What is One Square Kilometer of Education Herten?

In 2009, the municipality, the Herten Community Foundation and the Freudenberg Foundation started “One Square Kilometer of Education” in the area of the Süder Grundschule, an elementary school, as a project module within the scope of the Integrated Project Concept Herten-Süd. Another partner is the “FörderSCOUT” project sponsored by the Hermann-Schäfers Foundation and managed by the Family Agency. The educational alliance also comprises the six day-care centers located in the district, different municipal agencies and other institutions that are involved in the educational biographies of children. One Square Kilometer of Education is managed by the Herten-Süd quarter office.

What are the goals?

The objectives of One Square Kilometer of Education Herten, amongst others, are to jointly coordinate programs in the educational alliance so as to ensure long-term support, to identify and fill gaps in the remedial system, to improve cooperation with the parents and, in particular, to improve the transition from one educational level to another (i.e. from kindergarten to elementary school, from elementary school to secondary school).

What does One Square Kilometer of Education Herten do?

  • It carries out the Rucksack and Griffbereit programs,
  • It prepares children and parents for starting school, e.g. with the program “Hurra – ich werde ein Schulkind” (i.e. Hooray, I’m going to school),
  • It promotes pre-school instruction, focusing on numbers and quantities,
  • In groups organized under the title “Weltwissen”, children on the threshold to school and first graders gain knowledge of the world in a vivid and hands-on manner,
  • Through the project partner FörderSCOUT (Family Agency) – it ensures that children and their parents can get individual counseling to determine whether any assistance measures are needed in the months before the child starts school,
  • It offers homework mentors as well as reading and individual help,
  • It wants to awaken the children’s interest in the natural sciences by offering building and experiment groups as well as regular attendance at lectures held within the framework of the “Children’s University”,
  • It has organized a café for parents, where they can learn about school requirements and develop their own ideas about their child’s education,
  • It trains and accompanies mothers as reading mentors in elementary school,
  • It organizes workshops for parents, discussion groups and other events for parents and/or mothers,
  • It offers further education events for teachers working in the different institutions of the educational alliance.

Who is financing One Square Kilometer of Education Herten?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim
  • The city of Herten
  • Funding through the Herten-Süd Urban Restructuring Program “Süd erblüht” within the scope of the Federal and State program “Stadtumbau West”

Which partners are supporting One Square Kilometer of Education Herten?

  • Civic Foundation of Herten
  • Hermann-Schäfers Foundation (FörderSCOUT)

Why is the Freudenberg Foundation engaged in One Square Kilometer of Education Herten?

The Freudenberg Foundation is active in Herten because the city authorities, administrative offices and community foundation offer a long-term perspective for an education-related cooperation. In addition, the Freudenberg Foundation, for many years, has been working together with the Herten Community Foundation, which has been striving to improve the educational and vocational training as well as job perspectives of adolescents since its establishment in 1999. Our joint efforts have been focusing on the Herten-Süd district since 2005, because children and adolescents, families resettling in Germany and immigrant families are increasingly experiencing problems there.


Hertener Bürgerstiftung
Carmen Treppte, Project Management
Elisabethstraße 11/13
D-45699 Herten
Phone 0049-(0)2366-937-346

Change Story


My name is Issam and I’m a pretty cool guy. Not long ago, my friends and I would run through our neighborhood, swinging our plastic guns and yelling: “Freedom for Lebanon!” The other kids quickly hid behind bushes. One day someone from the District Office came, yelled at us and, if we didn’t run away quickly enough, took away our guns. I was so mad that I didn’t want to go there anymore, but my parents insisted that I continue doing my homework there.

Before this strange office opened, everything was much easier. My parents were busy with all their illnesses and worries. School was school, and I pretty much did what I liked. Today? Today there are all in collusion. They communicate with each other so quickly – in just a blink of an eye. The school calls mom. Mom calls the office. And probably the office calls the school, too. They constantly find reasons for mom to go to the office – bake falafel, eat some humus.

Just a couple of months ago, I wasn’t paying attention and admitted that I wasn’t doing too well in a couple of subject – math, physics, history and something else. They were terribly angry at the office. “In history? Why in history?” “Because they talk Jews and shit like that,” I answered. “I’m not interested in that.” The woman gave me a strange look and left the room. I knew right away that I was in trouble. A couple of days alter, I had to deal with my homework teacher and, to top it off, with private lessons with a couple of girls from secondary school They didn’t stop nagging me until I answered all their stupid questions about Jews in the Middle Ages. I tried to give them what for, and two of them complained about me. I hoped that I would no longer be allowed to go to the office, but instead they called mom for an appointment – together with me. A lady I’ve never seen before is there as well. As it turns out she is a retired principal and talks to everyone who gets assistance from the District Office: about grades and what I expect to do in the next months. “Where does your family come from?” she asks. “Beirut.” “And why did you come to Germany?” “Because of war.” “Why was there a war?” “No idea. I was born here.” “History is when you know where you come from. When you know where your roots are.” Then she spent hours telling me that I couldn’t be trusted. Mom said she was fed up with me, too. And the people in the District Office said they would love to throw me out, but they wouldn’t do me that favor. They really put me in my place. But they did it very politely. To be honest, I actually felt a bit ashamed of myself.

My world has become very small. I’m trying to make the best of it. In the meantime, I got an “A” in math and a “C” in physics. They offered me tea and cake at the office, making me feel like a grown-up. So, last week I decided to tell on Salah because he called Songül a “whore” in Arabic. Actually, the cake tasted really good.