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The community spirit and social responsibility of the company's leader, José Carlos Grossi, has always been present. Even before having his venture recognized as sustainably managed, he helped to found and was part of some of the entities in the town of Patrocínio: he founded Creche Recanto Feliz (Happy Nook Nursery) with his wife, attended by about 1,200 children, was a founding member of APAC (Association for Protection and Assistance of the Convicted) in Patrocínio; chaired FUNCECP (Educational and Cultural Community Foundation of Patrocínio) for two terms; was the supplier of Patrocínio’s Santa Casa Hospital from 1989 to 1995; was founder ACARPA (Coffee Growers Association for the Patrocínio Region).

In a country with immense inequalities and contradictions, education presents itself as a factor of hope and transformation for society, not only allowing access to knowledge and participation, but paving the way for the individual to build their consciousness as citizens. Concerned about this, José Carlos Grossi sought to develop endeavors that could contribute to human growth, particularly of people involved in the work at coffee plantations, its employees and their families. Finding ideas and partnerships that could assist in the development of human beings became part of the rural venture’s mission.

In this search there was the development of the Empresa Amiga da Criança (Child-Friendly Company) program, through ABRINQ. The Group has been working on this project for more than 10 years, contributing funds to assist in activities on behalf of children. This project was the embryo for others that have been undertaken over time, including the Empresa Amiga da Escola (School-Friendly Company).

The Child-Friendly Company project is an initiative to mobilize various social strata in Patrocínio and strengthen business and community involvement in school improvement efforts, directly benefiting its students. This project was conceived in 2006 by teaching staff working in José Carlos Grossi’s business ventures. Since then, the project is being implemented in the CAIC - Maria Isabel Queiroz Alves Municipal School, a school in which the children of various employees of São José farm study, a farm belonging to José Carlos Grossi’s rural venture.

Within the activities of this project, we have: THE ART OF READING AND WRITING, CHRISTMAS WITH ART, and the most relevant of this, the CLASS SPOTLIGHT project. The latter consists in ensuring that students adopt attitudes of respect for others, order in the classroom and at school, so that everyone can benefit from pleasant social interaction and effective learning. This causes them to seek solidarity, cooperation, democracy and especially make use of dialogue on a daily basis as a way to clear up conflicts and to build a positive image of themselves.

As a result of the project strategy, the teaching body of the school started to observe the pursuit for full performance of the proposed tasks by the students, aiming to be the student of a spotlighted class. The spotlighted student receives prizes as an incentive, offered by companies participating in the project. At its inception, it was a project that counted solely on the support of José Carlos Grossi. Over time and with the great results accrued, other companies have joined the project, providing the idea with robustness and longevity.

There is also SOLIDARITY PROJECT FOR YOUTH AND ADULT LITERACY, which is implemented on the União Farm, owned by José Carlos Grossi. This project consists in serving employees who had not developed literacy at school, and who now seek to learn or improve their reading skills.

Teaching practice is used in teacher/staff/students/environment integration, contributing to the acquisition of reading knowledge and also that of life experiences, by exchanging experiences and the baggage that they carry. Beyond literacy and reading, guidance on environmental education, citizenship and human respect are also transmitted to participants. The idea is to give the employee not only material conditions of life, but also provide them the awareness of being integrated and politicized individuals in the fields of environmental, professional and humanitarian education, capable of knowing their rights and obligations, to effectively become true citizens.

Children of employees of the União Farm studying in regular schools in the Boa Vista Rural Community also have pedagogical support this project. The “escolinha” (small school) on the Farm, as the children affectionately call it, assists children in performing the tasks proposed by regular school through a pedagogically skilled worker.

Apart from this schooling assistance, children receive notions of hygiene, human relations, environmental conservation and health, among other topics. The little school on the farm has its own library, computers and entertainment area. Children have direct contact with nature through tree planting projects, selective collection (which turns the material collected into toys made by the students themselves), among other activities.

Furthermore, in the evening adult literacy classes are offered. More than 200 people from child to adults have already participated in these classes.
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