The ethos of Kidsʼ Own is rooted in respect for children and their creative abilities and firmly supports the key principles surrounding the work of Reggio Emilia and American philosopher John Dewey. This work builds on the premise that each child has the desire to connect with others, to engage in learning and to enter into a relationship with their environment, viewing the child as a growing and changing being that requires active learning experiences of immediate interest and personal involvement. We strongly endorse Carla Rinaldi (president of Reggio Children), in her belief that children are the best expression of humanity and are citizens of the present
not just the future.
Kids' Own employs a collaborative approach when working with children, young people and community groups, which focuses on a dialogue-based process that allows children to freely express themselves without inhibition, interruption or discrimination.
From our first series entitled Unheard Voices we developed our core ethos and working methodology. This series is a collection of books created by children from all over Ireland exploring and celebrating cultural diversity. All publications in this series reflect a broad range of real experiences and thoughts by children from a unique Irish perspective. This series provided a
platform for childrenʼs unheard voices in our society. Simultaneously, it involves children in a rich arts experience that enhances their capacity for learning. The model exemplified within this series places the emphasis on collaborative sharing and learning in a creative context. All the writing and artwork is created by the children themselves, working alongside a writer and
Our unique way of working ensures that the workshops are open to all children and their families, from different communities, backgrounds, languages and creeds. We advocate that childrenʼs creative skills are promoted and respected and we provide an opportunity to create an
environment that give status and respect to childrenʼs thoughts ideas, experiences, writing and artwork in any language.
At Kids' Own we have set our projects some guidelines that aim to create meaningful impact without restricting creativity.
Engagement with children
Kids’ Own engages with children through a holistic, process-driven approach. We believe that creative activity should not be set apart from children’s lives but should be intergral to their learning and personal development.
Whether we are making a book with children or working with them in the school environment, the focus is on creative exploration in collaboration with artists and writers.
Our programmes are devised to build capacity, creativity and confidence within children to enable them to form their own expression and interpretation of the world around them.
Best practice with artists
Our model of best practice is strongly rooted in our approach to working with artists.
We work closely with the arts community to champion professional approaches to working with children and young people and provide support structures for artists to
nurture them in the development of their creative practice.
Our online network Practice.ie provides a unique platform for artists to connect and share their work and reflect upon the value of their ongoing practice, and within the sector at large.
Schools and libraries
We work closely with libraries and schools to engage with children in democratic settings where they can freely express themselves and have their voices heard.
In order for our work to be meaningful and have lasting impact, we work closely with teachers and librarians to ensure that our projects are relevant to the long-term objectives of our partners.
We encourage active participation from teachers and librarians as part of our commitment to professional development and promote the importance of cross-sectoral communication.
A model of sustainability
Long-term engagement and new technologies
Our aim is to build capacity for arts practice with children and young people. We do this by working in close partnership with others; sharing our model of practice and devising programmes that are meaningful and process-driven.
Kids’ Own believes that the creative process is strengthened by building long-term relationships that can grow and develop.
The use of new technology as a form of communication and engagement enables us to have more widespread impact while minimising resources.