About the Project

Formation of confident personalities with the ability and desire to contribute positively to society.

Providing children guidance by connecting them with role models.

What the Project is about

The main purpose of the project is to connect children and youths with positive role models and facilitate young people's learning and internalisation of ethics and values. Throughout history, role models had an integral part in young people's upbringing, being presented to them through legends, stories and fairy tales, or as living heroes. However, the presence of role models in young people's lives has diminished in recent decades. Through this project, role models are brought into the education process in a structured and effective way.

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We offer teachers educational support and instructions on how to include role models in their pupils' education, and provide a place where children, youths and adults can upload inspirational stories of their role models and read stories written by others. Each uploaded story become part of a growing collection that will eventually become one of the largest books of all time.

We also provide tools for teachers and their pupils to better understand the concepts of role models, ethics and values, and make participation in the project easier. Our theoretical basis for the project is the Framework of Ethics and Values, a comprehensive model of commonly accepted values.

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The Project’s Impact and Vision

The impact of the project: Children become more aware of the consequences of their decisions, strive to better themselves, pay more attention to good deeds and practices around themselves, and develop critical thinking skills. Teachers learn how to better integrate ethics and values into their work with children. Furthermore, the project raises awareness in adults that they are important role models for children and encourages them to act more responsibly and ethically.

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The vision of the project: Formation of confident personalities with the ability and desire to contribute positively to society; increased contentedness and well-being of children, parents, teachers and others; fewer negative societal occurrences; stronger bonds, intergenerational cooperation, respect, tolerance and solidarity within communities; a narrowed gap between declared values and actual behaviour; all leading to a future stable society of well-being based on knowledge, ethics and values.

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A great teacher can reach the hearts of about 30 children. A great role model can reach several thousands.

Who Are Role Models and Why Do They Matter?

Role models are people we look up to and strive to be like because we admire certain qualities in them. They are characterised by living their lives according to a set of ethics and values, exemplifying certain values in particular. The first and most important role models in a young person's life are parents, followed by elder siblings, peers and teachers. As we grow, we start looking for other role models outside family and school. These role models are people in our communities or wider society distinguished by their achievements, deeds and way of life.

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Children and youths shape their behaviour by observing other people. Childhood role models have a profound and lasting impact on personality formation. By connecting children with positive role models, we can influence their futures for the better. The importance of role models outside family and school is enhanced by the fact that while parents have a strong influence only on their own children, and a good teacher can have a positive impact on a few hundreds of their pupils at most, an inspiring role model can reach the hearts of several thousands, perhaps even millions of children and youths.

To learn more, read the book What You Need to Know about Role Models, which can be freely downloaded in pdf form or purchased in our store.

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Going the extra mile only takes four steps.

How to Do It

The activities of the project can be summed up in four simple steps. Follow these instructions to give your children the best possible role model experience.

Discuss

Initiate discussion about role models with your pupils and children and inspire them to think about the role models in their lives. Describe role models to children and explain why it is important to have them. Share examples of people in your life who left a lasting impression or had an important influence on you.

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Find and read to children news stories of noble acts, articles describing inspiring life stories or some other similar narratives. Ask the children to share their thoughts and think about similar examples.

You can find useful information concerning role models in the book What You Need to Know about Role Models. For examples or inspiration, see the book Role Model Stories or read some of the stories uploaded on our website.

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Search

Ask your pupils and children who they look up to and respect the most, and instruct them to think about the qualities in those people they admire. Encourage them to look for other exemplary people in their lives. Guide them to consider individuals in their families, communities or the wider world.

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Ask children why they consider the people they named as role models. Help children search for news stories or similar articles where the deeds and lives of some of these individuals are described, and try to find some of their meaningful or inspiring quotes.

For additional related fun and educational activities for your children, you can use the Role Model Handbook.

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Interact

Contact a person one or more of the children in your group consider a role model, and invite him or her to take part in the project. Organise the nature of your interaction depending on the role model's availability and accessibility. Provided the role model agrees, arrange a visit.

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Depending on the agreement with the role model, take your children to visit his or her home or workplace, organise a video chat, or invite the role model to come to your classroom or school where the role model addresses the children. Help the children prepare an interview with the role model, or have a spontaneous question and answer session. If the role model agrees, make a video and upload it on the internet.

After the event, the class can fill out a thank-you postcard contained within the Out of the Box Experience package and send it to the role model as a token of gratitude.

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Create

Stimulate children to write short stories describing their chosen role models. The stories can be in the form of a short biography, a narrative detailing the role model's traits and actions, a report from a role model visit or some similar structure. Each story may include a photograph or drawing of the role model and an inspiring quote.

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Assemble the stories written by your group or class and upload them on our website by clicking the Add new story button. Make sure to follow the instructions detailed here. Before you can upload the stories, you must sign up on our website. Make your account by following this link.

Print out the stories you and your children wrote and collect them into a book. You can then publish the book or make it otherwise available to the children's parents and the wider community.

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