The kindergarten Saci Sabe Tudo

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The kindergarten “Saci Sabe Tudo” promotes culture, arts and sports as tools to develop children’s potential and providing kids with tools for life, thanks to innovative teaching methods aimed to education and social transformation.

With a skilful and professional team, “Il Sorriso dei miei Bimbi” has created a pleasant and relaxed environment that prioritizes the study of topics such as life, peace and nature.

The school’s educational method includes the participation of parents and the whole community in the educational process.

The school currently takes up to 90 children in pre-school age. Most of them receive scholarships guaranteed by the SAD program – Sostegno a Distanza (Distance Support).

Children going to the nursery school are all aged between 2 and 6 and they all come from the favela; many of them live in extreme poverty. Therefore, our first goal is to provide them comfort and a different life perspective.

Pupils are divided into 4 levels according to their age. At the end of the program, they will have basic literacy skills, will be able to count and know colors. This will help them enter elementary school.

The educational program is integrated with extracurricular activities: capoeira, dance, music, computer science, botany and English. The school also organizes educational trips to places of natural or cultural interest (zoos, parks, museums and theatres) to give them the opportunity of making new experiences outside the favela.

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The history of the institution goes hand in hand with the history of the friendship between Barbara Olivi and Veronica Brasil in the favela of Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro.

Together they founded the nursery school “Saci Sabe Tudo” in Tavessa Liberdade in Rocinha. With other partners, they also created the non-governmental organization “Amigos da Vida”. Thanks to an agreement of international cooperation between the Italian and the Brazilian organizations, they were both legally recognized in Brazilian territory. This also enabled to receive international donations and to employ with regular contract people.


“Saci Sabe Tudo” is the socio-cultural context symbol in which the school operates. Saci is a well-known character of Brazilian folklore. It was born among the indigenous in the region of “Região das Missões” in the South of Brazil. From there it spread all over the country.
Saci was conceived as either an evil, a playful or a fun character according to different versions of the tale told in the south of Brazil.
In the North, African mythology has transformed Saci in a black kid who lost his leg in a Capoeira fight and with a “pito”, a kind of cigar: this is the most well-known icon today.
His red hat came from European mythology instead. This type of hat reminds the one the legendary “trasgo”, an enchanted creature of the north of Portugal.
Saci was portrayed for the first time in Brazilian literature by the work of Monteiro Lobato, at the beginning of the 20th century. The author introduced him to the children’s narrative with the “Sítio do Pica-pau amarelo”.


The methodology of Saci Sabe Tudo is based on constructive proposal. The goal is to guide children to explore and discover all the possibilities of the human body, of objects, of relationships, their surroundings and to develop in this way observation, research and thinking skills.

In children’s education, pupils’ learning process takes place only by developing biological, psychological, intellectual and socio-cultural aspects; children learn through different ways the importance of preventing illness, safeguarding nature and animals, of respecting their classmates and learning. That’s why we wish to reach their families and the Community.

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