Marty’s story workshops - Italy 18.5.2016

On Wednesday, the 18th of May, 2016 the first of five value workshops with children from 4 to 7 years old (6 children), took place at the Multipurpose Centre dedicated to Art and Values (Giubiasco, Ti-Ch). The meetings were held for two hours on Wednesday afternoons by Pinuccia Soffientini (musical therapist), and Suzanne Palermo (illustrator and author of children’s projects).

Based on Marty’s story and website materials, (, the workshops aimed at helping the children become familiar with Marty, his distinctive three antennas (heart, head and hand) and at activating a human values learning process, within a neutral ‘neighborhood setting’. The use of a ‘talking stick’ encouraged the children to listen to whoever was talking without interrupting, and to wait for their turn. A variety of musical instruments were used on various occasions. Games/creative activities included: Pin the heart on the sun’s heart, the character memory, Marty’s antenna headband, the character flower, the mirror.
The use of ‘value images’, created ad hoc for the workshops, helped reiterate the concept that “Values are a way of acting that helps ourselves and others… like telling the truth, cleaning up our messes, and being kind.” (Awakening Human Potential - Mary Kay Tam, M.Ed.).

The workshops followed a series of themes/topics:

  • Life is an adventure: My life is important. “I am here to have lots of experience and to discover things about the world around me, nature and other people, to learn about myself and to get to know myself better.”
  • The values map: “Every step counts because it takes me to the next step”.
  • The Heart of the sun: Review of the various concepts tackled during the first two meetings, of how Marty “sees the rainbow” (his project-dream-goal) in this heart, and the importance of “staying connected to your heart to find your way (i.e. on planet earth).”
  • The mirror: Like Marty, to find direction (orientation) and stay connected to our heart, we need to “look in the mirror”, “go within”. When we do this our antennas straighten out, and we are calm and focused. Concentration is an important human value to cultivate to do anything well.
  • The Character Flower: When heart, head and hand work together I feel good, the things I do come out better and I behave better. When what I think, feel and say are in harmony my antennas turn into a flower.

Extras: We brought in a few moments of breathing with attention, and silent sitting. Each meeting ended with a snack. The meetings were free of charge.

Follow up: Next autumn we will propose groups of 5 meetings from September onward, to facilitate parental commitment. Each 5 lesson series will be followed by a 4-6 week break, and then picked up again with a new 5 lesson series. The breaks will allow us to activate another age-group, series-project.

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