The evolvement of Játssz TE IS! and its evaluation
In the summer of 2015, the TE IS Programme of Hungarian School Sport Federation won the support of ISCA Move Transfer with the aim of scaling up the project by communicating and transfering the TE IS approach and TE IS practices to new target groups not involved with TE IS before. Based on that, the program – and its reinvented message – may actually double the number of active participants.
TE IS was implemented in 144 Hungarian schools since September 2014. In its practice, a TE IS-team, which received support and methodological development based on the programme’s concept, has been launched in each school. The three main pillars theoretical and practical pillars of the programme are movement, social inclusion and volunteering. The objective of the support and development is to make the TE IS-teams self-supportive and to make them capable of organizing inclusive and inspiring movement-based programmes beyond school classes that are also appealing for their schoolmates. In the 144 schools involved with TE IS, 1440 students and 288 mentor teachers (2-2 persons per school) were mobilized in the program.
To implement the aims set out by ISCA Move Transfer programme, the TE IS program has been reinvented in order to successfully engage new participants with the available resources. Following the evaluation of preliminary plans, we have concluded in launching a new side project focusing on game-inventing, which is one component selected from the otherwise complex TE IS program originally designed for year-around implementation. By that, Játssz TE IS! was born, addressing target groups in a tender form and completed with campaign-like elements. All primary schools and high schools were defined as target groups to ensure the highest accessibility for the program. The extension of the tender call’s target group was also adequate because TE IS was principally designed to be suitable for adaption in any sort of school environment.
As a result, Játssz TE IS! has been built on the game-inventing element of TE IS. The enjoyable, exciting, active and creative process of inventing games is not only the focus of the program, but also means an access point to the world of schools. We believe that creating an opportunity for playing games together is a content that is able to motivate and engage all students and teachers in schools.
Based on our objectives and preliminary plans, the creation and implementation of the tender and campaign followed the below steps.
1. Creating core concept of Játssz TE IS!
The core concept of Játssz TE IS! is based on the origins described above, where the playing, creating together and involving mates becomes the dominant element of the project. Beyond that, we aimed to give more defined frames and TE IS-based structure for the game invention, so we made “message”, “motivation”, “peer request and needs” the themes of the tender, and defined “sustainability”, “creativity” and “appeal” as evaluation points.
2. Creating communication concept of Játssz TE IS!
When creating the elements of communication concept, we decided to emphasize simplicity and clarity. Based on the original TE IS logo, we designed a new project logo, infographics showing the process of a tender, and prepared a data sheet supporting the actual designing phase of new games as well as the proper administration.
To facilitate smooth communication regarding the tender application, we committed to provide free consultation for any applicant via email and phone. The tender was published on the website and Facebook page of Hungarian School Sport Federation, and has been sent to all Hungarian schools via regular mail as well.
3. Informing relevant Ministries and maintaining institutions
We found it essential to communicate the tender call not only for schools but for the maintaining and regulating institutions as well. To properly inform the institutional level responsible for financial maintenance of schools and sector regulations, also inviting them to support our objectives, the president of HSSF has addressed these institutes in a separate letter.
4. Contracting three extreme sport world champions to take part
Based on the tender, the first 3 awarded applicants won the possibility to host a “Játssz TE IS! day” (in Hungarian: Játssz TE IS! Nap). Organized by HSSF in the schools of the winners, the children had the opportunity to play and chat with three young champions and with each other of course in the frame of the Játssz TE IS! day. Kitti Szász (four-time world champion in freestyle football), Adrienn Bánhegyi (European and world champion in jump rope) and János Karancz (European and world champion in yo-yo) did not arrive with empty hands to the schools: they brought sport equipment, jump ropes, yo-yos and balls to the event as part of the award.
In addition, we have also filmed a video to enhance motivation, where the champions address the schools encouraging them to apply in the tender.
5. Publishing the tender call
The tender was published on November 2015. The applicants were asked to register first to take part, and then a 2 months period was open for the preparation, documentation and submission of the final work. The registration was needed for being able to efficiently plan and allocate our resources to handle the arriving tender works.
6. Creating aspect list and jury for evaluation
The aspect list and its process were finalized after publishing the tender call. The evaluation system needed a more pronounced focus on objectivity beyond the requirements already displayed in the tender call.
We have also recruited volunteers from the TE IS trainer network in order to form the evaluation team: The final jury consisted of 15 volunteer trainers.
7. Evaluating the tender works
In response to the tender call and the related campaign, by the end we received submissions from 45 Játssz TE IS! teams. The teams invented the games themselves and also prepared a complete description and documentation for each tender work. Naturally, the submissions consisted of a wide variety of different games, thus each tender work has been evaluated by 2 different jury members independently, to ensure minimizing the subjectivity of the process. Each volunteer jury member evaluated a maximum amount of 6 tender works in 2 rounds.
The summarization of results and the calculation of final ranking were prepared by the colleagues of HSSF.
8. Publishing results, feedback for applicants,
Following the close of evaluations, in March 2016 all schools were informed in a letter about the results and we congratulated them to the successful work. At the same time, we started organizing the award Játssz TE IS! days in cooperation with the schools and the young extreme sport world champions. We created customized thematic for the events defining the schedule, program and necessary resources, also involving the schools into the process.
9. Játssz TE IS! day in the three winner schools
At the end, the Játssz TE IS! days organized in the schools of the awarded teams were actually a bigger success than we expected. The Játssz TE IS! teams managed to involve all students and all teachers into the programs, and event also received significant attention from the local media. By that, not only the reputation of TE IS, HSSF and ISCA has been strengthened, but also the schools became the focus of attention for that time.
10. The next steps
During the project, numerous schools expressed their interest to introduce TE IS program in their everyday practice. To satisfy this inquiry, the TE IS experts are already working on the further development. Beyond that, based on the 45 tender works received in the frame of Játssz TE IS! programme, we are currently editing a summarizing manual, to disseminate the results for anyone interested in adopting these good practices. The strengths of the unique manual containing all the games and their descriptions lie in the fact they were invented and created by the children themselves, thus their easy applicability and popularity will be infallible.
Based on the great success, we are determined to find new resources to consecutively launch the Játssz TE IS! tender in the upcoming years. By repeating the tender and continuously release the game-collecting manual, we hope to inspire a movement in schools focusing on collective playful activity and creating together as community. The values of Játssz TE IS! are sustainability, involving school mates, creating a collective message, diversity and creativity: such values are able to further enhance social cohesion and the program may create new ways for unprivileged or hard to reach children.
Primarily, the success of Játssz TE IS! is indicated by the number of school children engaged in the project, and also by the quality and creative value of the submitted tender works. Despite the quite complex and labour-intensive participation, almost 700 children were directly involved with the project (as member of 45 game-inventing teams), but taking into account all students who took part in the games, the number of participants may be around 3-4000 children. In the frame of such mini project, there were no resources for more exact measurement of participation, though our estimation is verified by the data sheets and photo documentations submitted for the tender.
The project clearly proved that within the game-invention, the key factors were creativity, implementing own ideas, engaging school mates, cooperation and team work. At school level, these contents are the origins of community building and motivating physical activity. But it is important to see the equal significance of concrete rules and elaborated framework, as well as the related communication promoting personal interactions.
Nevertheless, the most triumphant outcomes of Játssz TE IS! were naturally the award days organized at the winner schools, where the teams and their school mates received award gifts from HSSF and played with the young champions. During the preparation of the event, we have always treated the schools as partners and the content of the day was jointly created with school representatives following their needs and requests.
Such partnership also helped the schools to feel like Játssz TE IS! day is their own child. As a result, they brought a great attitude and active commitment into the organizing and implementation.
Reviewing the outcomes of the Játssz TE IS! project we came to realize that TE IS actually stepped out of the schools and had great success in a new environment, within the local community. We found that while organizing Játssz TE IS! days, the schools, local community organizations, civil organizations, partner schools have been involved, and a special event was created that is able to strengthen grassroots approach on a local level. Looking back at the process, we see the Játssz TE IS! project as elaborated and adaptable good practice having strong values, capable of engaging local community stakeholders by activating schools and possibly, able to contribute to understand various unsolved community issues (e.g. involving parents with schools, parent relations with school teachers, children undertaking local community roles, local volunteering, volunteering network, etc.)
Main project elements:
- Játssz TE IS! project logo
- Játssz TE IS! tender call
- Infographics on the process of tender application
- Játssz TE IS! website-design
- Játssz TE IS! data sheet
- Játssz TE IS! letter design for correspondence
- Contracting world champions supporting the project
- Aspect list and manual for evaluation
- Official letter communicating selection results
- Thematic program for Játssz TE IS! days
- Photo documentation on implementation