Teacher uses paperboard and pen to teach math to students

Using just two objects, the teacher transformed education at a school on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro


September 9 was International Literacy Day, created over 50 years ago by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The date is aimed at celebrating literacy and education as a form of empowerment for thousands of women and men around the world.

The average rate of Brazilians aged 15 or older that do not know how to read or write fell for the fourth year in a row, according to a study done in 2016 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Even with this progress, illiteracy is still synonymous with exclusion and poverty for this age group.

Faced with this situation, teacher Luís Felipe Lins revolutionized his math classes by using a pen and paperboard at the Francis Hime Municipal School. How?  He used these materials to make games, like memory and dominos, to teach math to students starting at the 6th grade level.

Students need to decipher enigmas, write how they reached their result, and register the entire process in a video to share with their classmates. The teacher believes that this develops skills beyond math, such as writing, speech and teamwork.

The school has already won 197 medals in math competitions over a ten-year period, which has garnered significant results for learning at the school, which uses basic items from kids’ day-to-day.

Through initiatives – Education is one of the causes embraced by International Paper Institute (IIP), which contributes to the lives of thousands of young people and adolescents through projects in areas where the company has operations.

The IP Institute Formare School Institute has already trained over 450 young people between 16 and 18 years of age in Mogi Guaçu and Luiz Antônio, in the state of Sao Paulo, and in Três Lagoas, in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

In 2017, Formare welcomed around 170 International Paper professionals, who decided to voluntarily share their knowledge with students. In 2016, the company had already benefitted a total of over 28,000 people.


Arbor Day and Papermakers Day

Both dates are celebrated in September and have common motifs


September 20 is Papermakers Day. This date was established by the Sistema Sepaco de Saúde foundation in 1956, a health institute created to serve paper industry workers and their dependents.

While September 21 is Arbor Day. This date also marks the start of spring in Brazil and is aimed at raising awareness about the importance of this living being to the environment.

Celebrations of this day began in the late 19th century. That is because on April 10, 1872, Julius Sterling Morton, an American politician and journalist, planted a large number of trees in the state of Nebraska (USA). The occasion was known as “Arbor Day” and was an ecological milestone for the preservation of tree species.

Celebrated worldwide with the arrival of spring, many countries adapted the date based on the physical and climactic conditions of their regions. In Poland, for instance, celebrations take place on October 10; in Tanzania, on January 1.

The industry and forests – Eucalyptus is grown for use by the pulp and paper industry, making the process 100% recyclable and biodegradable. In Brazil, the rate of reuse for paper that can be recycled is, on average, approximately 60%.

Various environmentally responsible initiatives are carried out at International Paper Institute, protecting biodiversity and the environment. In addition to setting aside one hectare of earth for conserving regional plant and animal life and helping to preserve native forest, educational actions are done with kids and adolescents.

In 2016, the Environmental Education Program (EEP) prepared a variety of activities among students and teachers in Mogi Guaçu (SP) and Luiz Antônio (SP), a region where the program acts.

One of the initiatives involved over 3,000 people and consisted of showing the details of paper manufacturing. The aim was to demystify some concepts of the production process and show other company initiatives geared towards preserving the environment.  At IP alone, more than 16 million saplings are produced each year.