Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children

by Teach For Bulgaria/Zaedno v chas
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Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Free Summer Academy for 600 Bulgarian Children
Kids at school
Kids at school

More than 600 students from across the country and abroad joined the 2021 Summer Academy of Teach For Bulgaria! 

The main goal of the academy has always been to provide quality summer activities for students, to increase their motivation to learn and to improve their preparation for the subjects studied during the school year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, special attention was paid to catching up the knowledge acquired during distance and online learning and preparing for the next school year.

The teachers at the Academy 

The classes during the Academy are led by the new motivated teachers in the program "New Way to Teaching" of Teach For Bulgaria. This year they are 93. They taught in different disciplines and have a variety of previous professional experience. The activities in the Summer Academy are designed to encourage engagement on behalf of the students, to stimulate their curiosity through project work and to develop their knowledge and skills. 

Strong emphasis during this year’s Summer Academy was the development of social-emotional skills and emotional intelligence in addition to progressing academically. 

During the academy for the first time this year, parents had the opportunity to choose whether to enroll their children in the grade they were currently graduating or the grade they were supposed to start studying during the upcoming school year. In this way, students could put more emphasis on filling in gaps from this school year or preparing for the next.

This Summer Academy was held for the 11th consecutive year free of charge for parents and students thanks to a number of partners and individual and corporate donors including your generous support! This allows all students, regardless of their socioeconomic status and background, to benefit from joining the Academy. 

 

We hope you will continue to believe in our cause for providing quality education for every child in Bulgaria and you will consider upgrading your support today. 

You can either upgrade your regular donation by 10$ today or if you are a one-time donor, you can consider making another donation in support of our cause. 

Thank you once again!

Sincerely yours, 

Teach For Bulgaria team 

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Dear supporters, 

Thank you for supporting our free Summer Academy which is taking place this summer for an 11th consecutive year! 

As we are busy planning and preparing for it, we wanted to share with you that for the second time the Summer Academy will take place online. We all went through the last year when we had to adjust our routines, roles and habits to the ‘new normal’ and get used to working and studying online, however, we believe this virtual format has its benefits and they should not go unnoticed. Apart from being able to ensure the safety of our teachers and students, the virtual Summer Academy allows us to reach many more students in all parts of the country, including some students abroad. 

We have talked a lot about the inspiring teachers that get to take part in the academy each year and learn and practice their teaching methods. However, today we would like to focus on the benefits of organising summer activities. 

According to many international studies students lose their rhythm and motivation for studying the most during the summer break. As the last school year was very turbulent and uncertain, activities like the Summer Academy can be beneficial for catching up with the school material and regaining motivation for the new school year. This can also make the first few months of the new school year easier for both students and teachers. 

At the Summer Academy this year we will be organising special activities and clubs by interest which are done outside of the classroom hours and can include students from different grades doing something they love together. This is also done with the aim of developing students’ communication and socio-emotional skills through their interests and hobbies. 

We believe that the Summer Academy is also beneficial for the teachers in terms of their motivation for work from September onwards. This time spent with the students during the summer months allows the teachers to work within a program that they have designed themselves and believe is the most beneficial for their students. This gives them agency and allows them to get to know the students better and see the results of their work with them. This can increase their motivation and the pleasure they take from their work, makng them feel satisfied and happy. 

If you would like for your kid to attend the Summer Academy or are thinking of someone else who might be interested to join follow the links for more information and registration

We cannot wait for this year’s Summer Academy to begin and to be able to share stories and experiences from it with you!

With sincere gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria team

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Aylin
Aylin

When it comes to the success of every student, we often forget to ask the students about what they think and what would make them happier, more motivated, and more confident. This is why we wanted to include the students’ perspective in this month's GlobalGiving report.

We asked Aylin, a 10th-grade student at 97th Secondary School “Brothers Miladinov” in Sofia to put her thoughts into words and write an article about her personal experience at school and how she thinks education is going to change over the next decade. Aylin is a student of several classes of Teach For Bulgaria participants, she has also participated in 8 consecutive Summer Academies. Many Teach For Bulgaria alumni who have worked at 97th Secondary School “Brothers Miladinov” have been her teachers throughout the years. Aylin wants to become a journalist and loves writing. Find out more about her views on education here:

"I have been going to school for a decade now. As any other student, I started not knowing much about our education system or what to expect at school. I entered a world full of adventures and quite a few challenges. I believe education is one of the most important things for people my age. This is how we learn a lot about the world we live in. It is key for our future development as sensible and responsible individuals.

This is what I remind myself whenever I have trouble accomplishing any of my tasks. I ask myself “Do I really want to always depend on someone to live a normal life?” My answer is no.

Education is the key to our independence. We all feel better when we can rely only on ourselves. Students’ main responsibility is to go to school and learn. Sometimes it’s tough, but when we look back in 10 years from now we’ll be able to see that it has been because of these difficulties that we’ve grown. Because they’ve made us go out of our comfort zone. I have a little over two years left in school and I know I’m going to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible. I am planning to improve as many skills as possible and to take the best of what our education system can offer."

Motivation and good teachers

"I believe that it takes motivation and good teachers for us to feel more engaged in the classroom. I am very happy to have teachers who provide quality education. I can’t help but wonder, however, if my future children will have the same opportunities.

Education does not boil down to memorizing and regurgitating a lesson. In order to take full advantage of it, I believe we have to work on our soft skills by making presentations and communicating with others. And we should be asking many, many questions not just about the subject matter, but also about everything that goes on outside of school.

Student-teacher relationships are the most interesting ones in our adolescence. Of course, we’re not best buddies with our teachers, but they can teach us so many things beyond the textbook. Teachers give advice and provide support, even though they are neither friends, nor family to us. I think this is one of the hardest professions. A teacher has many students and has to empathize with all of them."

Teachers who help their students think critically and form their own opinions

"I would like to see many more motivated teachers who show their students how to think critically and form their own opinions on important issues in ten years. Teachers who do not expect students to blindly agree with their views. The perfect teacher isn’t someone who gives easy As or tolerates absences, but someone who can show you that the world actually holds many secrets and is waiting for you to find them.
On the other hand, we do need intrinsic motivation. We all have dreams – to become pilots, journalists, doctors, police officers, etc. It takes a lot of work to make these dreams come true. We can start by making a plan today. Tomorrow might be too late. Some of my peers neglect their studies because they get bullied at school or they simply don’t think that education can help them make their dreams come true."

You can read the whole artcle here.

Thanks to your suppport we are able to provide quality education and make positive change in Bulgarian educational system.

With gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria

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The new motivated first-year teachers in the program  "A New Way to Teaching" are 113. They all went through a theoritical and practical trainings in the first online Summer Academy.

The Summer Academy of Teach For Bulgaria is the basis for the preparation of the participants in the program "A New Way to Teaching" for their work as teachers in the next two years. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year for the first time the Summer Academy for students was held entirely in a virtual format. The dynamic environment requared many different changes during the training itself, including the organization of a virtual academy for 600 students from all over the country. 

The new participants in Teach For Bulgaria’s program are professionals with diverse experience. They have gone through a rigorous selection process and have been chosen among 3000 applicants. Some of them are engineers, architects, economists, and university graduates from prestigious Bulgarian and international universities. The teachers will work with students from first to twelfth grade. They will teach different subjects, but the highest demand is for math, foreign languages, and primary school teachers. 

“We know that this will be a challenging school year for the educational community and we are excited to be able to support so many new and motivated teachers in their first steps towards helping their students. We are also very happy that the year we celebrate our 10th anniversary is also the year we expand to 6 new regions. This class of participants has already been through many challenges, even before the start of the school year, and this has helped our new teachers learn how to teach regardless of whether it is distance learning or in person instruction. They have learned how to find the best options for their students in collaboration with their colleagues at school,” commented Trayan Trayanov, CEO of Teach For Bulgaria.

Over the past 10 years, more than 400 new teachers have participated in Teach for Bulgaria's "A New Way to Teaching" program. They all went through extensive trainings and provided free education to children during the Summer Academy. They receive professional support to work with students from vulnerable communities and get to know the challenges to our educational system during the two-year program. Over 80% of these teachers continue to work in education as teachers, principals, experts, etc.

Thanks to the support of each of you we manage to get one step closer to fulfilling our goal to provide quality education to underpriviliged children and to keep them motivated during the Summer Academy.

Our generous supporter Bogomil Balkansky will match all recurring donations. Listen to what he has to say in the link below and join our group of recurring donors now!

With gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria

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Aylin's photo: personal archive
Aylin's photo: personal archive

The student Aylin talks about what Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Academy means to her and why she is going for the 8th year in a row

My name is Aylin and I just finished 9th grade. I first enrolled in the adventure called Summer Academy right after I finished second grade. I was very little, quite curious, and I’d always loved school. After the first year I begged my mom to sign me up for this adventure every single summer. And when I finished 7th grade I was able to register myself.

The Summer Academy helped me make new friends and get to know myself better. I still talk to teachers and classmates I’ve met throughout the years, even if we don’t live in the same neighborhood or town. I met Mr. Stoev in 6th grade. He was my class teacher and taught math. For the three weeks we spent together we learned how to be young architects and created a model of 90th school in Sofia where the academy was. When I was in 7th grade and I had to pass my external evaluation exams Mr. Stoev helped me a lot with my math problems. I saw him again last summer at the conference “The Adventure: It’s Up to Me”. We worked together again and I remembered how much I enjoyed being his student. 

"What I like about Teach For Bulgaria is that they show new and interesting teaching techniques to engage students."  

As an example I would point out the jar with colorful wooden sticks. Our names are written on separate sticks and when the teacher has to pick someone to answer the question, they draw a stick from the jar. There is a moment of anticipation while the teacher fiddles with the sticks which could be quite fun. At my school (editor’s note: 97 Secondary School “Brothers Miladinov”), we have more than 5 teachers who have completed Teach For Bulgaria’s program. The way they teach inspires students to learn. Their presence and the way they communicate with us makes us happy.  I believe that Teach For Bulgaria’s Summer Academy can help students a lot, if they struggled with some subjects during remote learning. This is an opportunity which can give us a lot, if we take advantage of it. The last thing I would like to share with you is that the anticipation and excitement I feel when I think that I’ll get to participate in yet another Summer Academy are still there and they get stronger every year.

We are very grateful to Aylin for sharing why she decided to participate in this year’s Summer Academy. Classes were booked in a record time, but you can still support us. Thank you for your continuous support! 

With gratitude,

Teach For Bulgaria

Aylin with Mr. Stoev and other students
Aylin with Mr. Stoev and other students

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Organization Information

Teach For Bulgaria/Zaedno v chas

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria - Bulgaria
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @zaednovchas
Project Leader:
Anjela Deyanska
Sofia, Bulgaria
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