Integration Central, Weinheim

Integration Central – together with Job Central – makes up the coordination center for the Weinheim Chain of Education. Since 2011, Integration Central, in its function as an educational agency, has been receiving financial support from the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg’s “Impulse Programme Educational Regions”.

What are the goals?

The objective of Integration Central is to help children make as optimal a transition as possible from home to kindergarten, from kindergarten to elementary school and from elementary school to a secondary school. The long-term goal of Integration Central is to improve the quality of educational support and systematic involvement of the parents in all educational institutions. Within the framework of the Weinheim Chain of Education, Integration Central is responsible for developing models showing how children and adolescents, can be accompanied and assisted at all points of transition, i.e. from one school to the next and from school to vocational training and employment.

How does Integration Central work in practice?

  • Integration Central helps schools, kindergartens and day-care centres improve the quality of their language promotion programs by using tested materials and methods such as Griffbereit and Rucksack,
  • trains multilingual assistants who encourage mothers and fathers from different countries of origin to become actively involved in their children’s education,
  • appoints individual teaching mentors to promote language skills and joy of learning,
  • helps kindergartens document the individual learning progress of children,
  • organizes “Parents’ Cafés” for Turkish and Turkish-speaking mothers to inform them about the educational and vocational opportunities available to their children,
  • disseminates tools that help in promoting children from an early age,
  • tries to strengthen the local sense of responsibility by bringing together the actors and resources available locally, also among immigrants.

Who is financing Integration Central?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim
  • The town of Weinheim

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation supporting Integration Central?

Integration Central evolved from “Project Weinheim”, which is considered the first Regional Centre for the Promotion of Children and Adolescents from Immigrant Families (RAA). It was set up as early as 1979 at the initiative of the Freudenberg Company. The Freudenberg Foundation has been supporting and working with Integration Central from the very beginning so as to ensure that the municipality, state, businesses and civil society form an alliance of responsibility to help children and adolescents – irrespective of their social and cultural background, sex or handicap – gain access to education and social participation, especially at the seat of the Freudenberg company and Freudenberg Foundation.

Contact

Integration Central
Koordinierungsstelle für Bildung, Sprache
und Interkulturelle Verständigung
Ulrike Süss
Bahnhofstr. 19
D-69469 Weinheim
Phone 0049-(0)6201-290-8986
Fax 0049-(0)6201-980-674
Email: Ulrike.Suess@integrationcentral.de
www.integrationcentral.de

Change Story

“I have been working as a bilingual assistant for the Rucksack program in Weinheim for nine years. At the beginning, my oldest daughter, who is 12 years old today, was still in kindergarten, then came my middle daughter and two years ago my small son. I always enjoyed encouraging my fellow countrymen, in other words Turkish parents, to become involved so as to ensure that their children get a good start in the German school system and I was happy to support them as best I could. At the beginning we only addressed mothers of Turkish origin, they made up the largest group at our kindergarten and I felt comfortable holding a group in my native language. Since some time now, however, many children from other countries and with other native languages are taking part in the language promotion program. I had to speak to their mothers and motivate them to participate in the Rucksack program. That was a totally new situation for me. All of a sudden, two languages – Turkish with the mothers and German with the kindergarten staff – were no longer enough: now, I also had to speak English, albeit with hands and feet. After about two years of transition and lots of advertising, I have a group of more than ten mothers who come from five different countries (Morocco, Bulgaria, America, Sweden and Turkey), speak different languages and bring along different characteristics. Despite some linguistic barriers we understand each other very well and also talk about private matters; the mothers are happy to have met each other. Thus, together with my kindergarten, I have become a woman who integrates others and creates entryways for parents, irrespective of their origin. And I am very proud of this!” (Bilingual assistant, Rucksack Program in Weinheim)