The “Rucksack” and “Griffbereit” programs promote the language skills of children from immigrant families starting at an early age. They were developed by RAA (regional centre for the promotion of children and adolescents from immigrant families) in North Rhine-Westphalia. “Rucksack” and “Griffbereit” have two main aims: to promote a child’s German language skills as well as to strengthen its overall development and skills in its native language, to promote intercultural education and integration in society as well as institutions of early childhood education. The Freudenberg Foundation has provided funds to the main office of RAA in Essen to develop further the materials of the “Rucksack” program for elementary school in cooperation with the FörMig Competence Centre of the University of Hamburg (promotion of children and adolescents with an immigrant background). In the meantime, examples have been developed of how language-related instruction can be implemented in all school subjects for all four years of elementary school and how a child’s native language can be promoted with the help of the parents at one and the same time. Throughout Germany, the “Griffbereit” and “Rucksack” programs reach more than 7,000 parents and about 9,500 children, two-thirds of this group being in North Rhine-Westphalia.

What are the goals?

The objective of the initiative is to develop further the materials of the “Griffbereit” and “Rucksack” programs, adapting them to the promotion needs in grades 3 and 4 and preparing them for transfer.

What does the Further Development and Dissemination of the Programs “Griffbereit” and “Rucksack” do in practice?

  • It develops further the materials of the “Rucksack” program used at the kindergarten and elementary school levels,
  • It includes linguistic expertise,
  • It initiates a subject-related exchange between the bilingual assistants and group leaders,
  • It develops material for media education,
  • It develops materials for early musical education.

Which partners are supporting the Further Development and Dissemination of the Programs “Griffbereit” and “Rucksack”?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim
  • Regional Centres for the Promotion of Children and Adolescents from Immigrant Families in North Rhine-Westphalia
  • FörMig Competence Centre of the University of Hamburg
  • Media Authority of North Rhine-Westphalia
  • NRW Program: “An instrument for every child”

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation supporting the Further Development and Dissemination of the Programs “Griffbereit” and “Rucksack”?

In addition to helping parents and children gain qualifications through “Griffbereit” and “Rucksack”, the foundation is hoping to establish the role model of the multilingual assistants in day-care centres and schools with a high percentage of immigrant children. The further development of the programs became necessary so as to ensure appropriate language promotion based on the criteria of German as a Second Language. In 2008, the materials for the parents, manuals for the parent assistants and teachers were revised in cooperation with Professor Dr. Reich; and they can be downloaded from the Internet. In addition, the materials for elementary school are to be improved and linked to the curriculum. Another goal is to develop suitable formats for individual status and progress reports about language acquisition in the second and first language.

Bezirksregierung Arnsberg, Dez. 37
Landesweite Koordinierungsstelle
Kommunale Integrationszentren (LaKI)
Christiane Bainski
Ruhrallee 1-3
D-44139 Dortmund
Phone 0049-(0)2931-825215
Fax 0049-(0)2931-825230