We are organising the Summerhill Festival of Childhood to celebrating 100 years of Summerhill School and the inspirations A.S.Neill has given the world, and also to celebrate childhood as a critical period of time for all of us and consequently for the future of humanity.
The Summerhill Festival of Childhood will take place on 6th-11th August 2021 in the beautiful British countryside of Suffolk, just a few miles away from the world famous Summerhill School itself.
The festival will be a community and family-friendly event, that will bring together many exciting projects, collaborations, workshops, presentations and performances based on art, music, theatre, dance, craft, educational and childrearing approaches, psychology, sustainability, community and children’s rights for thousands of participants. It will also have an international conference approach and will facilitate seminars, talks and focus group discussions.
It will be hosting educators, parents, students but also a large number of international institutions, civil society organisations, charities, NGOs, academics, researchers, activists and policy makers from around the world actively working towards shaping the futures of education globally.
The mission of the festival is to:
- strengthen the sense of unity amongst organisations and individuals who are promoting and actively working towards positive change within education, childrearing and community.
- maximise their global impact by functioning as an incubator and accelerator of future collaborations, partnerships, alliances and movements for a sustainable future for us all.
The outputs of the festival
More specifically, we anticipate the Summerhill Festival of Childhood to have the following outputs:
- networking and collaborations amongst people and organisations from all over the world sharing similar values and visions;
- drawing global attention to the importance of childhood for the life-long well-being of every individual and consequently of our society and initiating a global campaign around it;
- producing a Summerhill Festival of Childhood report reflecting upon the current and future developments of education globally;
- enhancing the outreach of all contributing and supporting organisations’ work and projects through all festival’s promotional mediums and direct interaction with thousands of festival participants and stakeholders keen to learn and get involved.
- enrichment of participant stakeholders’ (e.g educators, policy-makers, researchers, other professionals, parents etc) insights and practice through their involvement with and experiences at the festival but also of many more stakeholders through the dissemination of the festival outputs after the event.
It is also important to mention that we are aware of the threat the present global pandemic poses upon the physical materialisation of the Summerhill Festival of Childhood in August 2021. Due to the large interest so far, we are making plans for possible online events throughout the year, should the festival be postponed. However, cancelling the festival in its physical form is not something we are considering. If the festival cannot take place in 2021 due to Covid, we will reschedule the event to a later date.
We are a large group of volunteers from all around the world all committed to make this dream event a reality. We understand the impact the present pandemic is having on us all financially but we are also feeling this event will have a great global impact on the advancement of education, children's rights and our general mentality towards childhood. Therefore, we would like to ask you to support us by donating any small amount of money you are able to afford to help us bring this amazing and historical event to life, and of course, we hope you will be able to come and join us.
“The future of Summerhill itself may be of little import. But the Summerhill idea is of the greatest importance to humanity. New generations must be given the chance to grow in freedom. The bestowal of freedom is the bestowal of love. And only love can save the world.” – A.S.Neill, 1963
Thank you for your time.
Summerhill Festival of Childhood
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