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COMENIUS PROJECT 2010-2012

Design and Edition of the book: Adamos Christofi Panikkos Xiourouppas 3


All the schools that participate in the Comenius program "Go green, go clean, Act Now" 2010-2012

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Introduction from the coordinators of the program

BELGIUM A book about environmental problems all over Europe! Perhaps not a bright, positive prospect, but it is a common issue. We often have the same problems. So we can share it, we can work together to find solutions to make a better world for tomorrow. The Sint-Jan Berchmansschool Viversel enjoyed working in the common project “Go green, go clean – Act now” and it was a privilege to learn from you and know you all. We want to thank you for everything. Rita Maes & Koenraad Beerten Sint Jan Berchmansschool Viversel (Vrije Basisschool) [Heusden-Zolder]

CYPRUS Working together as a team is always something enjoyable and productive. It’s really miraculous to make successful products when so many schools, teachers and students are involving in the whole procedure…and we actually succeed. This eco-story you hold in hands is a remarkable proof. After 2 years knowing each other, communicating through internet, sending mails, cards, exchanging products, we come to the end. The program ends this year but friends stay forever. Thank you all friends for the lovely journey. Panikkos Xiourouppas A’ Primary School of Aradippou [Aradippou]

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DENMARK The fact that children from 8 different countries are able to work together, continue to work on a single theme for 2 years, write a story together and many other things, is proof to all of us that we have much more in common than there are differences. It is very easy to get to know each other and become friends – despite the long distance between us, as it´s easy to form very close friendships online. Having a Comenius project like you/we have is a fantastic gift to us all. Let´s promise each other to always have an open mind, a desire to want to know each other and become friends across borders and different cultures. Not only in this project but whenever you meet a stranger, he or she may become a dear friend one day. All of you children, who made this book, thank you ever so much for your stories and your pictures – and to all the children in our “Go green, Go clean, Act now” project – thank you so much for wanting to take part and for all the great work you have done. Jytte Gill Sennels Skole [Thisted]

HELLAS

Our “Go green, go clean, act now!” project is the second cooperation with most of the partners. Our successful first project lead to a more mature and demanding cooperation which offered our students knowledge about the global environmental problems and the ways we can deal with them and thus protect our planet. Our students enjoyed the project through the various activities they carried out and we are sure that it was just the beginning for their friendlier environmental behaviour. We hope that you will enjoy reading our eco tale in which the students present the environmental problems of their countries but they also give hope that a lot can be done and things will get better in the future.

Stavroula Makaronopoulou 8 (merged with 5) Dimotiko Scholeio Neas Smyrnis, Athens, HELLAS

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ITALY Ozone concentrations in the troposphere, hazardous chemicals, waste generation, marine and coastal environment, soil degradation, climate change are just few of the many and common problems in the European environment. Despite progress in some areas, Europe must do more to create the 'green economy' needed for the continent to become sustainable and should seize the opportunity of improving quality of life while adapting everyone's lifestyles to the big changes. "Go Green, Go Clean: Act Now!" That's what our students worked out with in this Project. They studied the topic together and wrote a common story, one piece for each Country. The Italian students and their teachers enjoyed the issue very much and now they'd love to share their work with the ones who may be interested in. We hope many people!

Patrizia Salutij Scuola secondaria di primo grado G. Borsi [Livorno]

POLAND The two years of our Comenius Project have passed so quickly. Looking backwards, to the period before September 2010, I can see real changes: there are many activities which I believe shall survive and will be continued even after the project, like for example: collecting paper rubbish and giving them to the recycling centre, taking part in actions like: Clean Up the World, An Hour for the Earth, the Earth’s Day, the Ecological Week, the Green School and many other. Therefore I hope this little book, as one of the final project of our cooperation will bear all those memories to our minds and will be also a source of hints how to be eco-friendly. Enjoy the stories about the adventures of the Little Star and never forget that we are all part of this world and we have to GO GREEN! GO CLEAN! ACT NOW! to make it last forever.

Ewa Nawrocka Szkola Podstawowa Nr 20 im. Ks. Prymasa Stefana Kardynala Wyszynskiego [Bydgoszcz]

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PORTUGAL

Agrupamento de Escolas Diogo Cão little star travelled across our country to help solve environmental problems and with its brightness to show the kids how urgent it is to save the planet and build a better world. João Pena Gil Agrupamento Vertical De Escolas Diogo Cão [Vila Real]

ROMANIA

This book includes just few environmental issues from all Comenius partner countries. Other problems we discovered during our project period (2010-2012), perhaps more dangerous for our Planet. But always there will exist some other well-intended persons (even children) looking forward to protect the nature and to conserve its resources for next generations. Also, future students and teachers from Rediu commune, together with their European friends will continue to act for a greener and cleaner Earth. We’ll do this for us... Thank you, Comenius, for your help!

Daniel Lozbă-Ştirbuleac Scoala cu clasele I-VIII Rediu [Rediu, Iasi]

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SUMMARIES OF EACH CHAPTER Cyprus –Chapter 1: Eco, a small shining star, wants to help the European environment and make it clean and green. He arrives to Cyprus and finds out that pollution threats the life of plants, animals and people. Beautiful places such as “Athalassa Lake”, “Kalopanayiotis Dam”, “Troodos Mountain”, “Avakas Canyon” and “Aliki Salt Lake” need help and support to overcome severe environmental problems like waste of water, fire in the forests, endangered species and rubbish. Eco and Mingo-a pink flamingo- work together to save the island: “Go green, Go clean, Act now”!

Hellas – Chapter 2: The little star and a big flamingo arrived in Greece where they saw that the sky of Attiki was covered of a black cloud because the forest had been burnt down. Then they saw an injured little deer. It was scared and sad because his family was missing. There they met a tortoise that told them their life in the forest was wonderful before the fire. Later a group of volunteers arrived to help out with the reforestation. The star, two eagles together with the volunteers helped the little deer find his parents in a shelter, recovering from their injuries. Everybody was happy and then the little star left for another country.

Italy – Chapter 3: The star went towards west, to the coasts of Italy. Flying over Tuscany's coast, it spotted a long dark stripe in the sea and also some kids misbehaving on the beach. There was a dumping pipeline

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bringing poisonous substances into the sea. The star sent one of its beam to project a kind of a video on a cloud in the sky, as it was a cinema screen. Terrible imagines of dirty beaches, broken bottles and dead fish all over were projected. This way the star taught everybody the importance of behaving and being Clean and Green.

Portugal – Chapter 4: The little star reached the Portuguese skies and fell on the main mast of Sagres, the school ship of the Portuguese Navy. She felt sea sick, fainted and was saved by a dolphin who took her to the shore. In Lisbon she met a girl and her family who invited her to go on a trip throughout the country. She saw many wonderful places! On the way she met a baby frog and learned that frogs are an endangered species in Portugal. She thought of a plan to save the frog population, arranged meetings with the local authorities and showed the children of Diogo Cão School what to do.

Belgium – Chapter 5: Yanda, a Panda on a special mission, is on a journey and passes through Belgium. He noticed there is a huge problem with garbage. Then Yanda meets the little star who is on a roundtrip through Europe. They become friends and together they find a solution for the growing Belgian garbage belt. So, they visit the schools to tell the teachers and children about their waste-plan but will they succeed …..?!

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Romania – Chapter 6: Eco, the star arrived then in Moldova (a region in northern Romania), somewhere in the Carpathian Mountains. There is an important natural reserve: Vânători-Neamt National Park. Here she met with bison, the king of beasts from this territory, trying to save together this wonderful country from reckless deforestation of last decades. Both of them arrived at Rediu School from Iasi County. With help from some students of this institution, they made aware more adults that forest is very important to maintain life on our planet and for its better quality. Deforestation occurred as a result of the greed and the recklessness of wrongdoers for their rapid enrichment (selling wood or through excessive extension of the land for construction). Unfortunately the negative effects of these actions will be felt by future generations. To limit damages of the nature, jointly with the local authorities and other members of the community, they acted for a restoration of "the green gold" of Romania country planting seedlings and protecting remained forests.

Poland – Chapter 7: In Poland the little star is trying to save the nature and founds a national park. She meets some wild animals like an eagle and the seal which help her to fight the pollution in the area. The whole team blames the people for polluting the atmosphere, seas and devastating the nature. They decide to give a lesson to the human representatives. They arrest people and make them experience the extreme noise, taste some dirty water and breathe smog. Then the people begin to understand the problem and promise to change their behavior. They swear to do everything to protect

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the environment and they introduce the new laws. That’s how the first national park begins….

Denmark – Chapter 8: Eco is fighting against hard wind and finally it reaches the coast of Denmark. In Denmark it finds very strange phenomenon’s like strange sticks coming up from the sea, a green flag, and a school where the kids look very unhappy.

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Chapter 1

ECO, a small shining star,

was travelling in the European night sky. It was very sad because of the environmental dangers that threat the life of plants, animals and people all over the world.

“I must do something about it!” it thought. “I must convince everyone to act now! I will start with that island, at the end of the Mediterranean Sea. Let’s see who I will meet there…” he said to himself as it approached Cyprus.

There, in an almost empty salt lake, he saw a flamingo trying to fall asleep. He came closer and said: - Hello my friend! I’m ECO, a European star. Who are you? - Hello ECO. I’m MINGO, the pink flamingo. I have travelled from Russia to Cyprus, to avoid the cold winter. I have migrated here because it used to be an excellent place for vacation. It used to have great environment and plenty of food to eat… But what about you? What are you doing so close to earth? - I’m travelling through Europe to find about the environmental problems and convince everyone to act and save the planet! - What a great idea! I have so many things to tell you about the water problem here in Cyprus. 14


- I’m very interested to here what you know, said ECO the shining star.

- My first stop when I arrived in Cyprus was ‘Athalassa Lake’ in Nicosia. I was very shocked to find the lake full of litter. A few ducks were roaming unsatisfied with their beautiful wings dirty and muddy. A polite mother duck explained to me that the rubbish has polluted the water and the fish have died. Now there was not enough food and clean water for the ducklings. So, I had to leave from there…

-Then I arrived to “Kalopanayiotis Dam”. I hoped that the conditions were better there but unfortunately the dam was almost empty of water. A few trouts were gasping for air and searching for food. A kind trout described me how people have wasted almost all the water of the dam. All the fish were suffering and their lives were in severe danger. Sadly I had to fly away from there as well…

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-The third stop was at “Troodos There

Mountain”. I

found

a

destroyed forest full of burned trees. Frighten birds and animals were leaving in search for a new home. I asked an old mouflon happened

what and

have it

explained to me how the fire had destroyed the environment. With no more trees, food and water I had to leave again…

-Next

I

flew

to

Paphos and stopped at “Avakas Canyon”. The lack of water was also obvious in that place. The plants that used to grow there have withered

and

the

insects

have

died.

Only

few

water

snakes

a

were

moving

through the dry stones. A friendly snake told me that many endemic species have been extinguished because there was not enough water. I couldn’t stay there so I continued my journey…

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-My final stop was at “Aliki salt lake”. I knew that the salt lake used to be

full

of

water

and

delicious shrimps. All the flamingos used to come here to rest and eat. I was looking forward to swim in the salty water but

a

strange surprise

changed my plans. There was very little water and the fish and shrimps have all died. The other flamingos explained to me that because of the little rain, the salt lake was not a good place to live in anymore. So they all flew away. I decided to rest here for the night and leave next morning. I was trying to fall asleep when you I saw you shinning in the sky. -That’s what I saw in my visit here, said MINGO, the pink flamingo. I’m really very sad about the water problem in Cyprus and I would really like to do something to help… - I have an idea, said

ECO, the shining star. Why

don’t

some

you

write

environmental

slogans on the sand of the empty lake? I can help you with my light while you write them with your beak! In the morning people will read them and think about their actions! - Great idea! said MINGO, the pink flamingo. Let’s start!

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So, MINGO and ECO worked all night to prepare their slogans: ‘KEEP LAKES CLEAN!’ ‘DON’T WASTE THE WATER OF THE DAMS’ ‘SAVE THE FORESTS FROM FIRE!’ ‘WATER IS LIFE!’ ‘SAVE WATER!’ ‘GO GREEN, GO CLEAN, ACT NOW!’ When dawn breaks, the little European star left to continue its journey to other countries and help to save the planet from the environmental danger.

The Cypriot chapter was written from the students of the class 2E and their teacher, Dora Theodorou and illustrated by Constantinos Louca. Translation by Argyro Savva.

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Chapter 2 A little before its departure from Cyprus, the star said goodbye to Bingo the Flamingo and asked him for some information about the route flamingos follow on their way back. A big flamingo, the chief of the flock, told the star that they usually fly over Greece where they find a lot of famous wetlands and rest for a few hours. So, they decided to travel together to Greece because the star had been informed that there were serious problems there concerning fires in the forests. Every year vast areas of land are burnt down all around the country due to people’s negligence and recklessness or even worse because some people want to turn forests into residential areas. Actually, some years ago, one of the rarest forests of Europe, situated on Mount Parnitha, was almost burnt down and a lot of rare species of animals and birds were in danger to be extinct. This forest is very important for the residents of Athens since it is situated in the Prefecture of Attiki. The little star and the flamingo flew away as fast as they could and soon they arrived in Greece. While they were approaching the sky of Attiki, they saw an unpleasant sight. A big part of the slopes of Mount Parnitha was coal black. The star said goodbye to his friends and went down to the burnt slope. It got sad and at the same time scared while looking around the burnt land. Animals, birds and insects were trying to survive in that ugly landscape. A

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lot of them had abandoned the place while some others were still living there. Then, in the fog of the smoke and the ash, our friend saw a scared, helpless, little deer. It was a red deer, one of the rarest kinds of deer all over the world, which is in danger of being

extinct.

approached

the

The deer

star and

noticed that it was injured.

- Hello my little deer, the star said. Why are you crying? What’s wrong? - Hi! A big fire burnt the forest as well as my house and my family is missing, the little deer answered. - How can I help you? You know… I’ve come to Earth to help those who are trying to save the environment and I can tell that you are having serious problems and you need help. - Thank you for offering me your help, the relieved deer replied. Unfortunately, because of the fire, it is difficult for us to find food or shelter on Mount Parnitha. We are all in danger of dying. A lot of us are injured and feel sad because our families are missing. It would be great if you could help me look for my parents. I’ve heard that a lot of animals have been saved thanks to volunteers’ care as well as some students’ help who have visited our area. - Come on! the star said at once. Get up! We have to hurry. We don’t have much time.

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- Ok. What are we going to do? the little deer asked curiously. - Follow me …, the star said and they set off. On their way they met an old tortoise that had been living in that forest for a lot of years.

-

-

-

- Hey, little star! What are you doing in the burnt forest? the tortoise asked. What about you my little deer? Where are you going? My parents are missing and I’m looking for them along with my friend, the star. Please tell us Mrs Tortoise about this place. What did it look like before the big fire? You must know a lot because you’ve been living here for so many years! I suppose your life here must have been beautiful… the star said. Oh, my dear kids…our life here was wonderful before everything was burnt down… The land was bright green. There were a lot of trees, most of them very old. A lot of animals could find food and shelter here, hares, squirrels, hedgehogs, foxes and ferrets. There were also a lot of rare birds, such as eagles, hawks, owls and many others. Please tell us Mrs Tortoise. Will life come back to the forest again?

Right then a wise owl, who had heard their conversation, landed next to them and told them. - My friends, let’s be optimistic! There’s surely hope. It all depends on people’s help. We need their care, protection as well as patience. Please tell me. Why have you gathered here? What’s the problem? - We’re looking for the little deer’s parents. He lost them in the big fire, the star answered. 22


Then happy children’s voices were heard. They had arrived in the forest with their teacher and some volunteers of environmental organizations to help out with the reforestation. Three kids left their group, approached the spot where the animals were lying and saw the injured little deer. - Oh, look! a little kid said. That deer is wounded. - It’s a red deer! another kid noticed. - Well, I think we should take it to the shelter for wounded animals. I’m sure it is somewhere near here! The star was very happy to hear the kids’ conversation and flew high up in the sky. There he met two eagles and after telling them about the problem, he asked them to help them. You see eagles can see very far and fly very fast. The eagles were happy to help. While they were looking for the shelter, they saw very sad things. The atmosphere on the mountain was unpleasant. Luckily, they soon spotted the shelter men had made. So, the star’s golden beams lit up the path the kids should follow. Soon, the group of volunteers reached the shelter and gave the deer to some specialists. While they were taking care of his wounds, the deer got enthusiastic because he saw his parents. They were sitting next him, in an enclosure, recovering from their injuries. The little deer was anxious to be with them. All his friends were also very happy and relieved.

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After the star had fulfilled its mission, it told everyone: - My dear friends, we must admit that there aren’t only dishonest and indifferent people in this world. There are also a lot who have devoted their life to the protection of the environment, because we’re part of it. Right that moment, in front of the happy eyes of both men and animals, big and small, a flash could be seen in the sky. It looked like a rainbow. It was the star’s farewell that was heading to another country, to deal with some other environmental problems.

Text: Class 4c Teacher: Kiki Avramidou Illustration: Class 5a Teacher: Marilena Provatari 24


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Chapter 3 The star went towards west, to the coasts of Sicily and Calabria, in Italy. It saw beautiful beaches and decided to stop and rest watching the blue Mediterranean Sea. After a while it went ahead and faced north.

Flying over the Tuscany's coast, it spotted a long dark stripe, a kind of a river which was going from the coast into the sea. It was strange, but the star couldn't give any answer to that. It was dark and when the star was laying on a cloud, it heard some loud music coming from the beach down there. It looked out of its cloud and saw a group of young people who were dancing on the sand.

The kids had lighted up a fire and seemed to enjoy a lot dancing, talking, smoking cigarettes (bleah!), eating pizzas and sandwiches and drinking beer and coke. When they got tired of all of this and it got late and dark, they decided to go home, leaving all their garbage on the beach. They jumped on their motorbikes making a lot of noise. "I must stop them" thought the star. So it sent down some of its light beams to hit those badmannered kids' eyes. Everybody stopped and complained immediately, then the star went down over their head and started to speak. "You reckless people! 26


You haven't understood yet the importance of being respectful with your beautiful beaches and your fragrant pine-wood!" While the star was saying so, it sent one of its beam to project a kind of a video on a cloud in the sky, as it was a cinema screen. The star's beam projected terrible imagines of durty baches, broken bottles and dead fish all over. There were just a few pine-trees left, being the majority burned by fire. A fisherman was crying on the sand, because there wasn't any more fish in the sea, and some sea-gulls were starving because they hadn't any food by then. The fisherman was desperate, since there was nothing he could do. The young boys and girls were astonished. "This is going to be your environment very soon, if you won't change your bad behaviour towards it" said the angry star. "In order to start changing, go back to the beach, take care of the fire you left burning, since it could turn into a real danger for the forest. And also thow away your garbage into the appropriate bins."

The kids were so much impressed by the terrible future they would have, that it was now clear and necessary for them to go back and follow the star's advice. "Next time you come here with new friends, you'd better tell them about what you've just seen tonight. You have the 27


responsibility to make them understand to have respect for Mother Nature, or there will be hard troubles for all of you and even worse for the ones who will come in the future. A suggestion: why don't you share this experience on Facebook? Just go and update your profiles." Everybody understood this lesson and posted the story of that night; then they found out a meaningful motto for their important message: "Go Green, Go Clean: Act Now!"

After that the star fell asleep and woke up the following morning to fly ahead. In the sunshine it was possible for it to see again that long and dark stream in the sea water, so it decided to get closer to watch better. The stripe was a dark track which came from a factory standing on to the seaside. "It's a factory!" thought the star.

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But the weather suddenly changed: The skies turned darker and darker and a strong rotating column of air, a tornado, captured the star and pushed it back to the ground. When the tornado was over, a child came out, saw the star and picked it up with his hands. "Where am I?" asked the star "You've just had a bad adventure, my dear star!" said the child "You are in my mum and dad's house garden. They are not home now, because they are both working in their factory, the one on the seaside." "You mean that factory with those tall chemnies near the beach?" asked the star "That's it!" said the boy.

The star then told the boy about the dark stream in the water it had seen from the sky: that durty stripe was leading into the clear water. There must be a dumping pipeline bringing poisonous substances into the sea. In a short time it would destroy the whole life in that part of blue sea. "We don't have much time." said 29


the star "Quick, we must go and explain to your parents, who are the owners of that factory, that they can modify the dumping ducts. There are ecological devices and special filters which can be used to stop damages to the environment. Please take me soon to your parents!" The child put the star in a quilted box and took everything to his parents' office. As soon as they heard the star's good advice, they soon realized it was time to act. They called together the industries' owners of the neighborough and established a kind of environmental reclamation plan.

Then there was time to chose a slogan which could mark off their way to work: "Go Green, Go Clean: Act Now!" The owners wrote it on some big banners and hung them high on their factories' chemnies, which already started throwing blue clouds in the clear air. But the fallen star had to leave for the next Country. When the night came, the boy's Dad climbed the ladder of one of the chemnies holding the star in his hand and reached the top. He put his arm up and trew the star high in the sky, like it was a precious stone. The happy star twinkled twice to say "bye-bye!" and so it went high far away in the darkness.

The italian story was prepared by the students oft he class 2N and their teacher Patrizia Salutij. 30


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Chapter 4 In a simple but weird act of magic, the little star reached the Portuguese skies. Only 57 seconds had passed since she had last been seen in Italy! Tired of such impressive performance (flying at the speed of light), the star fell on the main mast of Sagres, the school ship of the Portuguese Navy, which was arriving from her third circum-navigation trip. This tall ship is a tree-masted ship with 22 square sails on the fore and main masts. The star got stuck in her main mast which rises 42 metres above the deck. After

some

moments,

painful

she

finally

managed to free herself from the hooks and fell on the deck… luckily she didn’t get injured! The ship was reaching the Sado shallow South

estuary, estuary of

a

broad, to

Lisbon.

the This

amazingly beautiful place is worldwide known for its breeding and wintering waterbirds, a large population of dolphins, frogs, lizards and snakes as well as its wellconserved sand-dune habitats.

The little star was absolutely delighted with the scenery! “Wow, this is awesome! What a lovely place! I’m sure it’s a SPA! Yes, it must be a SPA – a Special Protection Area. Everything is so natural and well cared for. But, what place is this? Where am I?

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A strong male voice was heard not far behind her: “We are overlooking the Sado estuary at the moment. It is one of the biggest Special Protection Areas in Portugal…”. Simultaneously the melody of a typical Portuguese song - Fado – was being played on one of the crew’s IPOD. It was so loud that the star could tell what it was… and that was enough! “I have always heard that Portugal was a small country but a very beautiful one and it is, indeed, very beautiful!” The star was fascinated! The view was absolutely breath taking. However, as the ship was reaching the shore the waves were stronger, so the star got sea sick and fainted! She was saved by a baby dolphin who had been watching her for a long time. Her light was so bright and engaging that the dolphin couldn’t help following it. He wanted to save the star so he took her to the shore! The entire population of dolphins followed behind as well as hundreds of different species of birds. It was a wonderful parade!

The star woke up very dizzy.

Her

sugar

levels were very low… she opened up her eyes. The place was crowded. People were speaking

in

different

languages:

tourists!

The

very place

was full of tourists! She woke up in Lisbon, the capital city of Portugal. There was a pretty young girl in the crowd. She was wearing a lovely silver dress along with a very nice hat made out of recycled cloth,

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cork bottle tops and pink paper flowers. The girl looked gorgeous! She was eating a pastel de Belém (a typical delicatessen from Lisbon), which she shared with the frightened star. She then realized it wasn’t a dream. ”Yes!... I’ve made it! I’m alive! I’m alive! I know this place, I googled it for one of my History assignments. This is Lisbon! That’s the Torre de Belém and that’s the Padrão dos Descobrimentos over there! The first Portuguese navigators departed from here to discover Africa and Asia and America… Vasco da Gama, Diogo Cão, these are just a few I can remember … ”

The star twinkled twice at the pretty girl in the silver dress and within seconds she was on her shoulder. Neither the girl nor her parents had experienced such an impressive moment ever. The star was grateful too! “If you’re in Portugal, you have to visit all the beautiful places we have around here”, said the girl’s mother. So they set off on a trip along the coast line of the country and visited many wonderful white sandy beaches, tall lighthouses, great medieval castles and fortresses… The girl’s father was driving an electric car. There are plenty of these cars in Portugal. People are getting friendlier with the environment each and every day. Then they went to the countryside where they contemplated equally beautiful landscapes, green forests, crystal clear rivers… No matter where they were heading, south or north, east or west, everything was beautiful. “You, guys, recycle a lot, don’t you? You have so many recycling points… they’re everywhere!” the little star uttered. “You know, I’ve travelled a lot lately, I’ve seen not seven but a hundred wonders all the way to Portugal. I’ve been to some unpleasant places too, that’s true, but the most important thing is that I’ve learned a lot!” The star was so happy and, therefore, so bright and shinning that she flew high up in the skies, disappearing out of the people’s sight and reach.

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The silver dressed girl wasn’t sad or worried. She said to her mother: “Love and joy led her up where she belongs, mommy!!” Tired again, the star woke up in a different dimension. At least she believed so: everywhere she looked at was green, natural, divine. The sky was bright, no clouds, mist or whatsoever… just some huge white blades hanging somehow from the skies..... “I died and now I’m in heaven….”, the star said with relief. She was somewhere in the Douro Valley region. The place was spectacularly beautiful with the hills falling steeply down to the river’s edge. The most dominant feature of the landscape was the terraced vineyards which have been built throughout the centuries, row upon row. The Douro Wine region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Cultural landscape, where Port wine has been produced for the past two thousand years. The white blades were part of the huge turbines belonging to one of the many wind farms in the place. She was marveled! While the star was contemplating the magnificent view, she heard a strange

sound…

croaking,

she

thought.

She

looked

right

and

there it was: a cute baby

frog!

The

amphibian couldn’t stop crying. He was desperate. He had lost

his

family:

both

daddy

and

mommy frog were run over by a car and his twin sister died of grief. He was all alone in the world now. 35


The star was all ears to the frog’s story! She had no idea of the problems this species was facing:

habitat loss, climate change, pollution,

pesticides, competition (this is, new introduced species) and predators. She knew that frogs absorb air and water through their skin, so they are the first to be affected by a polluted environment - they are affected by water, land and air pollution because they live on land and in the water. However, she didn’t know that in Portugal most frogs and toads are run over by cars …… “That’s bad and……….strange, too!” she thought. “But I have an idea! It’s very easy! I’ll help you my friend!”

A

strange

followed

by

noise, a

strong

vibration, was felt by the star… someone had posted

a

Green,

Go

like

in

Clean,

Go Act

Now Facebook.

“Thank

you

people!

With

Comenius teachers

and

students like you, our planet will always be blue!” could be read in Diogo Cão’s laptop. “Diogo Cão, the navigator?” the star asked. One of the talking wind turbines answered: “Not in this world! Diogo Cão, the teenage boy from Vila Real! That famous boy from Diogo Cão School! Come on, let’s meet him! “The boy must be very interested in environmental matters!”, the star thought! She was right, indeed. Diogo Cão introduced the star to all his schoolmates and showed her all the projects they were dealing with, the ideas they came up with to help solve some local environmental issues… They showed her their Comenius 36


Project website as well as the Facebook. After adding her name as a friend, she promised to advertise it worldwide and add as many ecofriends as she possibly could. The star was really very surprised to learn that all the children in Portugal were very friendly and cared so much about planet Earth. She was also happy to learn that many schools were awarded green flags meaning they were eco-schools, friends of the environment!

“Well, well, well!! What about the frogs?” the star asked the students. “Frogs? What frogs?” the students asked. “Well, you know, on my way to Vila Real I met this lovely baby frog… He is an orphan! His parents were run over and his sister…well, it’s a very sad story! Now I know that’s the first cause of frogs’ death in your country. But I had an idea to save the frogs population! I had some meetings with your local authorities (Town Hall, Environmental Associations, Animal Protection Groups, University…) and everything is settled. “So, tell us! What can we do to save the frogs?” asked the curious kids. “There many things you can do but let’s just focus on

these

four

things:

building underneath roadcrossing tunnels for them to cross without being smashed under the wheels of passing cars; setting up 40 cm high walls along major roads to trap the amphibians and then capture them and safely transport them to the other side of the road; joining in special events such as “Clean up Alvão

37


Mountains”; making a frog habitat in your garden or in your school. It’s easy, isn’t it? You’ll get the leaflets with all the detailed data tomorrow and then you can start working!” “Wow, that’s rather easy! Why didn’t it cross our minds before? But, are you sure it will work? Will the politicians and the “big green leaders” help us? Do they even care about the frogs?” “Of course they do! Partnerships with schools are already arranged. And let me tell you something: they showed themselves very interested and helpful!” the star explained. The kids were very enthusiastic with the brand-new project and couldn’t find the right words to express their happiness! Brighter than ever before in her long star life, she flew over the kids’ heads, performing an old stars’ dance, touching each of them here and there. Blessings! That’s what she was doing, blessing them! She wasn’t an ordinary star, she was a fairy star, who was also a friend of the environment. And by that time she was ready to leave. She had accomplished her mission among the Portuguese people. She twinkled twice and disappeared into the misty sky. She headed east to Belgium.

The Portuguese story was made by the students of the English club and their teacher Joao Gil.

38


39


Chapter 5

As you know the panda is an almost extincted animal. You can barely find them. One of them, a real special one, was Yanda. This Panda had power strength and he was on a special mission: SAVIN THE WORLD. Because Yanda was visiting Belgium today, he was dressed up in yellow and red. Black, yellow and red are the Belgian colours you know. Belgium is a very small country with a lot of people living there. So, waste here and waste there … yes,waste everywhere Yanda noticed that everyone was putting his garbage in bags. Then trucks were picking up these bags and were bringing them to a big, big garbage belt. Yanda also noticed that the belt became bigger and bigger. The belt is growing ! That’s a problem ! Yanda said: “I must find a solution ! But what can I do?” Suddenly a star appeared in the sky. The star came closer and closer. It stopped just before Yanda, the yellow –red panda. Yanda asked the star: “Who are you? And why are you visiting Belgium? 40


The star explained the purpose of it’s visit and told Yanda about other countries and their ecological problems. Yanda told the little star about the growing Belgian garbage belt. It became

like

a

mountain

but

everybody knows Belgium as a flat country without mountains. The star and Yanda started to think about this problem. The star said: “It’s a shame that people throw away so many good materials”. “Yes”,

said

Yanda,

the

yellow-red

panda, “a lot of these materials are still good enough to use again”. The star and Yanda looked at eachother, smiled and shouted out: “Yes, that’s it !, we have to use it again !” Yanda said: “eveyone must sort out the litter and then we can try to recycle it”. The star said: “recycling, you mean, making new things out of old materials?” “Yes”, said Yanda, “we need a system, so that people know where to put their litter”. Good idea said the little star, let’s give them coloured garbage bins: Blue for PMD: hard Plastic Metal cans and Drink cartons. Green for branches, leafs, fruit, vegetables … Yellow for glass Red for paper And black for all the rest which cannot be recycled. “Great”, said Yanda, “and don’t forget a special bin for old batteries”. 41


The star said: “So, now the trucks can pick up the different bins and bring them to factories where new things are made of old material". “A star knows

a lot of shiny things, so I know that they can make new

bottles and pearls from old glass”. “For a Panda trees are New

very

important.

paper

can

be

made of old paper, so we save the trees.” “Metal cans will be melted, so new chairs or even bicycles can be

made”,said

the

star. “Did you know they even

can

sweaters

of

make fleece

out of plastic waste”, said Yanda. “I heard they even make furniture and car parts out of drink cartons” shouted the little star. “Let’s go to the schools”, said Yanda, “and tell the teachers and children about these possibilities”. “Sure”, said the little star, “if we learn the right way to the children today, the world of tomorrow has a chance again. So, now the schools in Belgium have coloured bins. The children try to sort out in a proper way. The children even inform their parents how to do it right.

42


The star said goodbye the Yanda the yellow-red panda, but they promised to stay in contact and be friends.

The little star left for

Belgium and continued his journey for Romania.

The Belgian story was prepared by the students of the third class and their teacher Steven Goris.

43


44


Chapter 6 In the morning, the Star arrived in a Carpathian forest, somewhere in Moldavia, a region in the north-eastern part of Romania country. She was completely glamorous by the presence of so many, so different and so gentle animals in a place. The Star was getting in the middle of one of the most important Romanian nature reserves: Vânători-Neamţ National Park. She saw the Bison, the king of these animals, resting in the middle of the forest surrounded by trees and breathing its fresh and clean air.

Wow! What a great pleasure relaxing there, feeling the oxygen which it’s flooding entirely their bodies, listening the birds’ divine songs, and seeing how all the creatures around them are enjoying peacefully that green and clean forest. All of them are depending on that. Ohh!... Obviously, now we understand better why the forests are acknowledged as ‘the green gold of the nature’.

45


In that morning, the Bison didn’t get to admire all beauties around him or to enjoy more benefits of the forest, because the little Star from the ‘civilized world’ came with some terrible news: ‘Dear great and wise Bison, I dare to appeal you because I know that you are the king of these regions. With the help of some well-intended people you have managed to survive. Here there are all necessary conditions to survive you and your friends, to have careless lives. But outside, there are happening terrible things. You must save Romania from deforestation! People became irresponsible and are cutting down the trees without thinking about the consequences of their actions. Many forests were cutted down for timber or to make room for commercial buildings. We must act now, before it is not too late!’ ‘Ooooohhhhh, silence!!!’ yelled the angry Bison and all the inhabitants had lost their tongue. The Star got a scare that it hid behind a tree. ‘I must do something to stop the mass deforestation!’ ‘Yo…, yo…., you’re right, wise Bison! That’s why I came to you.’ ‘Don’t be scared, little Star! I’m just angry on the situation. You don’t have to be afraid, said the Bison with a sugary voice. Do you realize how many creatures will be left without any home? Do you realize that the oxygen is getting less day by day and living beings will be forced to breathe a polluted air? Oh, my little friend... Their danger.

health People

is

in

must

realize their mistake and

46

stop

the


deforestation now! Quickly! It’s no time to waste! I need the best assistants...’ ‘I’ve thought of everything, my sire! The children that are studying at Rediu School, in Romania, are the most suitable for this job. They have learned a lot of things about pollution, trash, deforestation, ecosystems and many other things within their Comenius project titled ‘Go green, go clean, act now!’. They are willing to help you find the best ways to minimize the deforestations, and to make people understand that without oxygen life on Earth it’s not possible.’

Without

anymore

hesitations, the Bison and the Star went to Rediu School famous students

to

meet

some

assistants: involved

in

a

Comenius project with other European colleagues. The pupils were anxiously waiting them to start a very important mission for their lives. Before that, they took some drastic measures. Our heroes skulked day and night in the counties where mass deforestations occur: Maramureş, Bacău, Bistriţa, Argeş or Gorj. The Star saw how they have caught a few of irresponsible men: those who illegally were cutting down the trees transforming the forest into buildings areas or some other things for personal interests.

47


Through this experiment, they intended to show them the role of the forests in supplying an important quantity of oxygen absorbing CO2, contributing this way to the pollution’s minimization. After they have learned this lesson and came outside from that room, those people took a deep breath, filling their lungs with oxygen, and realizing the importance of the forest for beings’ lives. Taking this into account, the heroes kept those people into a room without fresh air for some minutes.

But the Bison and its assistance didn’t stop here. Students explained more benefits that everyone can get from a forest, such as: •

it stabilizes the ground preventing earth flows;

it represents a complex ecological system that is home for many

different kind of plants and animals; •

it filters the water from precipitations;

48


it is a moderator of the air’s temperature and humidity;

It’s

a

well

known

place

for

tourism

and

recreation

with

therapeutically effects.

The Star and Romanian team concluded that a live forest is more valuable then the things obtained from its sacrifice. The massive cutting of forests had impoverished the flora and the fauna and drove to the extinction of some animals or plants. Also, it is very important to protect and to conserve all species of flora and fauna from forests in order to prevent the disappearance of some of them (as was happened in the past with the bisons in this country). After this lesson, a part of those persons understood their mistakes, than joined the heroes’ team. They realized how horrible it will be if someday we should wake up without a home, as many of the living creatures of the forest did after the deforestation. So, they started a

49


public campaign to protect forests gathering up signatures against deforestations. Also, together with local authorities, they initiated reforestation actions with some genus of walnuts from Geoagiu and Giurgiu farms which need only 5 years till its’s ripeness. They made a lot of people to join their cause with the help of their placards on which they’ve written: ‘STOP THE DEFORESTATION!’ ‘SAVE THE GREEN GOLD OF THE NATURE!’ ‘MORE GREEN, MORE OXYGEN, MORE HEALTH!’ ‘PEOPLE WILL SURVIVE ON EARTH ONLY IN ALLIANCE WITH THE FOREST!’...

In that way, the Bison and its assistants from the Rediu School managed to save their country from more deforestations... for a while at least. Anyway, they are aware that there is still a lot of work to do, but this doesn’t scare of them, thought the Star than followed its journey around a greener and cleaner Europe.

The Romanian story was made by the students of class 1, 3 and 6 of the Horlesti-Rediu school and their teachers Iulia Lupu and Daniel LozbaStribuleac. 50


51


Chapter 7 It was a dark night but the sky was clear, full of stars with the Moon big and round like a big golden Ball. The little star was flying not very high admiring the sparkling navy blue water below. She was thinking about all her adventures, smiling slightly to herself. She even didn’t notice that the sea was left far behind her and now she was above the large area of something yellow. Suddenly she realized that and thought in surprise: “What’s that? A desert? Where am I? In Africa? She decided to land for a while and look around. The little star landed on the highest sand dune but she could see nothing but more and more sand dunes. “How strange”- she thought – “It’s a bit too cold as for Africa and the sand is humid, I can feel it with no doubt.” She was very tired so she decided to have a short nap and wait until the daylight. She fell asleep immediately.

The first sunrises woke her up. It was a nice quite warm day, the sky was blue and the

little

star

heard

a

beautiful tune coming from above. There, up in the sky she saw a little grey bird. It was a nightingale, an amazing singer. “So it can’t be a desert as I thought” she thought and set off. As she was walking, the sun came higher in the sky and the sand became warmer and drier. It was really difficult to climb 12 metres high dunes but

52


the Little Star was really tough and a bit stubborn which surely helped her. Suddenly she saw a huge mountain of the sand right in front of her. “Oh no! I hope this is the last one!” When she climbed it, a wonderful view spread before her eyes. She looked down and she saw a little forest of pines and after that a wide white beach and the sea. The little star rushed down and soon she got to the beach. “I think I deserve a short holiday in this beautiful place!” – she exclaimed smiling. Then she ran towards the sea. She was about to jump into when she saw a big grey shape a few meters from her. She looked interestingly and approached carefully. The figure moved. “It must be an animal” – thought the Little Star. She was right, it was a seal. - Hello. Who are you? Are you OK? – asked the Little Star. - Hello. I’m the grey seal and no, I’m not OK at all. I used to have a large family. There were thousands of us living in this sea. And now only a few of us survived but, as I suppose, our end is coming, too. Look at the water. It’s so dirty. People pour different toxic substances, throw rubbish into the water. As the result many fish have died and we have no food. Besides I don’t feel well. I think my skin is allergic to some element in the water. Look at my back. It hurts. - Show me. Ups! You are right. You are wounded. You need some help. Suddenly a big shape covered the sun for a moment. The Little Star looked up and she saw a beautiful but also scary white bird landing nearby. - Good morning Ms Seal. - Hell, Mr Eagle. How are you? I hope better than I am? Look, this is the Little Star. She is trying to help me. Look at my back. - Hello Star. Nice to meet you. But I am afraid nothing can be done and nothing can help us as long as people live here. - Why is that? Do you also have problem with them? – asked the Star.

53


- -Unfortunately yes. They hunt us to have trophies or put us in cages. They behave as if the were the only ones to have the right to live on the Earth. Then

the

nightingale

joined the discussion: - True.

Moreover

they pollute the air so much that we can hardly breathe. - I agree – added the same

Seal.

happens

the to

water. They pollute every river, lake or the ocean. - You shouldn’t be so passive, my friends. – said the Little Star. – believe me, I have seen many difficult situations in other countries and there is always a solution. - What do you suggest? – asked the Seal. - What can we do? People will not pay attention to our needs and they won’t listen to us. – The Eagle wasn’t so optimistic. The Little Star had an idea: - I know! – she exclaimed happily. – I they are so blind and deaf and don’t understand the problem, then we should make them understand it. - But how? – asked the Nightingale. - We should give them a lesson. Let’s take some human hostages and make them feel the way you do all the time. - Good idea – smiled the Fox who joined the group a moment before. – There are some important people here who have just gathered in the forest to have a barbecue. Let’s call our brothers and go there.

54


This is the war and we are fighting for our future but also for the future of the whole mankind. This is for their sake. - OK. Let’s act now! – said the Little Star. – Go to the forest and call every living creature. We will meet here in an hour. See you. Then all the animals ran to the forest. They had very little time. Only the Seal stayed on the beach and shouted to call for other seals. In the meantime the Little Star used some star dust to cure the Seal’s wounds. The hour passed quickly and the beach became crowded with animals living in this territory: wolves, foxes, deer, beavers, eagles, hawks, blackbirds, seagulls, seals, vipers, snakes, wild pigs, hares and many other wild animals. The Little Star flew up and announced: - Dear animals, you have been gathered here in order to prevent destroying your environment by the people. Now we are going to go to the forest, surround the group of men having a barbecue there and capture them. We will take them as our hostages and set them free when they understand the necessity of protecting the wildlife and the environment. I will show you the way. So the Little Star led the animals through the dunes right to the forest. When they got there, they saw a terrifying view: there were three bonfires. The grass was smoked and the bushes were broken because the men used the benches to make the fire. Large loudspeakers were

standing

near a big car and playing loud and disturbing music. The

kids

were

running, shouting,

55


throwing the flowers and leaves. There were plenty of plastic forks, knives, mugs, papers and empty cans everywhere. The animals were afraid because the noise was very disturbing for them as they can hear much better than the people. But the Little Star gave them hope and they were now determined to save their home from such disaster. So the surrounded the people and the Eagle was brave enough to unplug the CD player. All the people looked shocked and they seemed terrified. The Little Star found some rope and now she helped the animals to tie the people. The beavers built a huge cage and all the people were closed there. - Why are you doing this? Are you crazy? – asked a middle-aged man. - We are crazy? – asked the Eagle. – We don’t destroy our own home. - I don’t understand what you mean. – said a young woman. – We are just having some fun. We are not destroying anything. - We have a bit different point of view. – said the Seal sarcastically. - I’m not surprised that you don’t get the whole point – added the Eagle. – That’s why you are going to spend some time here. And you will see...... The Little Star started the engine of all the cars parked in the forest. All the birds started to move their wings so that all the fumes flew straight towards the cage. People started coughing. - Stop it! We can’t breathe! Children are here! – shouted some women. - Now you see! – said the Eagle. – We know this feeling. You didn’t realise what we feel when you come to the forest by cars or develop industry and let the smoke throughout the chimneys. - Mum, I’m thirsty! – cried a little boy. The Seal gave him a glass with stinky and dirty water. - Are you mad???!!! Do you want to poison my child?! – shouted the boy’s mother.

56


- Oh! Now you care about the water? Pity you hadn’t done it before. Maybe I wouldn’t have got sick and I wouldn’t have these wound on my back! Look! - But it’s not fair. We didn’t pollute the water. – said the boy. – It’s not us. - Maybe it wasn’t you personally but generally people are the ones who are responsible for this. – explained the Seal. – You hunt the sea animals, you pour lots of chemical substances into the rivers, lakes and seas. Even when you come to the beach you throw empty bottles and other rubbish into the sea. Or you put the olive or cream on your body and then you go swimming. Water gets dirty. - That’s true. You’re right. – some people admitted. - People, it’s high time you started to act. The animals are equally the inhabitants of this planet. They have the right to live here. They don’t come to your houses and they don’t ruin them. You should do the same. Show them your respect and let them live their lives. – said the Little Star. – Don’t you see that if you ruin the planet, make all the creatures die, you will be the next ones to become extinct? - Yes. Now we can see it. Thank you the Little Star. Thank you my animal friends for opening our eyes. – said the mayor of the nearby city. – But we are like a drop of water in the sea. There are just a few of us here. How can we stop pollution, how can we convince the world’s population? It’s impossible! - Dear Mayor – said the Little Star. Every little step is important. You can start the process of changes, give the good example and this will give you the fame. Then other people will do the same. Firstly, I suggest you to announce this beautiful are to be the National Park, the area protected by certain rules. - Great idea – exclaimed all the people and they started giving examples” - No industry here!

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- No polluting! - No littering! - Stop the noise! - Let’s let the nature to take care of itself – don’t interfere. - Stop picking up flowers, forest fruit and breaking or cutting down trees! - Let’s have a wild nature reservation here! Then The animals let the people out of the cage. Both the people and the animals were so happy and grateful to the Little Star. Now they really had hopes for a better future. The animals surrounded the Little Star. - Time to say goodbye – said the Star. - Can’t you stay with us? – asked the Seal whipping. - We need you. – added the Eagle. - It’s nice to hear that. But I’m sure that you will be OK now. – answered the Star.- Besides I’m not saying “farewell” but “see you”. This place is so beautiful that I will surely return here..... For holiday this time. Bye - bye. Then she flew away, high to the sky. It was getting dark already and soon the Little Star disappeared among other sparkling stars. But the National Park still exists in this area and what is more, this idea became so popular that nowadays there are 23 national parks in Poland. But nobody knows who this idea came from. The Seal and the Eagle still live there happily. But they very often look up at the dark night sky trying to spot their favourite Star......

The polish story was made by the students:Roksana Malinowska, Marcin Malas, Krzysztof Kropidlowski, Malswina Rafinska, Dawid Sheng and their teacher Ewa Nawrocka. It was illustrated my Anna Gorska and Jakub Gorski.

58


59


Chapter 8 The star left Poland, and went north, to the little country called Denmark. The trip over the Baltic Sea was very hard as the little star was fighting against the hard wind coming from West, and it was difficult for her to move forward.

Finally the star reached the coast of the Danish island called Sealand, The little Star enjoyed the beautiful view, but suddenly her eyes caught a strange sight straight ahead from the coast. In the sea there where strange sticks coming up and on top of them there were three sticks turning around. “This strange phenomenon I have to find out more about� the star thought. I have to continue my journey and see if anyone can give me an answer about this strange thing. The little star was also

60


wondering about the strength of the wind in this country and how the Danish people could cope with this. After several hours of journey searching for the right place to get the answers the little star suddenly saw something interesting, a green flag waving in the wind like an invitation to come and look. The place it had found was a school called “Sennels School” When it got closer it saw a lot of kids gathering on a big green area, the kids were looking so unhappy. The star addressed the kids and asked them “why are you so unhappy?” and they said “We have great troubles here. Every day when we go to our playground it is full of garbage. The young people from our town leaves their garbage after having fun here every night. The star says “we must do something” and asks the kids for suggestions. One student says we can put up garbage cans and another suggests that they must be in different colours to help the young people sort the garbage correctly in stead of throwing it on our green area. We have another issue too…. Our parents keep driving us to school and we really want to go by bike. The star guides them to go home and tell their parents about the pollution problems connected to driving a car. The kids went home and the parents 61


were really embarrassed about their ignorance and encouraged from that point on their kids to take their bikes.

The star asked the kids about the phenomenon in the sea and they told her how wind turbines works and creates wind energy from that strong wind she had felt while flying over sea. With all the problems solved she flew happily up in the sky and now kids all over Europe can see a twinkling Comenius star in the sky.

The Danish story was made by the students of 5th class and their teacher Margit Sejer.

62


COUNTRY

E-MAIL ADDRESS

Denmark

jyttegill@msn.com

Belgium

koen.beerten@telenet.be

Cyprus

panikkx@hotmail.com

Greece

makarono@sch.gr

Italia

patrizia.salutij@virgilio.it

Poland

ewa_nawrocka@wp.pl

Portugal

jpenagil@sapo.pt

Romania

daniellozba@yahoo.com

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publi-cation reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held re-sponsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. 63


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Eco the Star, makes a start!  

Eco, a shinning star comes to Europe to find out that many european countries face a lot enviromental problems. This tale was written by st...

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