What is One Square Kilometer of Education Mannheim?

In 2009, the city of Mannheim and the Freudenberg Foundation signed a 10-year cooperation agreement with the intention of providing the best possible educational assistance to children in the school district of the Humboldt elementary school in the Neckarstadt-West district of Mannheim. The local educational alliance includes, amongst others, a Werkrealschule, a Realschule, nine day-care centers, youth welfare associations and youth centers. The Pedagogical Workshop is located directly in the school building, and its staff includes a project manager, an assistant responsible for the transition from day-care center to elementary school, an assistant responsible for the school and involvement of the parents, and an administrative assistant. A control group made up of representatives of the city of Mannheim, the Freudenberg Foundation, the municipal office of education, the principals of the Humboldt elementary school and Werkrealschule, the day-care centers and the youth centers supervise the work of the Pedagogical Workshop.

What are the goals of One Square Kilometer of Education Mannheim?

True to the motto that “no child may be lost”, the child and its individual educational needs and skills is the focus of attention of One Square Kilometer of Education. The city of Mannheim hopes that the Humboldt elementary school in the Neckarstadt-West district of Mannheim will become an experiential center for intensively testing learning and promotion strategies. “One Square Kilometer of Education – Education Squared” also is a reserach project of the University of Mannheim. The knowledge gained by the study will be used to develop further the educational and remedial quality in day-care centers and schools in other school districts in Mannheim.

What does One Square Kilometer of Education Mannheim do?

  • It implements educational and remedial measures: individual language teaching and assistance, promoting mathematic skills, promoting motor skills and health, early music and aesthetic education, optimizing the transition from kindergarten to elementary school,
  • At the elementary school, it expands the working groups in the musical, creative as well as athletic fields, provides individual help, uses volunteer reading mentors, offers parent counseling and holds meetings for parents of pre-school and elementary school children,
  • It succesfully proved the model of a education scout, which helps parents by the implementation of specific therapie recommendations resulting of the school enrollment examination for their children,
  • Together with the educational institutions, the Freudenberg Foundation and the Office for Education, Youth, Health and Sports of the city of Mannheim, it draws up common concepts regarding the goals, cooperation and practical models related to the education and promotion of children, and assists with the further development of the day-care centers and schools,
  • It contributes to the systematic networking and bundling of remedial measures and improving the culture of cooperation in the social environment of Neckarstadt-West.

Who is financing One Square Kilometer of Education Mannheim?

  • Freudenberg Foundation, Weinheim
  • City of Mannheim

Which partners are supporting One Square Kilometer of Education Mannheim?

  • Ministry of Culture of Baden-Wuerttemberg
  • Federal program “Local Learning”
  • Association of Foundations “One Square Kilometer of Education”
  • BT Spickschen Foundation, Weinheim

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

Despite great efforts, the elementary school involved cannot meet the special educational needs of individual children. With the program “One Square Kilometer of Education” both the learning culture and the learning results of the children will be improved. In order to ensure the continuity of this strategy, the Freudenberg Foundation concludes long-term agreements with the communities concerned.

Pedagogical Workshop
(at the Humboldt School)
Sema Aslan
Petra Hahn
Gartenfeldstrasse 24
D-68159 Mannheim
Phone 0049-(0)621-2935301
Fax 0049-(0)621-2935310

Change Story

A door opened in Nehir’s mind

Nehir was four years old when she was selected by her day-care center to participate in the newly developed project “Individual Language Assistance” in the Square Kilometer of Education Mannheim. The concept of accompanying children from immigrant families as they learn German forms the basis for the individual language assistance program. This takes place during the children’s normal everyday routine, takes the child’s skills and interests as its starting point, and is realized in tandem, i.e. a language assistant and child. Nehir was proposed by her day-care center because she spoke almost exclusively in an imaginary language at the day-care center. She hardly ever spoke Turkish, her native language, and basically never German. The other children at the day-care center could not understand Nehir and, thus, they did not want to play with her. Her parents also were worried about her development and agreed to the “one-on-one language assistance”.

Nehir also enjoyed being with her language assistant because she always worked along her needs and interests and, in this way, built up a trusting relationship with her. For more than one year, the assistant came to the day-care center to work with Nehir two hours a week and always followed the rule: We will do whatever Nehir would like to do, i.e. draw pictures, look at picture books or do crafts. The assistant never resorted to lecturing or correcting Nehir. The focus was on speaking together, asking and answering questions as well as listening.

In the course of this language assistance, Nehir changed from speaking in her imaginary language to speaking German in the day-care center and Turkish at home. The language assistant described the change as follows: “A door opened in Nehir’s mind.” Now Nehir loves looking at books and making up stories in German. Nehir also has made friends with the other children. She is part of the group and likes to play with the other children. Nehir is happy and feels good.