansko park. They got to nkow the purpose of protecting the swamps, meadow orchards, dry preserve the biodiversity.
At the end they visited a meadow orchard where Mr. Klenovšek pointed out the purpose of their protection. Old apple trees are a habitat to many endangered species. They saw nesting boxes of endangered birds, the hotel for solitary bees and the hotel for ladybirds.

Thursday, 21th September

On Thursday, 21st September we took our guests to the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana. They explored the city centre, visited the Presidential palace and met the president of Slovenia, Mr. Borut Pahor. It was a wonderful experience to talk about nature protection with the president.
Gorenjska was the final destination. A part of Slovenia that is enveloped in mountains. Planica ski jumping centre is a place worth visiting. It is one of the highest jumping hills in the world. Even for Slovenians mountains in Gorenjska are something spectacular.
On the way back our guests got to visit Bled, one of the most fairytale like places in Slovenia. An island in the middle of the lake and a church on the island is something you don't see every day.
It was a wonderful day, a nice opportunity to strengthen friendships that started to develop.

Friday22th September

On Friday, 22nd September,  we took our guest to Bratuša farm in Podsreda where they could see different animals such as chicken, pigs and cows and tried different farm activities, shelling beans and corn husking. At the end of the visit the family offered some pumpkin seeds, croissants and tea.
We went to Kukovičičev mill where our guests got to know its history and the process of grinding wheat. They also tried some of breads that are made at the farm.
Gruska cave was the next stop. With its beautiful nature, the stream and the cave, it offers a great place to relax and collect energy to handle everyday worries.
Then our guests took a ride on a tourist train to the Witch hut, the Olimje monastery and the chocolate shop.

Saturday, 23rd September, 2017

There was a sports day at Kozje primary school. In the beginning, Mrs. Maja Amon and her team presented gymnastics on horses as well as taking care of these beautiful animals. Students were able to ride the horses.
Different sport mentors presented sports that students can train in Kozje and after that the guests went on a panoramic hike. The view of Kozje was phenomenal due to nice weather.
The teachers and the students received the certificates of attendance.
The guests were able to see a lot in this short period of time. They have seen in person that Kozje and Kozjansko lives with and for nature. It is the greatest treasure and people are aware of it. Let us make sure that the Green Europe stays green.

An article about the project meeting in Kozje has been published in the local newspaper OKO


Gregor Vrabec, Kozje primary school project coordinator.

Preparations for the Short Term Exchange in Slovenia

Before the project partners' meeting in Slovenia on September 19-23 all the partners prepared a slide presentation "Endangered Landscapes in our Country". Also, we had to make two after school activity plans- one for bright students, the other for students with special needs. Lithuanian team members, form 8b students Akvile and Edvardas, prepared a presentation about yhe Curonian Spit. Teachers Nijole Urboniene and Vilija Siuksciuviene prepared after school activity plans. The materials were presented during the meetings in Slovenia.

Spring celebrations

In each project country- Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania there are different traditions welcoming spring. At all schools communities had different events and celebrations. Students tooks part in their traditional festivals and in different ways welcomed spring. Here you see slide presentations about spring celebrations in each project  country.

The flowering tree Festival


Lithuanian Spring celebrations

Latvian Spring celebrations

Our Second Meeting in Ventspils, Latvia

The second meeting of Erasmus+ project “Green Europe” partners took place in Ventspils 2nd basic school, Latvia, on April 20- 24. The members of the meeting presented the fulfilled tasks, communicated and cooperated. We also took part in an interesting five- day programme and got acquainted with the school, teachers, pupils, also with the Latvian nature. Besides, we had a good opportunity to communicate with each other. The pupils went to lessons, took part in activities at the Youth House, also, being hosted in Latvian families they had an interesting leasure time. The teachers in the meetings discussed the coming activities within the project.
This is how Lithuanian team pupils recall their visit:

The first day at school in Latvia, on April 20, was full of events. The meeting of all school teams from five countries: Latvia, Poland, Italy, Lithuania and Slovenia took place at Ventspils school where the participants of the meeting watched an amazing concert. The talented students – dancers, acrobats, singers and piano-players performed in it. After the concert we together with host students went to their classes. We had a lesson of Handicrafts. Other students went to other lessons. At midday there was an event outdoors. A tree was planted in the school yard. Representatives of Venspils authorities congratulated guest teams. After that event we travelled around Ventspilis- went to the Baltic sea, visited the Livonian castle, where we heard amazing stories and saw exhibits from the ancient times. The castle was really awesome! In the evening the Latvian family which we stayed at took us for a walk at the sea, then to the lake and to the forest where we saw some wild animals- a beaver and a roe. We came back home full of impressions and waiting for the coming trips.

On the 21st of April we visited the Digital Center where we made a beautiful video about nature. Also, we had a chance to use a gun, which melts the plastic. It was a very interesting experience. I had never done that before. After lunch we went to the Creative House and planetarium. In the Creative house we saw students‘ art exhibitions. We also went to the premises. The Great Hall hosts different events and has a beautiful piano. The hall doesn‘t have any microphones because the acustics there is incredible. In the Tailors‘ Room boys and girl learn to sew or cook. In the Crafts Room  children make handicrafts. In the Art Room art lovers draw, model clay and fulfill their fantasy. In the Information Technology room you can learn programming, constructing robots, working at computers and other technological devices. In the Technology room boys learn to cut out of wood. We enjoyed seeing so many activities which students can be involved in and, what is more, everything is free. Later we went to the planetarium, where we sat in comfortable armchairs and the guide told us interesting facts about the planets, stars and our Earth. We could also watch the sky while listening to the guide’s explanation. At the end of that day we with our families walked around the city of Ventspils and along the Baltic seaside. The day was full of new impressions and we were glad to recall everything we had seen discussing with our hosting families.

On April 22nd we visited Kuldiga, Riezupe and Edole. In Kuldiga we saw the widest waterfall in Europe. In Riezupe we went to sand caves and in Edole we visited a castle. Rumba is the widest waterfall in Europe: 249 metres wide and it is up to 270 metres wide during spring floods. Its height is 1.80–2.20 metres and it changes depending on the water level in the river. The total length of sand caves of Riezupe ir roughly 2 kilometres. Currently we can visit 460 metres of underground caves which have rare allurement. Caves have been constructed by four generations. The owner of the caves is Inese Fokerota - she is the heiress in the fourth generation. The sand of the caves has been used to manufacture glass – the sand is as white and clean as sugar. The temperature in the caves is constant all year long - eight degrees centigrade. Bats have been using caves as their shelter - there are eight species of bats in the caves. They spend winter here untroubled and go away in spring, letting tourists safely enjoy labyrinths of the caves. Later that day after lunch at a restaurant Kludzins we walked along the Pedestrian street, that is just for pedestrians. Edole's castle is next to a mill's lake. The castle was built in 1264- 1276. In the castle museum we can see white, red or green halls, a library, a circle room in the tower and a children’s room. There we can see many different things, such as statues, ancient clocks, handmade chests, and outside we can see other buildings of the castle. It was a very interesting tour of significant places in Latvia. We got acquainted with Latvian nature, its flora and fauna.

On Sunday, the 23d of April we started our day going to the Colca Bay, known as the Colca Horn. This place is special because there meet two seas –the  Baltic Sea with the sea of the Gulf of Riga. After we had admired  the beautiful view, we went  to Roja. We were fascinated by Roja‘s Old Town. Later we went to a restaurant on the sea shore, where we made dessert from bread pastry, carrots and cheese. The restaurant educator explained to us about different types of fish, how fish was smoked in old times, what types of meals people had. We tried different kinds of fish. Everything was tasty. After lunch we came to our temporary families. We were full of joy and very happy!!!

Activities in Venspils, Latvia

Preparations for our visit to  Ventspils, Latvia involved making presentations about bright students in project partner schools, also 2 lesson plans- 1 English lesson plan and 1 Nature lesson plan. Lithuanian team prepared the following presentation and lesson plans:

We Study Birds of Lithuania

Within the Project Erasmus+ Green Europe“ our school realized a lot of activities concerning birds. During different lessons and in school clubs we were interested in that subject. In the winter and early spring our school community took care of birds. Also, we watched them, analysed, studied their nests, feeding, voices and photos. Besides, we made bird feeders and nesting boxes. Austeja, Guste and Ugne collected information and produced power point presentations about these activities.

The First Short - Term Exchange

This is an article in the Lithuanian Panevezys regional daily newspaper "Sekundė" about the first short- term exchange of project partners- teams from Italy, Slovenia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania- in Sicily, Italy.

The 2nd Short Term Exchange of Groups of Students

On 20-24 April, 2017 all the Project Erasmus+ “ Green Europe“ partner teams will meet for the second short term Exchange of groups of students in Venspils, Latvia. According to the application form, our Latvian partners prepared a programme in which all of us will take part. Polish, Italian, Slovenian, Latvian and Lithuanian students – 4 in each team, and teachers – 2 in each team will cooperate in different planned activities and meetings. We are looking forward to meeting our friends again and hope to have a useful time together.