A look back at some openings

© Marion Pouliquen
© Marion Pouliquen
Since May 2021, Oasis schoolyards have already welcomed about 71 different activities. Though the weather hasn’t been as mild as expected, local communities were able to meet there and take part in a wide range of shows, debates and creative activities.

For three years, the Fédération de Paris de la Ligue de l’enseignement has worked on organizing community assemblies gathering inhabitants and local actors in order to collectively imagine schoolyards’ openings. 

Due to Covid 19, these assemblies were unfortunately suspended. The Ligue de l’enseignement then worked on its own to offer a wide range of inclusive activities aiming to social utility and public interest. For each schoolyard, local cultural structures or associations were chosen in order to rekindle the links between inhabitants and local actors. 

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© FPLE
© FPLE

On June 19th, in the newly transformed schoolyard of Keller Elementary School, association Culture(s) en Herbe(s) offered a vegetable print workshop. Residents from Bastille and Popincourt neighborhoods were initiated to this ancestral technique.

Participants first chose their foliage upon a wide range of leaves. Then they went on to printing. Fabrics were available, but some preferred customizing their own tote bag.

The process of vegetable print is quite simple:

  • display your leaves as you like it on the fabric
  • get a hammer and hit them so that it leaves a print on the fabric
  • drop the fabric in a mix of water and iron sulfate which has the tannin attached to it
  • wait until it’s completely dry before using or wearing your item
     

A DIY activity that thrilled adults and children.

Keller Elementary School welcomed the 10th edition of the contemporary art biennial Génie du Jardin. For two weeks, a selection of artworks and artistic installations is on display in public gardens and green spaces of the neighborhood.

For this edition, artists have been invited to imagine and create installations on the theme of Oasis, specially designed for the newly transformed schoolyard. Following the partnership and collaboration objectives of the Oasis Schoolyards Project, children of the day camp actively participated in the creation of the biennial in Keller schoolyard.

Tracy Mead, an American artist who was part of the project, presented her work on 09/25. She was present all day long to discuss it and its message with the residents.

A polar bear lying on an ice block, progressively melting as the day passed. A measuring instrument accompanied the bear to show the rise of the water level in real time.

©  Marion Pouliquen /  Romain Descours  « Dé-connexion »
©  Marion Pouliquen /  Romain Descours  « Dé-connexion »
Marion Pouliquen / © Tracy Mead  «  Le Cavalier des Icebergs à l’Oasis »
Marion Pouliquen / © Tracy Mead  «  Le Cavalier des Icebergs à l’Oasis »

Alongside this “live performance”, students had previously decorated the schoolyard with colored ribbons with their thoughts on the theme written on them.

An artistic proposition to discuss global warming and climate change.

©  Marion Pouliquen
©  Marion Pouliquen

Elementary School Jeanne d’Arc oasis yard welcomed parents, children and psychologists for a discussion about social networks and screens.

Members from Trois-Six-Neuf-Douze association specialized in screen use with children and teenagers led this meeting and gave practical tips to their audience in order to serenely accompany children with their first experience of social networks.

Psychologist Flore Guattari encouraged parents and children to collectively brainstorm about most commons questions regarding dangers and advantages of social networks.

Each idea, cyber-bullying for example, was then detailed with educational and legal expertise.

Children were also invited to express their feelings about social networks and screens during a coloring workshop, accompanied by an activity leader. They also learned about responsible behaviors to adopt when using the Internet alone and even got a participation certificate.

With a buffet and fresh drinks for the participants, thanks to the Parents Association and the Community Board, this event was also a way for parents to reconnect with each other, after a long year of sanitary crisis.

© Marion Pouliquen
© Marion Pouliquen 

For its last opening, Emeriau oasis yard welcomed an immersive theater and circus arts play. On stage, comedian Lucile André - head of the local company Les Tropes - recounted the adventures of a little girl who did not fit in her family of circus performers and who found her true self by becoming a clown. During the play, children were encouraged to interact with the comedian.

Then each of them had the chance to practice a wide range of activities such as juggling, to follow the path of the little heroin.

At the end of the play, an activity leader from the City of Paris and the children offered the parents a little concert. 

A very much appreciated moment which gathered around 60 inhabitants and local actors of the neighborhood.

© Marion Pouliquen
© Marion Pouliquen

The openings of Oasis schoolyards aim to offer a various range of pedagogical activities – sustainability, solidarity, physical and mental health – targeting children, teenagers but also adults. Thus, two-hour first-aid training courses were organized in each of the eight schoolyards. These activities were led by a trainer of UFOLEP, an association specialized in sports and first-aid classes throughout France.

During two hours, participants learned about behaviors and rules required to attend the needs of adults and children in danger but also to prevent any danger. Every situation possible – wounds, heart attacks, chokings – was first thoroughly explained by the trainer. Participants could then practice each gesture on a mannequin. A first-aid certificate was delivered to participants at the end of the training.

Activities regarding road and domestic safeties were organized for children and led by an activity trainer. Children also got their participation certificate.

A much needed and appreciated activity to learn how to take care of yourself and the others.

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