HIGHFIVE! SCHOOL AWARENESS PROGRAMME
In accordance with the partnership agreement concluded between European Lotteries (EL) and the European Disability Forum (EDF) in 2011, Szerencsejáték Zrt., the National Council of Associations of Persons with Disabilities and the Organización Nacional De Ciegos Españoles (ONCE) entered into an agreement on 3 December 2015. As part of this initiative, Szerencsejáték Zrt. undertook the adaptation in Hungary of the school awareness programme that has been successfully run by the ONCE Organisation for over 30 years now.
The aim of the “HIGHFIVE!” programme is to positively change disability-related attitudes among the 10-18 age group through their own empirical knowledge and emotional involvement.
The national programme was developed and organised by the Salva Vita Foundation , established in 1993, at the request of Szerencsejáték Zrt. Since its foundation, the Salva Vita Foundation has been working for equal opportunities and the social inclusion of people with disabilities.
The “HIGHFIVE!” programme is funded by the national lottery company and its professional support is provided by the Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education of Eötvös Loránd University and the National Council of Associations of Persons with Disabilities (FESZT).
The “HIGHFIVE!” programme is specifically dedicated to school-aged children. Each year, a nation-wide competition for lower and upper primary, as well as secondary school pupils forms the basis of this awareness-raising initiative. As part of this initiative, students work in groups to plan what kind of programmes, involving children or adults with disabilities, they would like to take part in. They will write a report on the joint programme, which will be then submitted to the competition. The best 12 entries will be selected by a professional jury. The awards will be presented at a major awards show featuring musical entertainment.
Evaluation of the 2018/2019 competition
There were 103 registrations and programme plans received for the 2018/2019 competition, of which 89 programmes were implemented by the deadline (30 April 2019) involving 43 primary schools, 46 secondary schools and 61 municipalities. 20% of the participants were from the capital city and 80% from the country. In this cycle, nearly a quarter of the previous year’s applicants reapplied.
More than 3,000 persons participated in the programmes, including children, affected parents, educators and experiential experts. We estimate that over 11,000 people were definitely reached by the second round of the “HIGHFIVE!” competition.
Fanny Hozleiter (“Mosolyka” - “Smile”), the goodwill ambassador for the programme, was involved both personally and via her social media networks in the promotion of the programme.
An important milestone and also the closing phase of the nearly year-long programme was the evaluation and awarding of entries.
Entries were evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
- How creative and imaginative the programme itself was, how engaging and interactive it was for both students and participants with disabilities;
- How well the implementation was aligned to the programme plan;
- To what extent the programme’s accessibility could be realised;
- How well the infocommunication accessibility was implemented in the project;
- The extent to which the documentation method reflected the actual events of the programme and the atmosphere;
- What the message of the programme was and how well the group could share the event itself or its news with its immediate environment (school, neighbourhood, family), i.e. to what extent the programme reached beyond itself;
- To what extent the programme’s results could be shown beyond its immediate environment, e.g. with the help of local media.
We decided to use a competition format to award the commitment of those implementing the “HIGHFIVE!” programme. The top 12 entries selected by the jury were each awarded HUF 400,000 and the work of the teachers preparing the teams was rewarded by book vouchers in the amount of HUF 50,000.
The jury consisted of members delegated by the FESZT, the Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education of ELTE University, the Salva Vita Foundation and Szerencsejáték Zrt.
As part of a grand gala ceremony featuring music and entertainment, the contestants could share their own community experiences with each other in the form of films, photos, drawings or written accounts. News and social media appearances around the event set an example and good practices to be followed by young people. The best 12 entries were selected by a professional jury.
The winners were invited to an award gala for 500 attendees, hosted by Szerencsejáték Zrt., with the participation of Minister Andrea Bártfai-Máger.
As the professional supporter of the “HIGHFIVE!” programme, the Bárczi Gusztáv Faculty of Special Needs Education of ELTE University also used scientific tools to measure the changes in the attitudes of participating pupils. Their key finding is one of the most important successes of the programme: “As a result, the “HIGHFIVE!” programme has led to a positive shift in children’s attitudes towards disability, which can also be statistically confirmed.” All of this means that the disability-related knowledge, emotional attitudes and behaviour of the children participating in the programme have changed positively.
Following the successes of recent years, we are launching another competition from September this year and are looking forward to seeing colourful and creative projects again. We plan to double the number of participating schools and communities in the next competition cycle.