“Strong people have no need for violence,” was the motto chosen by the Werkealschule School of Isny (Allgäu-Germany). It is one of the first partners of the new edition of Gen Rosso’s educational project and association Starkmacher. No longer the famous “Strong without Violence” but “Starkmacher Schule” (Schools that make you strong).
Between the 8th and 12th October 2012, students and teachers from the Werkrealschule Isny were involved in a project that put them on the stage with Gen Rosso and their musical “Streetlight”. And it all happened witih only three days of rehearsaling! Foolishenes? “Maybe so,” says Tomek who is one of the band members, “but we all believed it could be done and rehearsals went on without stopping.”
“A project involving the whole school does not happen every day,” admits School Principal Grimm, “for this reason Starkmacher Schule was introduced in every class.”
The projects provides an experience living and working alongside Gen Rosso to present their musical after a three-day workshop integrating different subjects and skills training, through a course developed at the University of Heidelberg for teachers and students that helps them to discover the qualities and skills that can be used to accomplish their goal. “Already last year some of the teachers and students went through this training,” says Anita Heumos, a social worker who was a translator last year and is now the project organizer in her own city.
“For many youths, getting on stage and performing in front of their peers is not something to be taken for granted,” explains Tomek. “Therefore it is important that the educational system helps them, offering them new challenges and skills. This guarantees the sustainability of the project. It’s one of the novelties of this new edition.”
Instructor Günther Kreutzer added: “The show has a lot of people working around it. In the workshops, for example, there were translators, because the members of Gen Rosso band come from different countries. This was a very engaging and creative feature of the project.
“On the 19th of October 2012 we were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Isny. He was so enthusiastic about what was happening in the school. And some businesses, two parishes (Catholic and Protestant) and common people have offered support for the project with money and other gifts,” Anita recounts. She goes on to say: “The principal was also very satisfied with the response from some parents, who also took an active part in the project.”
With the help of the music and several creative workshops the youths reached a good level of preparation for the project, both concerning the seriousness of everyday violence and in the interior strength needed to face and resolve daily problems. The standing ovation they received at the end of the performance by the more than 1000 member audience at the two musicals in the Rotmooshalle of Isny, was recompense enough for all the work that was put in by everyone. One local newspaper wrote: “A Musical makes a school happy.” “The spirit of unity,” Tomek concludes, “has left a mark in each one. . . Their shining faces seem to confirm it!”
Photo gallery Starmacher Schule Project in Isny