The State Agency for Child Protection Awarded a School Project Initiated by a Teach For Bulgaria Alumna

Държавна агенция за закрила на детето

The school radio at Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” in Stara Zagora received a special plaque with the engraving “I guarantee a happy childhood”

Държавната агенция за закрила на детето
A snapshot from the the award ceremony which took place at the end of March

The school radio at Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” in Stara Zagora received a special plaque with the engraving “I guarantee a happy childhood”. The award was given by the State Agency for Child Protection with the goal to give public recognition to projects and initiatives which foster children’s development.

The school radio program called “Recess” was created at the end of 2019 with the purpose to help children, especially those whose first language is not Bulgarian, develop their communication and language skills. The school radio was initiated by primary teacher Silvia Koleva, Teach For Bulgaria alumna. She started the radio program during her second year in Teach For Bulgaria’s program “A New Way to Teaching”. All participants in the program have the obligation to launch a school project in their second year and we provide them with mentorship and professional support. 

“Over 120 students have participated in our radio program so far. It continues to spark children’s interest and fulfills their social, educational, entertainment needs. Due to the pandemic, each radio show is planned, written, and executed by a different class in order to avoid any unnecessary mingling,” shared Silvia Koleva.

Nearly all students at Secondary School “Hristo Smirnenski” do not speak Bulgarian at home (their first languages are mainly Romani or Turkish) and most of them struggle with the language. According to a survey conducted by the administration of the school, only 6% of all primary school students speak or hear Bulgarian at home. This revelation motivated the teaching staff to look for innovative solutions.

Radio program “Recess” is a step in the right direction. The radio shows are written by students and include a segment for Bulgarian music, a segment dedicated to curious facts called “Did you know…?”, and a poetry reading segment called “My favorite poem”. All radio hosts are students. The radio program has four main goals: to provide students with meaningful activities during recess, inspire their love for the Bulgarian language, history, and culture, improve school climate, and help students with career orientation.

Did you know that there is no methodology for teaching Bulgarian as a second language to children? Teach For Bulgaria and EducArt Association are determined to change that. Find out more about their project here.

Училищно радио Стара Загора ученици с учител
Silvia with some of her students

The projects and initiatives awarded by the State Agency for Child Protection have been selected by a 7-member committee presided by the agency’s chairperson. The members of the committee are representatives of the Advisory Board and the Council on the Protection of Children at the agency, experts, public figures, journalists, etc.

This year, the agency received 193 nominations for the awards. The list of nominees includes entire municipalities, legal entities, NGOs, civil society organizations, social service providers, kindergartens, schools, community centers, and parents.

You can also read:

ЕducArt and Teach For Bulgaria Created the First Bulgarian Specialized Diagnostic Tool for Multilingual Children

Bilingualism as a Strength (Part One)

While We Share Our Dessert