... is a well-known African proverb. In this spirit, the project „Ein Quadratkilometer Bildung“ (km2 Bildung) is working on creating a network around a primary school in the district, in which various local players take care of the educational opportunities of children and young people.
In Germany, the Freudenberg Stiftung and the Karl-Konrad-und-Ria-Groeben-Stiftung in Berlin-Neukölln initiated the programme in 2006, which is now being implemented at eleven locations nationwide. Cooperation partners are the Freudenberg Stiftung, the city of Herten, the Ministry of Education of Northrine-Westphalia and the Hertener Bürgerstiftung. In addition, the implementation of the programme in Herten-Süd is supported by the Hermann-Schäfers Stiftung (FörderSCOUT) and the housing association Vivavest.
The programme’s starting point was the elementary school in Herten Süd, which was called Feigeschule at that time. Meanwhile, km2 Bildung is operating at all eight elementary schools in Herten, which is unique throughout Germany.
The District Office Herten-Süd is where all threads of the km2 Bildung run together: here the project is being managed by Ulrike Prinz. The team in the office of the Hertener Bürgerstiftung at Hof Wessels on Langenbochumer Straße is responsible for administration.
At each school, a project coordinator – employed 19.5 hours a week – ensures that the educational network is designed according to local conditions and the specific needs of the children. The integration into school life, intensive contact with daycare centres and clubs in the district and offers for parents are important building blocks for the km2 Bildung.
Already before they start school, the education network identifies individual children with special educational needs. The successful transition to elementary school, the sensitisation of parents to the needs of their children, homework assistance, language support, help with integration, movement training, sometimes just allowing intimate conversation or the feeling that someone cares – all these are tasks for the km2 Bildung.
So it’s a good thing that the project funds from the city and foundations give scope for the placing of mini-jobbers and honorary workers. The support of volunteers from the Bürgerstiftung is also indispensable. They work together with parents, help children with their homework or with language deficits and are available as contact persons for all kinds of problems – all of this with the aim of not losing sight of any children and of offering everyone the educational and development opportunities they need on their way into life.