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Poland: Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Information Society Development Foundation cooperate on Volunteer Readers project “Para - buch! Książka w ruch!”

Bonn/Warsaw. Deutsche Telekom Stiftung is broadening its European footprint by launching a partnership with Poland’s Information Society Development Foundation (Fundacja Rozwoju Spoleczenstwa Informacyjnego). Together, the two foundations are creating a highly accessible program aimed at stoking Polish children’s enthusiasm for books that adults read aloud on scientific, technical, engineering and mathematical (STEM) subjects.

The partnership builds on Volunteer Readers, a project that has proven very successful since its 2015 launch in Germany. It draws on scientific studies showing that learning about STEM topics can help improve children’s language and reading skills, particularly at the elementary school level. Children develop a keen interest in language and communicating as they attempt to name and describe various phenomena and articulate what they think is happening.

The Information Society Development Foundation is responsible for the Polish implementation of the project, entitled “Para – buch! Książka w ruch!”. Foundation instructors will teach around 100 librarians and 100 volunteers how to add exciting follow-up activities to storytime hours featuring age-appropriate children’s books on STEM topics. Once trained, teams of librarians and volunteers will hold STEM storytimes for children aged three to ten twice a month at their libraries, supported by materials, media recommendations and activity suggestions from the Information Society Development Foundation. The volunteers should ideally be people with scientific or technical training, such as engineers, technicians or tradespeople who want to share their knowledge and experience with children through STEM storytimes. The project is initially being conducted in five out of Poland’s 16 different regions.
The cooperation project will run until August 2020. The two foundations plan to draw on the lessons they learn to improve and enhance project activities. To learn more about the project, visit www.telekom-stiftung.de/volunteer-readers and www.biblioteki.org.