Beyoğlu Adventure

Addressing kids in age group 7-11, the Project "Story Hunters on a Secret Mission: The Beyoğlu Adventure" consists of a book that aims to communicate the cultural heritage of the city and the district the children live in through a captivating story and colourful drawings and urban excursions to complement the book. Written by Sara Şahinkanat with drawings bearing the signature of Ayşe İnan Alican, the book itself displays a visual history of Beyoğlu from the Taksim Square to the Tower of Galata while narrating the adventurous Beyoğlu journey of the protagonist Sinan, a Story Hunter and his dog Gezgin.

The excursions that accompany the book intend to contribute to the children's internalization of the awareness of preserving the common urban cultural heritage and cultural diversity while encouraging them to develop an interest in the historical environment and their immediate surroundings at the earlier stages of their education. The book has been distributed free of charge to primary school students living in Beyoğlu area and whose access to cultural activities are limited while excursions to the places mentioned in the books, as well as workshops have been realized as parts of the project attended by high school students who volunteered as guides.

Workshops and training sessions titled Beyoğlu Adventure Project, Cultural Heritage, Beyoğlu Adventure Route and Places, Working with Children and Sharing of Experiences have been held prior to the launch of urban excursions, with the participation of students from which the volunteering students came. After the sessions were completed, pilot excursions to the field to test the suitability (if a restoration is taking place, the convenience of the roads to be taken etc) functionality of the knowledge about the places as well as possible problems.

Simultaneously with these training sessions, primary schools in Beyoğlu area were decided on and excursions were made right after the distribution of the book Beyoğlu Adventure to the children.

240 children had participated in 13 excursions organized for the students of Hüviyet Bekir Primary School and Dumlupınar Primary School with students from Robert College attenting as guides since 2011.

2015 excursions were realized with high school students from Robert College, Darüşşafaka Schools, Saint Benoit French High School and ENKA Schools attending as guides.

4th grade students of Necdet Kotil Primary School and Harbiye Primary School and 5th grade pupils of Darüşşafaka Schools were a part of 2015 trips.

Within the scope of Beyoğlu Adventure activities realized in the course of March, April, May and June 2015, 78 high school students received Cultural Heritage training. During the activities participated by 4 high schools and 3 primary schools, 550 primary school students were presented with the book Beyoğlu Adventure. A total of 18 pilot and actual excursions were organized and these excursions were participated by 435 children. At the end of the trips all children were presented with the "Story Hunter" certificate and high school student guides were presented with a certificate of participation.

The Project Beyoğlu Adventure was realized with the support of Mas Matbaacılık and with the contributions of Şişli District Directorate of Education and the Municipality of Şişli.