The project "School Mentors - Hand in Hand for Strong Schools" started in 2014 as part of a school development programme instituted by the Hamburg Authority for Schools and Vocational Training (BSB) called "23+ STARKE SCHULEN". The cooperation project, which KWB e. V. is implementing together with the BSB, recently entered its third term and is looking forward to another four years with committed mentors, teachers and partners.
"In the new project term, we are placing a special focus on digital courses for parents and pupils. We are offering our prospective mentors the opportunity to complete their qualification completely online," explains KWB e. V. project manager Dr. Alexei Medvedev. "We want to use the continuation of the project to further expand the existing mentoring structures and establish sponsorships between schools. In this way, schools already participating in the project can pass on their knowledge to new schools in the future," adds BSB project manager Eric Vaccaro.
Cooperation project since 2014: Over 3,200 trained mentors in Hamburg.
KWB e. V. and BSB are jointly responsible for the project "School Mentors - Hand in Hand for Strong Schools". The project aims to establish a mentoring programme at selected schools in Hamburg. To this end, the KWB e. V. team trains pupils and parents to become school mentors.
Pupils serve as role models for their peers, while parents receive support in the complex school system so that they can be active partners in shaping the educational biography of their children. In recent years, KWB e. V. has also trained more than 1,000 volunteers as mentors in cooperation with voluntary institutions. Volunteers accompany pupils, for example, as reading helpers or recreational organisers, and can provide support with questions about career orientation.
Teachers attend BSB training courses and coaching sessions to qualify themselves for their tasks as school mentor coordinators.
In addition to expanding the existing mentoring offers, the focus of the third project term is primarily on the digitalisation of the courses. "We started with a digital learning platform back in 2014 at the beginning of the project. Prospective parent mentors are able to exchange information with trained mentors and read up on learning content outside of school," says Dr. Medvedev.
Last year, the project began to strongly promote the digitalisation of the courses and now pupils and parents have the ability to complete all courses completely online. For example, the online programme "Eltern@Home" was launched for a third time in March.
The "First Steps" course for schoolchildren was also successfully launched online. The instructor, Claudia Matthiesen, teaches primary schoolchildren in this course how they can assist school beginners adjust to their new environment and how to help them find their way around the new school.
The school network continues to grow
The School Mentor courses are always closely oriented to the needs of the individual schools, and it is important to work particularly closely with the teachers. "We are in close contact with the teachers at all times and develop customised qualification modules together with all participants," explains Eric Vaccaro, project manager at BSB. The goal is to attract a total of up to 50 participating schools to the project in its third phase. More specifically, we would like to promote an even better exchange amongst the schools themselves. "Our vision is that participating schools will assume sponsorships for new schools in the future and support them in their mentoring work," Vaccaro continues.
The project "School Mentors - Hand in Hand for Strong Schools" is funded as part of the Union´s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
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