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UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan Visits UNICEF-Supported Aprendiz City-School in São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo, 24 October 2008– As part of an official state visit to Brazil, UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, visited the Aprendiz City-School in São Paulo this morning.

During the visit, Her Majesty Queen Rania became familiar with the work of the Aprendiz City-School, a programme which represents the best in education: a 'school for life', which works to address the needs of the child, their family and the community, and recognizes that being educated is much more than just reading and writing.

“I was very impressed with my visit this morning to the UNICEF-supported Aprendiz City-School here in Sao Paulo”, said Her Majesty Queen Rania. “I was particularly inspired by the interest in learning of the children and adolescents who are benefiting from this innovative education programme.”

“Children not only have the right to learn, but also have the right to be prepared to become active and productive citizens”, said Her Majesty. “When different social actors of the community - including private and public organizations - share the responsibility for education, they help ensure a higher quality of education, and also become key partners in the success of the students.”

The Aprendiz City-School is a non-governmental organization located in the Vila Madalena district of São Paulo. Aprendiz has been developing, using and disseminating the concept of community education since 1997. Her Majesty Queen Rania was accompanied by Her Royal Highness Princess Noor Hamzah, wife of His Royal Highness Prince Hamzah, brother of His Majesty King Abdullah.

Her Majesty Queen Rania spoke with children, students and educators to better understand the unique Aprendiz educational methodology: how the learning needs of each child are addressed in a multi-dimensional manner. UNICEF’s Representative in Brazil, Marie-Pierre Poirier, explains that “Learning is reinforced through Aprendiz's interactive, 'learning by doing' approach in a colorful and stimulating environment: the children's own community, which plays a fundamental role in the promotion of quality, public education.”

For example, art workshops take place in museums and theatres, chemistry classes are held in restaurants and physical education classes utilize parks located near schools. The project’s activities have helped turn the district into a huge, outdoor classroom through which schools can articulate with other community spaces, helping children and adolescents to learn everywhere, all the time.

The Aprendiz City-School creates a community-supported environment, encouraging each child to be
the unique individual that they are, and creating new opportunities for them to broaden their knowledge to face the challenges of modern life as citizens who can play a productive role in contributing to a more fair and equal society. UNICEF has supported the dissemination of the Aprendiz educational methodology throughout Brazil.

Her Majesty Queen Rania was named UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children in January 2007. Her Majesty plays an important role in drawing the attention of the international community and the media to the challenges affecting children and adolescents around the world, with a particular focus on education.


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