Giocampus is an educational alliance among private and public institutions active in Parma, which is becoming a model of welfare-community. The initiative promotes the wellbeing of future generations through a programme of physical activity and healthy eating education.
The project has the main purpose of teaching children and their families the basic principles of a correct culture of wellbeing, encouraging both the aspect linked to physical exercise and the adoption of improved eating behaviours, and taking into account the sustainability of our daily habits. The synergy between physical activity and healthy eating education is undoubtedly the strength of the Giocampus model, a unique experience of training, sport, play and friendship aimed at proposing to children healthy and active lifestyles allowing them to improve both their physical skills and their knowledge on food and nutrition.
The summer phase of the project takes place from June until the beginning of September, and involves over 3,400 children aged between 5 and 14 years, 200 members of staff, and 20 medical doctors attending of the School of Paediatrics of the University of Parma.
The venue for the summer activities is inside the Science & Technology campus of the University of Parma, which covers a surface area of more than 110,000 square meters and includes outdoor and indoor sports facilities (football, tennis, basketball, athletics, golf, volleyball, rugby, martial art, dance, etc.).
In particular, the Giocampus summer project aims at bringing children closer to the world of sport in a playful way. During the day, children are exposed to several different activities, including team and individual sports, besides featuring several non-sport activities which are equally useful for the development of both general and specific coordination skills (manual skills, sense of rhythm). In addition, healthy eating education laboratories are proposed by the “Maestro del Gusto” (literally, the Taste Teachers). The Taste Teacher holds a background in food science, food history and pedagogy and delivers nutritional knowledge to children through a “learning through playing” approach. Specific games and activities, developed to improve the understanding several nutrition themes, have been designed by the Taste Teachers of Madegus, a University of Parma spin-off, and by researchers of the Human Nutrition Unit of the University of Parma to facilitate the “learning through playing” approach. Last, playing also with the “reduce-reuse-recycle” model, children become aware of the importance of their everyday behaviours in terms of sustainability, providing them a comprehensive lifestyle education.