Saúde e Sociedade
Print version ISSN 0104-1290
PEREIRA, Beatriz; SILVA, Kátia S. S. and SOUZA, Ricardo P. de. Citizens in the making: a contribution to children's environmental health education. Saude soc. [online]. 2009, vol.18, suppl.2, pp. 93-95. ISSN 0104-1290. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0104-12902009000600016.
Educational activities have a special role in the consolidation of citizenship as well as in promoting changes in the quality of life and health. This paper presents a report on community-based health agents' experiences of environmental health education directed towards children within a Primary Health Care Center's Family Health Strategy. The objectives of this activity are to: develop a notion of children's rights and duties thus fostering awareness of citizenship; invite children, in a pleasant and playful manner, to reflect upon the need to take care of their bodies and the environment; familiarize them with and help them to visualize some of the agents that frequently cause diseases among children in their community. Description: this proposal is undertaken in three encounters, through the presentation of two children's plays, a walk with children and teachers in the community and the improvisation of a laboratory, set up so that the children can visualize small animals. As a result, parents and teachers report modifications in children's behavior concerning personal hygiene and environmental care, and the children start to demand that adults adopt similar attitudes. The walk in the community provides the children with a new perspective on their surroundings and helps new teachers to gain a perspective on the school's community. Recommendation: through educational action based on dialogue, it is possible for children to gain the capacity to modify their environment and become familiar with their rights and duties. Above all, it contributes towards their sense of citizenship.
Keywords : Health Education; Environment; Community Health Aides; Communication; Health Promotion; Primary Health Care.