Yekaterininsky Park has probably never been as noisy and crowded as it was on the morning of 4 June. Colourful caps, T-shirts and ties – blue, red and orange – were everywhere: teams from Moscow educational sessions, a city programme of children’s summer vacation days that got under way on 1 June, gathered there.
Today, participants attended Your Security Code interactive lessons. Some prepared in advance: the gallery with their pictures on the topic “I am for security, and you?” included about 90 pieces.
Putting up tents and becoming super-agents
The park was turned into a Security Island with many venues, such as a Green Pharmacy where visitors could learn about medicines that grow in the ground, the Fire Flight station on what to do during a fire, the Masters’ Square, and the City of Smart Tours. Participants were told how to protect themselves from ticks and how to behave on the river, in the forest or in the city.
There is a small sports ground at Tourist Platform and Safe Stadium, where a group listens to a teacher explaining security measures. How can a maximum carrying load be determined? What pulse is considered normal for a child and how is it taken? When it is forbidden to go in for sports? Children try to answer the questions with the teacher: they are not just listeners, but active participants.
A hiking camp is located not far from the park. There, young people learn how to put up a tent, what to take on a hike and how to cross a river or a canyon. They train with climbing ropes hanging between the trees, with safety nets, of course: security prevails.
The Academy of Personal Safety is situated nearby. Children come here as interns and after completing the trials, graduate as agents, and the best as super-agents. The main goal is to complete a puzzle with the map of Security Island. Each piece is given as an award for a completed task. “The programme is aimed at making children learn the universal security code: Control, Assess, Act,” says the academy’s curator Marianna Perevoshchikova.
They receive help from the creatures living on the island: the Invisible Man, the Forest Spirit, Little Code, Ksir and others. They explain fire security rules, how to use electric devices right and how to behave in the wild, in transport and on the internet. They also have a role game explaining how to talk with strangers, including on the phone.
Moscow’s Hot Hearts: Best at security rules
The young Muscovites in Yekaterininsky Park did a lot more than just learn security guidelines. Those who knew how to use them in practice were awarded: children received the Hot Heart awards for bravery, valour and heroic deeds at helping those in distress.
For example, Andrei Selivyorstov, member of the Young Army and cadet at Lozhki School, saved a baby from a fire and talked about it with calm: “I was nearby, tried to extinguish the fire, called an ambulance and provided first aid. We were taught how to do it and I remembered; so somehow you just know what to do.”
Vladislav Ababi and Maxim Khmirov from School No. 1471 helped apprehend dangerous criminals. Maxim says: “We were walking and a saw a suspicious man. He asked us for a phone to navigate the internet, and the site he went to seemed suspicious to us. We realised it was about drugs, so we turned him to the police, thus fulfilling our civil debt.”
Russian history, volunteering and sports: Three social sessions
The Department of Labour and Social Protection provided Moscow educational sessions with 87 venues at 52 institutions. Each session has its own name. The June session has the slogan “From the past into the future!” The events are dedicated to International Children’s Day, Russia Day and Memorial Day. The July session “Towards the Record” is dedicated to sports and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. And the August session, titled “Time to Do Good Things,” coincides with the Year of the Volunteer. The programme includes such events as Children for Children, Adults for Children and My City.
The programme also includes a lot of events dedicated to security. “It’s vacation time now, and we focus on security at home, outside, on the roads and in public transit. We have many quests and various instructional materials, such as cartoons and games,” says Larisa Ibragimova, department head at Otradnoye Resource Centre, which had 77 children in one session: five groups with children 7–14.
The programme was designed considering the participants’ age and requests from children and their parents. Larisa Ibragimova notes: “Each year, the Department of Culture provides vouchers to visit very interesting museums as well as organisations where professional orientation lessons can be held, such as Masterslavl.” Sports games and educational events are the most popular with children and their parents.
Lego, meetings with Olympic champions and planetarium tours
Moscow educational sessions have been launched for children who had no possibility to leave the city during the summer to receive new information. “They can gain knowledge while playing or relaxing. Moscow educational sessions should not become another school semester,” says Moscow Deputy Mayor on Social Development Leonid Pechatnikov.
There are many children who want to take part in Moscow educational session. “The demand is high,” Larisa Ibragimova says. “If a child cannot take part in the first session, we offer a second or third.” However, availability is limited: this year, there are 247 day centres for children that operate from 9 am to 7 pm. There will be one educational session on 1–29 June, two sports (1–29 June and 2–30 July) and three social sessions (1–29 June, 2–30 July and 1–28 August).
Many events have been prepared for the participants. Those in the social sessions will enjoy intellectual tournaments, LEGO contests, spartakiades and humour competitions. Sports lessons, workshops and meetings with Olympic champions will be held for young athletes. Participants in the educational session will take part in quizzes, games, contest, professional orientation lessons and practical lessons on how to solve school Olympiade tasks.
Children will be able to visit the Moscow Zoo, the planetarium, State History Museum, Moscow Kremlin Museum, Darwin Museum, Moskvarium, Masterslavl, Kuklachyov Cat Theatre, Durov Theatre and other venues.
Parents don’t have to worry that their children will get hungry: they eat three times a day. About 4,000 teachers work with them. Alexandra Privalova has become a team leader for the first time. “I worked with elderly people for two years and decided to try to work with children. I have two younger brothers, so I know how to do it.” Her skill is obvious: she takes part in all the games and kids do not leave her side.
How to join Moscow sessions
The application period for the first session has already closed. Documents for the second one need to be submitted on 25–29 June, and for the third one on 25–31July.
Documents from a parent or legal guardian and the child’s birth certificate are required, as well as the mandatory health insurance (if available) certificate, the 079/у medical certificate and a certificate proving the child had no contact with people with infectious diseases. These two certificates can be obtained at the child’s clinic. The decision on acceptance will be made no later than one day after the application is submitted.