2018 has been designated the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Europe's cultural heritage surrounds us in the buildings of our cities, our landscapes and archaeological sites. It is preserved not only in literature, art and objects but also in craft skills, stories, food and films. Europe is changing, the migration wave established several questions - What are our roots, our traditions? Are we aware of them, are we living with respect to them? What are similarities and differences between various cultures? Do the differences endanger our own culture? How much have our traditions changed?

Six European schools from the Czech Republic, Finland, Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Turkey agreed on a two-year cooperation on this topic, these six schools realised that the "Roots" project will help their students and teachers to enlarge their overview of culture, traditions, roots and heritage and answer the above mentioned questions, that the project will help them to learn more about other cultures but also about their own culture, preserve traditions and keep or develop them.

The project includes both local activities and mobilities (learning/teaching/training activities). The activities focus on roots and cultural heritage and include topics such as: life in the past, folk stories, music and dance, migration, cuisine or language. During the workshops we will also deal with several European issues.

In this project we are going to achieve the following objectives and concrete results:

1. Development of competences of the participants of the project (communication and language, cultural awareness, creative, digital, social, analytical, and moving)

2. Printed outputs - Book of stories, a brochure about the project, a photobook, newsletters, promotional materials

3. Online outputs - web, facebook page, e-Twinning, e-magazines, logo

4. Development of international cooperation in the partner schools and strengthening the cooperation of the schools with municipalities, libraries, community centres and houses of culture at the local level

5. Breaking stereotypes about other cultures, traditions and lifestyles

6. Extending the knowledge of the partner countries in the field of history, traditions, customs, ways of life, and geography

7. Extending (or gaining) the knowledge about various UNESCO sites.

8. Development of friendship with students and colleagues from partner schools

9. Development of awareness of the European Union issues including Erasmus+ programme

10. Exchange of good practices and methods of work with young people

The participants are students aged 14-19 from six countries from various parts of Europe, from various cultural, social, geographical background, their headmasters, teachers, other school staff and parents. We are going to involve public into our activities, too, particularly responsible people from municipalities, libraries, community centres. In the activity "Interview with older people" and creating "Book of stories" old people will be involved to share their life experience. Each school will involve at least 30-50 participants in local activities and 15 students in mobilities.

During the activites we will use various methods of work - presentations, workshops, discussions and debates, interviews, excursions, seminars, lectures, role-play activities, intercultural activities etc. We are going to use methods of both formal and informal education.

The project will have a desired impact on the participating schools, it will help to start or extend their international partnerships and activities, the schools will be more popular for next newcomers and public will learn more about school activities. People not connected with schools so far can learn about the schools activities and maybe find some kind of cooperation. The students and teachers of the partner schools will improve their skills and will become more interesting for the labour market.

Motivation of the students and teachers for future international cooperation will increase and the awareness about Erasmus+ programme and other matters regarding the European Union will be enlarged. The project will help the participants to become aware of the roots, history, traditions and cultural heritage of their country and to overcome prejudices and stereotypes about other cultures. This is an important fact particularly in countries where anti-European forces are getting stronger and in the times when Europe looks back to its roots.

The project will bring a long-time benefit for the schools, some of the materals, presentations, Book of stories as well as some methods of work can be used in the future and involved in a curriculum.

The schools will also strengthen cooperation with municipalities, libraries or community centres and will be also able to offer future students the gained experience. And above all, the participants will gain and develop their competences and will become more educated, more cultural and more interesting for labour market.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.