Lagoon Kindergarten lesson in progress

The Prada Group project partners with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for the United Nations Decade of Marine Science for Sustainable Development 2021-2030

To commemorate International Education Day (24 January 2023), Prada Group and UNESCO launched “Lagoon Kindergarten”, an innovative outdoor educational experience for preschoolers in Venice, taking place today on Torcello Island. This initiative is an important step for children to understand more about the ocean and the central role it plays in sustainable development.

Presented in May 2022 at Ca’ Corner della Regina – the Venetian headquarters of the Fondazione Prada – Laguna Kindergarten is part of THE SEA OUTSIDEa 2019 project led by Prada Group And UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)., aims to promote education for the preservation of the ocean and its resources. It also supports the UN Decade of Ocean Sciences for Sustainable Development led by IOC/UNESCO, as part of the “Ocean Literacy With All” (OLWA) Ocean Decade Programme, a global initiative to build greater understanding of the oceans.

Today’s program included outdoor activities throughout the morning for 40 students from six schools participating in the project, with attendance from Lorenzo BertelliPrada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, UNESCO representative Vladimir Ryabinin, Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores And Francesca Santoroas well as local agencies, Massimiliano De MartinCouncil Member for Urban Planning, Neighborhoods and Private Buildings and Laura Besio, Council Member for Educational Policy of the City Council of Venice.

Lagoon Kindergarten lesson programme is based on the principles of outdoor education, the didactic approach whose pillars are experiential learning, environment, And well-being involved, with a purpose create a relationship between children Andin this particular case, lagoon ecosystem.

As well as putting nature and science at the centre, the project seeks to preserve and enhance the local culture and traditions of Venice which, together with its lagoon, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and bears witness to the effects of climate change.

Education plan contribute to children’s development and their learning process by gradually getting them interested in observing fauna and flora and discovering the characteristics they have in common. This is an accessible way to discover and nurture a love for the natural sciences.

Outdoor lessons will cover different thematic areas, including the relationship between plants, animals, and natural elements of the lagoon, their characteristics, similarities, and differences. Children will explore the beach, learning through drawing activities, collaborative play, and little science experiments, to recognize and appreciate the habitat lagoon. This will help them become, one day, “civic ambassadors” and “spokespersons” for this legacy. Open dialogue with schools and families is key to the active involvement of all children, and fundamental to determining the actual program.

Strong ties with the Municipality of Venice an integral part of project success. Open dialogue with the local Department of Environment and Education has resulted in support for the initiative since it was announced. The City Council of Venice provides dedicated water buses and trams for the transfer of children and support from The Emilia Boss Foundation lent her villa space on the island of Torcello
to host the first lesson cycle.

Bonds with local culture and traditions also expressed through the work of a Venetian artist, Sofia Sarria (Atelier Volante), which will support children’s educational workshops, helping them create papier-mâché masks inspired by lagoon animals, as well as Elisabetta Mitrovica natural scientist and artist, who will work with children on designing “nature notebooks”.

“I am proud to attend this first day with the children of Venice, hoping that Laguna Kindergarten will continue to grow and that more young explorers and families will love being a part of it. Our ambition is to see this program develop over time and expand this project to other cities in the future.” said Lorenzo BertelliPrada Group Head of Corporate Social Responsibility.

“UNESCO’s IOC believes that childhood marine education can be a cornerstone of lifelong emotional well-being. Finding ways in which humanity can learn how to live in harmony with the Ocean is one of the pillars of the United Nations Decade of Marine Science for Sustainable Development. I am thrilled to inaugurate today, together with Prada Group, a project that brings the ocean into children’s lives. And we can dream that they will grow up happily, will live sustainably and peacefully, and some of them will become marine guardians in the future.” said Vladimir RyabininExecutive Secretary of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and Assistant Director General of UNESCO.

The first cycle of classes will end in June 2023; the new program will start again in September, to coincide with the school calendar.



Elisabetta Mitrovic

Born in 1969 on the seashore of Rome, nestled between the Capocotta dunes and the pine forests of Castel Fusano, Elisabetta studied natural sciences at university but specialized in environmental education. For the past 25 years, he has accompanied adults and children to observe nature through his eyes. He started by working in a WWF oasis, with school camps, summer camps, and guided tours; then for many years, he worked at the Lazio Region Environmental Education Laboratory, dealing with environmental communications and training educators and teachers. Over the past few years, he has worked as a freelancer, collaborating with parks, cooperatives and associations dealing with education and communication for nature conservation, also through European projects such as ERASMUS and LIFE.
But there is a path that Elisabetta traveled, parallel to this one. Draw. Both as an artistic practice and as a means of learning in nature conservation education. Today, he lives with his family in a house in the woods, next to the centuries-old beech forests of Oriolo Romano, but he often travels around Italy and Europe, drawing and narrating the nature he observes in his notebooks and working on paper. Watercolor, tempera, pencil, chalk and Indian ink were the tools. Her markings followed the rhythms of nature, the animal forms, the wild moments of beauty that she observed from afar with a telescope.
He is also a nature illustrator working as a freelancer for publishers, for the Environment Department of the Lazio Region and the National Parks of Abruzzo, Lazio, and Molise.

Sofia Sarria (Atelier Volante)

Growing up in Venice in her family’s papier-mâché creation workshop, Sofia still carries on this dying tradition. At times, however, he put aside the molds he had inherited and looked for new ways to readjust the processes and techniques he had been taught to experiment in new directions and find new sources of life for his creativity. Making her own traditional process, adapting it to her own research and to a changing world: Atelier Volante is not just a craft, but Sofia’s deeply personal way of expressing her opinion. And to remind everyone that even a pack of old newspapers meant for the trash heap and cardboard used only for shipping times can still come in handy. Maybe give life to a world inhabited by strange creatures ready to become part of a fairy tale.

Prada Group

A pioneer of dialogue with contemporary society in various cultural fields and an influential leader in luxury fashion, Prada Group finds its identity in essential values ​​such as creative independence, transformation and sustainable development, offering its brands a shared vision to interpret and express their passion. The group owns some of the world’s most prestigious luxury brands, Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s, Car Shoe, the historic Pasticceria Marchesi and Luna Rossa.

UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission

The UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) promotes international cooperation in marine science to improve the management of seas, coasts and marine resources. The IOC enables its 150 Member States to work together by coordinating programs in capacity building, ocean observation and services, marine science, and tsunami warning. The IOC’s work contributed
for UNESCO’s mission to promote scientific progress and its application to develop knowledge and capacity, the key to economic and social progress, the basis of peace and sustainable development.

Sea Decade

Promulgated in 2017 by the UN General Assembly, the UN Ocean Science Decade for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) (‘Ocean Decade’) seeks to stimulate ocean science and knowledge generation to reverse the decline in the state of ocean systems and catalyze new opportunities for the sustainable development of ecosystems. this massive ocean. Ocean Decade’s vision is ‘the science we need for the oceans we want’. The Ocean Decade provides a framework for scientists and stakeholders from various sectors to develop the scientific knowledge and partnerships needed to accelerate and leverage advances in marine science to achieve a better understanding of marine systems and deliver science-based solutions to achieve the 2030 Schedule of events. The UN General Assembly mandated UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO) to coordinate the preparation and implementation of the Decade.

Fondazione Emilia Boss

The Emilia Bosis Foundation, founded in 1998, is dedicated to the reception, treatment, rehabilitation and, where possible, integration of people with mental distress. Much attention is paid to restoring the dignity of psychiatric patients. The Foundation also pursues its goals through residential and semi-housing facilities.

For more information:

Prada Group Press Office

[email protected]

UNESCO Press Office

Anne Ajoux (Communications Officer)
UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe +39 0412601522
[email protected]

Vinicius Grunberg Lindoso (Communication Officer) UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission +33 (0)145681170
[email protected]