Our campaign consists of an intervention in schools of basic education, which attend children between 6 and 8 years of age promoting lecture, theater and gymkhana. We have developed pedagogical activities to raise children's awareness about the importance of following traffic rules from an early age, so that this lesson becomes part of their personalities. We believe, therefore, that our action is fundamental so that our future generations can transform safe behaviors into habits, thus building a less violent traffic situation!
It all started last year when we were contacted by the pedagogical team of the school and invited to participate in the project "Your Ideas Your Initiatives” and without really know what the idea of the Renaut Group consisted of, we were asked, before we attended the first meeting of this project, to investigate traffic problems that humanity has to face, in global terms or specific situations from where we live.
In our first meeting, therefore, we had a lot of data, catastrophic numerical information provided by the World Health Organization. One student said that the number of deaths in traffic increases each year, another one recalled that Brazil is among the countries that most loses citizens victims of traffic accidents, besides many other information. In fact, we data we raised was pretty sad. All that research happened last year. Traffic heroes today is different, we have new students and it was important that they were also provided with this information. This way, they have made this research and we could compare the old data with the new one. No surprise, just the same sad data raised by the new members of the team. And then, our teacher asked: what will you do with this information? He immediately demonstrated what the "Your Ideas Your Initiatives" project consists of: explaining first the study that will culminate in ideas that may solve some traffic problem, and then deciding about the initiatives, the actions that we will take.
Once the new members were informed about the project and about the problems related to traffic it was time to explain about Traffic Heroes and what inspired us to create this group. Last year we investigated, on the internet, causes of death in traffic, and a common fact raised by 6 members of our team was the information that the percentage of accidents caused by human failure is more than 90% of the accidents recorded. And that information brought us to the idea that would guide our entire campaign: if what makes people die in traffic, are the people themselves, that's the essential element we need to fix, so we're going to prepare people from very early age in primary schools, and do everything possible so that when they become drivers, they do not make the mistakes that kill today almost 3,000 people a day in the world! So Traffic Heroes is a group inspired by circus art that rule a awareness campaign about Traffic in the municipal schools (children from 6 to 8 years old), promoting lectures, theaters and educational gymkhanas.
Our First Initiative was to ask to the new members if they had some new ideas to improve our group. It was fast, two students raised their hand and talked: “Circus Art, you mean, go to the school as clowns? I don’t know, some children may be affraid when they see a clown, it would be much better if we adopt a Super Heroe concept like Super Safe Belt, Wonder Croswalk, etc.
As soon as we decided we were going to teach children, we started building a theater group we called Traffic Heroes. We decided that we would visit the schools as superheroes, present lectures, gymkhana and theater, all these actions with a pedagogical concern in mind: Education for traffic.
Thus we started planning our intervention in schools: the pedagogical team had the function of making contact in schools checking the possibility of visiting; it was our responsibility to plan an intervention that would be productive, within a reasonable amount of time, so as not to harm the school routine of the pupils that would watch the lecture. So our intervention consisted of the following steps:
1st Step: We would get to school during the snack break, so we would play games during this time of recreation without revealing the intention of our visit. This would create a more friendly relationship with pupils.
2nd Step: Prepare the space that the School would give us to attend the students, prepare the theater scene, the challenges of the gymkhana and the lecture.
3rd Step: Presentation of the group for the students and presentation of the theater.
4th Step: A very brief lecture that would teach children to become their parents’ surveillance agents in traffic, applying them "the little traffic ticket", it is a card containing very obvious traffic infractions, like not respecting the traffic red light, use the cell phone while drive, drive drunk etc. Alongside the listed infractions, there is an observation about the gravity of the same according to the Brazilian’s Traffic Law. Whenever the child observes reckless behavior from their parents that can be applied on one of the listed infractions, their parents must be advised that they commited an infraction and must give to their child one to three candies according to the seriousness of the infraction.
We visited a school called Cecilia Meireles and we shared our activities with 34 children that enjoyed them very much. They loved the theater and they were angry and could not admit when they saw the reckless driver character doing something wrong, calling his attention every time they noticed an infraction! We evaluate this as something really good since it shows that the children have learned something. We're doing it right! Our teacher told us that many employees of the school approached him to make many compliments about our initiative, inviting us to come back more often! Now we have plans to visit another school in our own city and a school in a neighbor city, 24 miles away.
This is our proposal! We are better than last season, because our intervention is richer, well planned and attractive. As we said in the title of our campaign: We are bigger than ever