Our school-work program is a three-year-long project for young students attending local high schools, which consists in giving them a chance to learn useful and versatile working skills. A small museum like ours is able to offer a multifaceted experience, allowing the student/worker to deal with many different working contexts. In fact, the student/worker will be employed as a front office clerk (deploying his relational, decisional and communication skills, proactivity and problem solving capacities) and as a back office clerk (where a certain dose of flexibility, overview and time management is required). The museum is a highly-qualified context, ideal for orienting young people in the work environment: it helps them develop their soft skills and the eight key-competences of citizenship. The first work group was composed of 11 students from the Enriques Institute of Castelfiorentino and the Roncalli Institute of Poggibonsi, and focused on presenting the museum exhibits. After an initial training phase, the students were free to actively participate in the educational activities and workshops, acquiring the basics of communication strategies and techniques, alongside the museum’s educational staff, learning how to adapt their language and how to choose which contents to communicate, according to the target public.

Their experience ended with a performance at the Ridotto Theatre in Castelfiorentino: a theatre presentation whose script, editing, direction and communication they handled themselves. Targeting the 3rd, 4th and 5th year students and their teachers, the show evidenced all the skills they had developed in the course of this experience. The interpretation in a theatrical format, interspersed with videos to make the performance more dynamic, was an ideal communication mode for what was largely a teenage audience.

The “Teen for cult” project represents an opportunity for the BeGo to dissolve many prejudices regarding the museum itself, and to finally valorise the work of its staff, the complexity of the various skills deployed by this type of institution and, above all, the educational function of the museum in high schools which, except for rare cases, are not normally part of our public.

This experience is also a growth opportunity for our tutors, who learn new languages and strategies and enrich their culture with new points of view. Our museum sees teenagers as stakeholders, whose needs we have to address and with whom we have to set up a dialogue. The museum has the chance to be recognized as a vital, active, proactive and open-minded institution and, above all, a place able to provide an enriching experience, even for those who are not normally interested or sufficiently stimulated to take advantage of it. This year, the new cycle of the project will be focusing on the Accessibility concept. The students will have an opportunity to follow all phases of its planning, experimentation and use of materials, as well as the implementation of new services included in the “Museo for ALL” project. The project reveals the Museum’s determined yet necessary intent to play the social role assigned to it in today’s society, that of counteracting various phenomena of exclusion and acting as a testing ground for new forms of cultural citizenship, while promoting and sustaining social cohesion. The students will discover the processes involved in the creation of simplified materials for physically and mentally disadvantaged people, including new communication strategies for people with Alzheimer and dementia.

The students’ entire experience, their opinions, their ambitions and the materials they have produced, feature in a dedicated blog, whose layout and contents they edited themselves

Bolg TEEN FOR CULT: www.teenformuseobego.blog