The name (Eng. Development Ladder Foundation) stands for achieving next steps and levels in every man’s self-development as well as crossing barriers we all once in a while face in our lives. Climbing up the ladder, as everything in life, requires some effort but in result we learn what our path in life is and
301 Moved Permanently
The spark that lit the fire was the psycho-educational program called Drabina (End. The Ladder) that started back in the year 2000 and was conducted in over a dozen thousand Polish classes. We wanted to expand our activity and to achieve that we’ve established our Foundation in the year 2005. Since then we conduct projects addressed not only to schools but also families, childcare centers, clinics, kindergartens, nurseries and hospitals. Since 2008 we’ve also started publishing books, audiobooks and multibooks for children. All our titles are based on the therapeutic value of storytelling.
AWARDS AND DISTINCTIONS
March 2011 – The Woman of the Decade Nominee – for the Foundation Chairman Dorota Drozdowska-Szymborska. The plebiscite was organized by one of the biggest Polish websites Onet.pl
December 2011 – EFS Innovator of the Year Award – for the project Grajki-Pomagajki. The contest was organized by The Regional Labor Office in Szczecin.
March 2013 – Professional Movie for Kids Nominee – for the animated movie ‘Homework’ being the part of the Grajki-Pomagajki project. The contest was organized by The Polish National Festival of Animated Movies.
EXAMPLES OF THE PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED BY THE FOUNDATION
Drabina szkolna (Eng. School ladder)
Everything started with this psycho-educational program addressed to schools. Since the year 2000 this project was implemented in over dozen thousands of classes. It was very successful, as it soon turned out, so in the year 2005 we’ve decided to expand our activities and established our Foundation. We’ve then started conducting consulting courses in the field of entrepreneurship, self-motivation, professional consulting and developing innovative methods of teaching.
This is an innovative method of professional activation of young people threatened by social exclusion. The program is especially addressed to young people leaving childcare centers, as well as to their teachers and nongovernmental organizations helping them in entering the adult life and being on their own. The project used two modern teaching techniques: storytelling and coaching. The goal of the project was to create an innovative simulation computer game and a cartoon. Both allowing young people to develop their personal and professional skills. There was also a diagnostic tool, thanks to which it was possible to identify each person’s strong points and in result potential paths of professional growth. Finally the program was completed by the youth-coach book and a manual how to use this teaching method. In the same time different kind of courses took place. Coaching ones and those explaining how to use the above mentioned teaching tools and techniques. As well as competency workshops for teenagers.
Multimedialne Centrum Natura (Eng. Multimedia Nature Center)
With the Ostroleka city support new 3D cinema with the 360 degrees screen and the center for educational activities for children and youth will be built. First film aired will be an animated story „In the Kingdom of the great Catfish”. The screen and the sound will help to get to know better the richness of the underwater world. It will be the first cinema of the sort not only in Poland but in Europe. Despite the cinema and the movie itself the project also includes 4 types of educational courses titled ‘The nature in the valley of Narew and Omulwia rivers’. Those will be heavily based on fieldwork. There will also be workshops concentrating on protecting biodiversity and the use of natural resources in local communities. Around 17,000 people including adults and school children will take part in the project. Within the whole complex there will be the movie theater, laboratory, briefing room and so called experiment garden.
IBIS – Interdyscyplinarna Bez Barier Interaktywna Szkoła (Eng. Interdisciplinary No Barriers Interactive School)
This is a very innovative project that combines two fields of education: geography and entrepreneurship, prepared for high school students. The goal of the project is to make teaching math, natural science and entrepreneurship more effective thanks to innovative and interdisciplinary teaching methods. Both geography and entrepreneurship teach students principles of the modern world allowing young people to understand them and thus better function in the society. Up until now there was no other teaching method that would combine those two subjects.
The project is an answer to all the problems that arise because students don’t understand all the complex economy mechanisms. Within the project there’s an e-book and a computer game that presents geography and economy as one coherent whole. Thanks to this solution it will be easier for students to understand the link between international trade, climate change, geopolitical changes or recession. Consistent material allows to use the knowledge gained during other school lessons but most of all in everyday life.
Modern teaching techniques are very effective on keep students focused and encouraging them to find a solution to a problem themselves. As well as helping them to understand the link between the cause and the result. Finally they encourage students to effectively use the knowledge they’ve already gained. Moreover those are the best ways of working with students with special teaching needs, so those that have difficulties in learning and are threat by the social exclusion. And for those especially is the program dedicated.
Aktywne łącza – multimedialny system ekspercki (Eng. Active links – multimedia expert system)
This project is addressed to preschool teachers, pedagogues in social commons and other childcare centers and its main goal is to help teachers grow professionally by using the flexicurity idea along with multimedia tools. The whole project provides teachers with training, consulting and educational tools support. During courses taking place throughout the project teachers will learn about the flexible forms of employment, self-development, child’s emotional and cognitive growth, therapeutic storytelling and the rules of communicating with children. In addition to that there will be problem define and solve system along with the catalog of teaching materials helping in a daily work with children that include: multimedia stories, computer mini-games, exercises and games scenarios plus expert articles. Our goal with this project is to help teachers building the awareness of how important it is to work on one’s self-development, getting better qualifications and learn the whole life for them to be able to adapt to the constantly changing working environment. Thanks to this knowledge it’s easier to find the balance between the private and work life and to make eventual unemployment periods shorter.
Dbajki dla dużych i małych (Eng. Dbajki for adults and for kids)
The whole project was based on workshops we’ve prepared for parents and their preschool children which resulted in releasing a book titled ‘Smoki jak my’ (Eng. ‘Dragons like us’). We’ve done 140 counseling hours, 140 consultation hours and 100 hours of individual therapeutic storytelling classes.
Bajka-Pomagajka u Doktora (Eng. Bajka-Pomagajka at the Doctor)
This project was implemented in 2008 and 2009 in The Institute of Mother and Child in Warsaw. The whole program was focusing on supporting and helping children that are suffering from different diseases and are afraid of pain, doctors and hospitals. It’s main goal was to teach parents how to talk with their sick children to calm them down and bring them comfort. The project was propagating the simple but extremely effective method of therapeutic storytelling as well as helping parents to deal with their child’s sickness. During the time the project lasted, 15 trained volunteers visited The oncology department in The Mother and Child Institute in Warsaw to talk with the small patients there. Moreover the project offered support for parents whose children suffer from cancer, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, epilepsy and asthma. They could take the advantage of psychological counseling, support groups, communication and therapy storytelling workshops. Around 200 people took part in the project.
Bajkoterapia (Eng. Therapeutic storytelling)
A set of workshops for different professional groups but mostly focusing on teachers, as well as for parents and their preschool children. The goal of those workshops was to demonstrate how, thanks to a set of properly chosen books, can one help a child both psychologically and educationally. How to provide emotional support, overcome different fears and teach children more about themselves and the world around them. Attendees were taught how to choose books accordingly to the problem appearing or a particular situation. They also learned how to create their own therapeutic stories very individual in manner and appropriate for a certain child with a certain problem. Finally there were also workshops teaching them how to work with a hand puppet.
Zawsze jest jakieś wyjście (Eng. There’s always a solution)
The campaign begun back in 2007. During the time it lasted we’ve started a telephone helpline with specialists on duty between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. from Monday until Friday. Along with the helpline we’ve also launched a dedicated website available under the link: www.zapytaj.pl which was visited around 7500 times and in result 243 phone calls were done. The most interest in the project had women and young females and most common problems were those connected to the family life: parents’ divorce, violence (including sexual one), addictions.
Rodzina bez przemocy (Eng. A family without violence)
The program was conducted between the year 2007 and 2010. Its main goal was to help people experiencing physical and emotional violence. It was addressed to both parents, who were taught how to raise their kids better, and children who learned how to better function in the society. They all could take part in psychological counseling, law counseling, therapy storytelling workshops, preschool teachers coaching. Around 500 people took part in the project.
Koktajl charytatywny – świadomi rodzice – szczęśliwe dziecko (Eng. Charity cocktail - conscious parents - happy child)
This was a onetime charity event where we were collecting money to help parents of quintuplets out of which all needed specialized medical care. The meeting was moderated by a famous Polish actress – Maria Seweryn and ended with a concert of a Polish pop star – Natalia Kukulska. During the event we’ve been selling pictures drawn by children, therapeutic storytelling novel written by the employees of one of the Warsaw nurseries and books founded by ‘Two Sisters’ publishing house. Money gathered were given to the family of five newborns.
Drabina rozwoju kobiet (Eng. Women’s development ladder)
This project was done twice. Between 2008-2009 and 2010-2011. The target group were women from the Masovia district between the age of 18 and 60, unemployed and currently looking for a job. Quite often those were mothers either reentering job market or entering it for the first time after giving a birth to a child. The project was focusing on developing their personal and professional skills to help them getting hired. Women could take part in workshops teaching them how to actively look for interesting job offers, psychological counseling, professional counseling and computer courses. 120 women took part in this project.
Drabina rozwoju nauczycieli (Eng. Teachers’ development ladder)
In September 2013 we’ve started the above mentioned project addressed to teachers of small, primary schools of Mazovia district. During the project 8 courses were conducted to train ‘Dbajki-Grajki’ coaches. Completing the course allowed teachers to get better qualifications for their psycho-educational work, especially with so called ‘difficult’ students. The coaching program was focused on enhancing teaching skills throughout the implementation of innovative and creative methods such as: therapeutic stories for children, cartoons and video games.
Przepis na udaną rodzinę (Eng. The recipe for a successful family)
The goal of the program was to enhance parents education and care skills and to improve the way family works. Within the program the following activities were carried out:
Educational workshops for parents, allowing them to learn the effective communication skills and teaching them methods of solving conflicts between them and their children
Psychological consultation carried out by qualified specialists helping in particularly difficult situations related to family dysfunction
Counseling conducted by specialists whose aim was to raise awareness of existing problems between family members and to help solving them
Integral part of the program was also a book - a collection of therapeutic fairy tales describing difficult situations occurring in everyday family life and suggesting ways of solving problems.
This program was an innovative method of psycho-educational support for children and young people at risk of social exclusion. It’s addressed to alumni of orphanages and their educators. The aim of the project was to create a model program that, thanks to computer games, allows psycho-social reintegration of children and youth being at risk of social exclusion.
It’s a multimedia, psycho-educational program for primary schools. The main goal of the project was to create the coherent program including psycho-educational cartoons, computer games, exercises and courses scenarios that will teach students (especially those with special teaching needs) how to think creatively, be innovative and work effectively as a part of the team. The project was addressed to schools (both teachers and students) from the Wielkopolska district.
Mój wybór – Moja przyszłość (Eng. My choice – My future)
The project addressed to trade school students from Ostroleka. During the project students will take part in educational and professional counseling workshops as well as will learn how to manage a company during enterprise simulation workshops. The part of the project will also be the event management where all the attendees will be responsible for organizing Natalia Kukulska (Polish pop star) concert. Teenagers will also have a chance to meet well known personalities from the business and culture world and have sessions with make-up artists and stylists.