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Month of activities to celebrate Sant Jordi holiday

The Formentera Council's Office of Education and Culture unveiled its calendar of activities today for the commemoration of Saint George, or, as he is known in Catalan, Sant Jordi. In the words of department head Susana Labrador, the programme, which spans all of April, “was conceived as a way to bring our culture to local audiences both young and old”. Things kick off Saturday, April 1, with a performance of Acorar. Playwright and actor Toni Gomila helms a visceral monologue that takes audiences to the heart of Mallorca for a hog slaughter, any islander's go-to social gathering. The decadence of the event serves as shorthand for the decline of traditional Mallorca and, by proxy, the world as we've known it till now. The show, presented by Ferro, starts at 9.00pm in the cinema (Sala de Cultura).

Kids' activities
Sharing the opening slot of the children's events calendar are two events where kids will be able to use recycled materials to build their own dragons. The first workshop takes place Wednesday, April 5, at 5.30pm in the Sant Ferran library and the second on Friday, April 7 at 5.00pm in Marià Villangómez library. The following Saturday, April 8, is another day for the kids when the street theatre production “El niu de Dudu & Cia” hits plaça de la Constitució in Sant Francesc. This family-friendly show is a consummate work-in-progress: actors make their way down the street and neither words nor rules stand in the way of the surprises and laughs that emerge from interactions with the surrounding public.

Book launches
Monday, April 10, Òscar Mayans shares Espurnes de sensacions with Formentera readers. As the author's first solo publication, the book offers a glimpse into Mayans' inner workings. The launch and a talk with the author will be held at 8.00pm in Marià Villangómez library.

Friday, April 21, Obra Cultura Balear presents a launch of David Guinard and Artur Parron's Aurora Picornell (1912-1937). The event will take place at the Marià Villangómez library.

Concert
Also on Friday, local legends Uc perform on Formentera. Co-presented by Espai_F and Illenc at la Mola's Casa del Poble, the concert starts at 8.00pm.

Book stands
All morning long on Sant Jordi day (Sunday, April 23), books retired from the collections of Formentera libraries or donated from local cultural groups can be picked up for free at outposts across Sant Francesc's central plaza. Trade-ins will also be accepted.

Centennial celebration of 'Gabrielet'
The same day, at 12 noon in the cinema, winners will be announced for two children's contests that this year turn 18—a bookmark designing competition named for Antoni Tur “Gabrielet” and Robert Lewis Baldon's celebration of children's literature. Organisers of this year's edition say they hope to keep the memory alive of two seminal local figures. Both left Formentera with important legacies, artistic in one case and literary in the other. Councillor Labrador called the two competitions “a chance to promote reading and creative writing among Formentera youth”. As part of this year's centennial celebration of Tur's birth, participants will reflect on the prompt, “Art all around me”. Entertainment at the awards ceremony will be handled by Ho toquen tot.

Discussion, children's theatre and documentary
The activities continue Monday, April 24, with a look at Bartomeu Ribes' collection of poetry titled Els avisos. The evening, hosted by Maria Teresa Ferrer, Joan Ferrer and the author himself and presented by the local arm of Obra Cultural Balear (OCBF), begins at 8.00pm in Marià Villangómez library.

At 6.00pm on Friday, April 28, Formentera kids are invited to attend a storytelling session by Cristina Garcia at Marià Villangómez library called “Contes Salvatges” (“Savage Tales”).

At 8.30pm that same evening, Miquel Brunet presents his documentary Ferments to crowds in la Mola. The presentation is part of OCBF's Primavera Cultural programme.

Imaràntia, end of festivities
Capping the calendar of events, OCBF will host a 9.00pm concert by Imaràntia on Saturday, April 29 at la Mola's Casa del Poble.

Activities, coordinated by the CiF Office of Culture, had the support of local libraries and special collaboration from Formentera schools, as well as groups like Amics de la Biblioteca Internacional, OCBF, Espai_F, Ràdio Illa and Illenc.

Formentera on board with Earth Hour

Jake abbott higuera nuitte cel nocturnThe Formentera Council has renewed its commitment to the planet with Earth Hour 2017, a call to cut the lights tomorrow, March 25. From 8.30 to 9.30pm, electric lighting across plaça de la Constitució and carrers Eivissa and Ramón Llull will be switched off.

Appealing for broad public participation, environment councillor Daisee Aguilera called the worldwide lights-out event “a symbolic act against climate change”. For ten years World Wide Fund for Nature has helmed the Earth Hour movement. “The Formentera Council felt strongly about joining the effort,” said the councillor, “and opted to turn out the lights at some of Sant Francesc's main roads”.

Crews haul littered waste from es Brolls arterial

Neteja cami des brollsLoads of dumped construction materials and metal parts have been cleared from camí des Brolls and nearby land, according to the environment office of the Formentera Council. Crews removed 120 cubic metres of building supplies and four of scrap metal. The effort, said environment councillor Daisee Aguilera, was part of a plenary accord.

Aguilera expressed her hope that no future dumping occur on the newly reclaimed land, an area of significant environmental interest. The councillor encouraged people to dispose of unwanted items at the island's rubbish collection point (“deixalleria”) or the waste treatment plant in es Cap de Barbaria.

The initiative, ok'd by ses Salines park and the coastal authority, included use of a lorry specially-equipped to reduce its impact on the surrounding area.

Educational community takes look at draft plan for new Sant Ferran school

Foto presentacio escola de sant ferranFormentera Council president Jaume Ferrer was joined today by the regional minister of education and universities, Martí March, in unveiling provisional plans for a new Sant Ferran primary school. The 2.00pm demo took place in the town's retirees' club and included CiF education councillor Susana Labrador, chief of planning, land use and centres in the Balearics, Antoni Morante, and affiliates of IBISEC, the regional agency in charge of infrastructure and educational services.

President Ferrer spoke enthusiastically about the Palma officials' visit, calling it “the welcome start of a project Formentera residents have long lobbied for”. He voiced satisfaction that the educational community was getting its opportunity to appraise the plans, “an important element to reaching consensus”. Ferrer pointed to a May vote on changes to municipal code as the next step be critical to making sure permits are delivered in time for a summer start to building.

After visiting the existing classrooms this morning, the regional minister reaffirmed the proposed changes represented “a very real necessity”. According to March, IBISEC's planned rebuild involves linking the remodeled school with a new early-learning centre, or “escoleta,” promised by the Council. The project—“a combined effort” that March predicted could be finished by late 2018—“is not only ambitious, but it's also extremely necessary”. March extended his thanks to the Council for its instrumental work in making the project a reality.

The aim of the presentation was to communicate the main features of the plans and ensure input from families, pupils, teachers and neighbours was included in the final product.

Sant Ferran's primary school, with its 284 pupils, occupies a plot of land that doesn't allow for further expansion. Hence the bid to draw up the new plans, which the department of education flagged for priority treatment in its 2016-2023 plan for educational infrastructure.

Characteristics of the school
The draft plans envision a school equipped for two groups of every class ("two-line") and 450 pupils total. Children would be spread across six pre-primary groups (ages three to six) and 12 sections of primary students (six to 12). The 11,037m2 lot, handed over by the Formentera Council, is located on Sant Ferran's outer edges. The administration will build the new escoleta on the adjoining lot, another “two-line” centre with 74 children aged zero to three.

The school, shaped like a hair comb, will be linked to another building housing offices of the administration and the school's canteen. That building, with street access, can also be used to receive pupils in the morning and as a gathering space.

The primary school section of the proposed building is divided into three pavilions, the first of which includes shared spaces like a library, computer lab, teachers' lounge and multipurpose room as well as rooms for one-on-one learning and small groups. The other two pavilions, with central hallways flanked by classrooms on either side, will house the school's 12 groups.

Pre-primary and nursery children will have use of their own play area, a patio that will be separate from primary pupils' playground. The patio will also be a hub for communication between the nursery and pre-primary classrooms. The primary school gymnasium will be located behind these units.

The pre-primary/primary school buildings and the municipal escoleta are €5,810,100.06 and €1,090,345.31 investments, respectively. According to the education department, once under way, the project will be locked into a 14-month time frame.

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