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    The Helping Schools Succeed project plans expansion into one hundred public primary schools

    The family foundation of Mrs Renáta Kellnerová and Mr Petr Kellner has been pursuing improvement in the quality of education in public primary schools for a long time. It does so through Helping Schools Succeed, a project that to date has involved 23 primary schools from across the Czech Republic. Following ten years of the project’s successful operation in public schools, the Foundation has decided to increase the number of schools involved to about 100, which means approximately 4,000 teachers and 43,000 students. The Kellner Family Foundation has already donated a total of CZK 250 million for improving the quality of education in public primary schools and expects to provide support to the tune of approximately CZK 40 million annually.

    “Helping Schools Succeed is opening the second decade of its existence with the decision to greatly enlarge its footprint to one hundred primary schools,” Ilona Urbanová, the Pomáháme školám k úspěchu o.p.s. /Helping Schools Succeed o.p.s./ new director comments on the project’s development. “Beginning with the new academic year, project schools will share their experience with other schools in their vicinity. Teachers in project schools will offer open classes, methodological guidance and material to colleagues in other schools,” Ilona Urbanová adds. At this point, schools are being selected from a list of approximately 300 schools that previously voiced their interest in taking part in the project.

    All involved schools will aim towards the project vision: “Each child should learn with full involvement and with joy”. Project schools – those that have been involved in the project for multiple years – will share their experience with significant personnel and financial support from Helping Schools Succeed. A teaching consultant will work full-time at each project school to provide direct support for the professional development of teachers in schools involved in the project. They will focus on pupils’ reading and writing skills as well as on their critical literacy, and the schools’ leaders and teaching teams will work towards promoting a culture that fosters pupils’ learning and teachers’ professional development.

    “We read and write much more than ever before these days. The texts we encounter are much more complicated. They involve images, sounds and motion. In addition, our society is exposed to the “power of words”, which is why children need to learn how people can be influenced through communication, how they can detect this and defend themselves if need be,” Hana Košťálová, the Programme Director of the Helping Schools Succeed project explains the focus of the project.

    Once again, Helping Schools Succeed is taking part in organising the Success for Every Pupil conference to be held in Prague in the second semester of the current academic year, specifically on 21 April. This year’s conference will offer, among others, a speech by Olli-Pekka Heinonen who has worked as the Director General of the Finnish National Agency for Education in the last five years and served as Finland’s Minister of Education for five years.

    Schools in Most, Třinec, Dobronín and Český Krumlov will host open classes with the support of Helping Schools Succeed and offer inspiring workshops for teachers as part of the regional “Festivals of Teaching Inspiration” this March and April.

    Notes for editors:
    The Kellner Family Foundation
    We believe that the path to success runs through high-quality education. This is why the family foundation of Mrs Renáta Kellnerová and Mr Petr Kellner has opted for support of education as the theme of its core activities. The Foundation wants the largest possible number of children and young people to have access to high-quality education and schools to develop their talents. The Foundation provides some CZK 90 million for philanthropic purposes every year. It allocates the largest part of the funds to need-based grants for the Open Gate grammar school students, financial grants for university students, and for support of public primary schools through the Helping Schools Succeed project.
    Since it was established ten years ago, the family foundation of Mrs Renáta Kellnerová and Mr Petr Kellner has contributed more than CZK 710 million to charitable projects.

    Helping Schools Succeed is an educational project for teachers and directors of publicly funded primary schools in the Czech Republic. The Kellner Family Foundation initiated the project in 2009 and has been financing it ever since. The project focuses on high-quality teaching, with an emphasis on teachers taking an individual approach to pupils. It is based on the belief that long-term educational, material and personnel support will help teachers to better recognise pupils’ individual needs and adapt their teaching styles and thus achieve the best possible teaching outcomes.

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