This year, there were many issues to be resolved before holding the Learning Parade. Firstly – will its implementation be possible at all, what will the turnout be like – visitors are used to a May date, kindergartens and schools are just starting classes – and will they even participate? What about the participants – will we be able to ensure a diverse enough offer for the different target groups, where to find a suitable backup place in case the weather is bad, how to ensure adequate safety distance between attendees, how to comply with the requirements of the National Institute of Public Health?
In August, all providers confirmed their participation. After that, we searched for a suitable place in Jesenice where adequate distance could be maintained. We found the ideal venue for the event – an open-air museum featuring easy access, enough space and a roof.
We had a suitable venue, confirmations from participating organisations, all the necessary permits … the only thing left was to wait for visitors. And they came – in large numbers, as the Learning Parade in Jesenice was the first major public event in the municipality after the declaration of the epidemic.
Participants were greeted by stands, where they could exchange books, have their blood pressure, blood sugar and bone density measured, get to know the tourist amenities of Jesenice and projects undertaken by secondary school students, get theatre season tickets, familiarise themselves with trade union activity, learn about COVID-19 etc. There was also a stage show, which ended with a performance given by jazz dancers.
Participants could also take part in creative workshops, solve mental puzzles, meet a magician, play old ironworkers’ games and learn about the chain experiment and about rescue dogs and horse care; children could familiarise themselves with traffic regulations and safe driving at the driving track and chat with police officers and firefighters. Tours of museum collections were available free of charge.
The “Transverzala znanja” (Traverse of Knowledge) event was held again this year – participants collected the stamps of the participating organisations and then received a prize at the Jesenice AEC stand by presenting the completed list.
Like two years ago, we decided again this year to organise two “satellite” Learning Parades at the same time as the one in Jesenice, but in other municipalities – in Žirovnica and in Bohinjska Bistrica. In this way, we can present the learning offer in places outside the seat of the Jesenice AEC – we connect local societies, organisations, schools and kindergartens and thus show the locals what options there are for participating in activities in their local environment.
Successfully carried out and well-attended Learning Parades are proof that the power of lifelong learning is expressed through integration and cooperation between organisations in the local environment.
Lea Zlodej (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jesenice AEC