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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
Gabriela
Gabriela

Dear TFB supporters,

On April 10, Teach for Bulgaria officially closed the 2018 recruitment season for incoming participants and we are really pleased to welcome the new ones, who will begin their training in the summer. As you know, the Academy is a part of the practical training for the incoming cohort of participants before entering the classrooms in September. This Academy is very important for developing their skills along with developing children's skills. Additionally, the Academy provides free summer education for over 1,200 children from low-income communities in Sofia every year. Thank you for your continuous support for Teach For Bulgaria's free Summer Academy.

In this report, I want to introduce to you one of our new participants from 2018 cohort – Gabriela. We’ve asked her a few questions. See below what her answers are, what motivates her the most and why she choose to participate in Teach for Bulgaria program.

Gabriela is 22 years old and she’s a psychologist, graduated from Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. She says: In the next two years as a teacher I expect many. Many challenges, many successes, many changed destinies and many friendships for life.

  • If you have to present yourself in one sentence, what would it be?

I’m a psychologist with an enormous place in my heart for the cause of bulgarian education.

  • Why did you choose to apply for TFB program?

When the end of my bachelor's degree came, I was pretty confused where should I go and what should I do. I’ve decided to wait with my master's degree for many reasons. But I was certain that  I would not be ‘just stand there and watching’. I looked at myself and in my values. I realized that quality education has always excited me and that topic really set the fire in me. Then I thought how many people didn’t have the same opportunities I had in my education. I said to myself - TFB would address these attitudes and beliefs of mine in the right direction. And that’s how it happen.

  • What do you expect from the next two years?

I expect almost everything - many challenges, many successes, many changes destinies and many friendships for life.

  • What education do students need to be successful in real life and to be happy?

High-quality education that opens opportunities and motivates students for a better future.

We would really like to thank you for your support for this project. Your help allows us to attract more people like Gabriela, who are working for success of every child especially for underperforming children in Bulgaria. By supporting TFB Summer Academy, you give a chance for more students to participate in and to expand their skills and academic knowledge.

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Iva and her class
Iva and her class

“Go, Mitko!” an entire row of first-graders cheers. “Ste-fan, Ste-fan,” the other row of children chants as Mitko and Stefan run back and forth in a hurry to pass the baton to the next runners in the relay race. What seems to be a standard relay race typical for any P.E. class is actually much more than that. To complete the race each student has to write down a random word and the winning team has to be not only faster, but with fewer spelling mistakes. That way students can both be physically active and sharpen their reading literacy skills.

Their P.E. teacher, Iva, came up with this original idea. She has been teaching Physical Education at 136 Elementary School “Luben Karavelov” in Sofia for two years now and is a participant in Teach For Bulgaria’s professional development and leadership program. “Incorporating reading literacy in my classes has been a priority for me since my training in the Summer Academy organized by Teach For Bulgaria,” Iva says. In the process of getting to know her students, Iva finds out that a lot of them have trouble with spelling and reading comprehension, so she decides to find ways to incorporate these skills in her classes. Iva has other strategies besides the relays.

Iva has a Physical Education teaching certificate from the National Sports Academy, and a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from the same university. She has been doing sports acrobatics from an early age and has won multiple competitions. Her dream, however, has been to become a P.E. teacher because she believes that sports help children develop many skills which can be transferable to other aspects of life. Teach For Bulgaria’s mission for equal access to high quality education rings true to her and she becomes part of the program in 2016. Today Iva teaches all students at 136 Elementary School “Luben Karavelov” and is determined to keep teaching after the end of the program.

Iva teaches mainly children from families with low socioeconomic status and faces more challenges than are typical for the teaching profession. For example, assisting her seventh-graders with filling out all documents they need to apply to high school because their parents have difficulties with the paperwork. She often has conversations with the parents about how important it is for their children to graduate high school and university, and serves as a role model to children at risk of dropping out due to pregnancy or early marriage by explaining that even though she is a young mother herself, that hasn’t stopped her from completing her education and having a career.

“Students need support, dedication, and understanding, if you want them to become better people,” Iva concludes.

In her classes and extracurricular activities she focuses on emotional intelligence as well. She talks to them a lot about how important it is to be able to control your emotions when your team loses a game, for example, and about how crucial team spirit is.

We would like to thank you for your support and continuous dedication to our cause, so we can continue to train and support aspiring people like Iva to become teachers and work towards Teach For Bulgaria's long term mission of ensuring equal access to quality education for all children in Bulgaria.

You can find additional information about the program on the official website below.

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Start of the Summer Academy
Start of the Summer Academy

Dear Teach For Bulgaria supporters, 

The seventh edition of the annual Teach For Bulgaria Summer Academy took place between July 31 and August 18 in two schools in Lyulin and Mladost neighborhoods in Sofia. This year, we received a record number of applications -more than 1300 students registered to attend the free summer classes!

TFB’s Summer Academy aims to increase students’ motivation to learn and it helps them to catch up on some of the school subjects during the long summer vacation. It is also the final part of the intensive training of the incoming Teach For Bulgaria participants, who will be teaching for the 2017/2018 academic year.

“For many students, the free TFB Summer Academy is one of few opportunities to utilize their free time during the summer months. Some parents, who sign up their children, are not able to afford to pay for additional schooling hours, summer camps, or other opportunities. So, TFB’s Summer Academy is also an event with a strong social aspect to it”, shares Ivan, “Training” Specialist at Teach For Bulgaria.

Over the past few years your support has allowed us to finance parts of the Summer Academy so that it can continue to be free for all students.

59 participants, who successfully completed their training over the summer months, began teaching on September 15. They joined 108 second-year TFB participants and for 2017/2018 academic year, Teach For Bulgaria participants will be teaching in 80 partner-schools in 12 regions of the country.

Teach For Bulgaria continues its ongoing efforts to increase its reach by including new regions and for the first time in 2017, the organization partners with schools in Pleven and Veliko Tarnovo.

So far, 163 people have graduated from the program, the majority of which continue to be professionally engaged in education through work in schools, NGO organizations, social entrepreneurship and though participation in policy making.

You can find additional information about the program on the official website below.

Thank you for your continuous support!

Start of the Summer Academy
Start of the Summer Academy
Start of the Summer Academy
Start of the Summer Academy
During class
During class
How did we do today?
How did we do today?
Working on a project
Working on a project

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July 31st marks the start of the 7th annual Summer Academy organized by Teach For Bulgaria. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we've been able to provide free access to the academy for hundreds of children from grades 1-12, who have utilized the time to build on their skills and knowledge from the past school year, develop new competencies, and make new friends! In 2017 we will once again welcome students in two of Sofia's biggest neighborhoods, Lyulin and Mladost, from 9-12 for three consecutive weeks. This year we expect nearly 800 students, with an increasing number of returning participants who have frequented the academy for 2 or more years!

Over the past few years this GlobalGiving project has allowed us to finance parts of the Summer Academy so that is can continue to be free for all students. Each year we've collected feedback from the students and their parents about the experience your donations make possible and we're thrilled to share a few comments:

Students of different ages often emphasize the engaging and interesting aspects of the lessons, as well as their simplicity:

"I like that our teacher makes learning Bulgarian much simpler" (grade 2)

"I enjoy that we study things we don't get to in regular school lessons. I find them interesting!" (grade 8-12 group)

"It's great that everyone has a chance to participate in the lesson!" (grade 8-12 group)

Their parents most frequently note the enthusiasm with which their children attend the academy, with comments like:

"On the first day my child was not excited about attending but by the time I picked him up he was really looking forward to the next 20 days. To me that means the teachers were able to captivate his attention." 

"Great group of motivated and capable professionals! My son was excited about attending every day and we will definitely participate again next year!"

Of course, despite the positive comments, we continue to rigorously assess the impact of our work with students during the Summer Academy, striving to improve each consecutive year. Thanks to your support we will continue to do so in 2017 and onwards!

Thank you for your support!

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Daniel in the classroom
Daniel in the classroom

Dear TFB supporters,

Thank you for choosing to support Teach For Bulgaria's free Summer Academy, where the incoming cohort of teachers begins their practical training before entering the classrooms in September. With only a week left before we officially close the recruitment season for our 2017 cohort, we will soon welcome our new participants to the program, who will begin their training in the summer months.

Teach For Bulgaria recruits from among top graduates and motivated career changers, who are seeking to pursue the teaching profession after gaining experience in different sectors. In this report, I want to introduce you to Daniel – a professional film director, who is currently teaching English in grades 4-11 in Dermantsi, a village 116km North-East from Sofia.

Tell us what a day in your shoes looks like…

My day starts at the “teachers’ room” –it’s always quiet in there, our principal has managed to establish a wonderful team of professionals and I feel very comfortable. That’s very important to me, because then I can enter the classroom charged with a lot of positive energy that I can share with the students. Then, I start my classes– working with children gives me a really rewarding feeling. Switching between classes makes time fly by really fast and before I know it – the last bell marks the end of the day. After our lunch break, I lead extracurricular activities – I’m in charge of the theater club and the library.

Yet, I have to say that my days vary greatly and bring along miscellaneous challenges, which teach me valuable lessons and keep me motivated to keep improving.

What’s your favorite part about teaching?

Learning. Not only what the kids learn in my classroom, but what I learn about them as well. Learning is not a one-sided process, a person improves himself/herself for the duration of their lifetime and the lessons that my children teach me are priceless. Every day I learn to look and perceive the world through their eyes, through their moods and understandings, and that knowledge is invaluable because it foretells the future.

What’s the most difficult part of being a teacher?

It’s difficult to convince the students that what we are learning in the classroom has an actual real life impact and it will be useful for the future. I keep trying to translate the “subject knowledge” onto their needs and understanding of their environment. The dynamic digital world that we are currently living in entails that we constantly have to rethink the values that we learn by and develop. I try to explain to my students that regardless of the turbulent times that we currently live in, there are some practical skills and knowledge that are eternal and that whatever challenges they face in their lifetime, if they continue to learn, grow and be adaptive, they will still be successful.

Teach For Bulgaria works to provide access to quality education for every child in the country. In the 2016-2017 school year, our 165 teachers are reaching over 8000 students in 10 regions, studying in 89 partner-schools.

Your support allows us to attract more people like Daniel, who enter the lives of the underperforming children in Bulgaria and work towards expanding their horizons, giving them more opportunities to succeed and motivate them to continue to learn and grow. By supporting our Summer Academy, you not only support our incoming teachers’ training, but you also give an opportunity for children from various background to attend free summer classes.

Summer Academy 2016
Summer Academy 2016
Summer Academy 2016
Summer Academy 2016

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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
$73,811 raised of $100,000 goal
 
281 donations
$26,189 to go
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