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Novak Djokovic Foundation Opens 11th School of Life

by , Posted on 11th Oct 2017

The 11th School of Life in the village of Deronja, the municipality of Odzaci, today officially opened its doors within the preschool institution “Poletarac” and welcomed 50 boys and girls, 3-5 years old, from this village and nearby places.

Novak Djokovic Foundation donated EUR 38,655 for the reconstruction and equipping of the facility “Carolija” with toys, books, didactic materials and new play sets that have been installed in the preschool yard. In cooperation with CIP – Center for Interactive Pedagogy, specialized training seminars and workshops, designed  to support professional development of educators, were also held as part of the project.

Gorana Dzudza Jakovljevic, NDF project manager, expressed her gratitude to project partners – PI “Poletarac” staff and the Municipality of Odzaci representatives, for showing a high level of willingness and commitment so that works on the reconstruction and equipping of this preschool could end in the shortest time possible.

We are glad our partners expressed a lot of creative ideas and suggestions during the reconstruction process. Therefore, we were able to improve the project and make even nicer preschool than we had initially planned. Schools of Life project is extremely important for our Foundation. Through its implementation we try to create best possible conditions for education and development of children in economically challenged areas in Serbia and at the same time give them a chance to reach their full potential and fulfill all their dreams. So far, over 500 children have been provided access to high-quality preschool programs and 11 preschools have received professional support to enhance the quality of their teaching practice and cooperate more with parents and local partners, said Dzudza Jakovljevic.

Milena Mihajlovic, CIP Executive Director, explained that the Center for Interactive Pedagogy provided professional assistance in order to help this preschool improve the concept and practice of inclusive education.

In addition, we encouraged educators to work closely with parents, ECD experts and other institutions to develop and offer the programs and services designed to meet the needs of all children and families. The School of Life isn’t just a kindergarten. It’s also a place inviting all community members to join in and cooperate, gather and share their ideas and experience, and thus give their contribution towards the well-being of children, said Mihajlovic.

Latinka Vasiljkovic, mayor of the Municipality of Odzaci, said that thanks to the joint efforts of the Foundation, local self-government of Odzaci, local community and PI “Poletarac”, the village Deronja received a brand new and modern kindergarten with highly improved conditions for education and development of both preschoolers and younger children.

We have invested all our efforts in order to finish the reconstruction and equipping of this preschool within the scheduled time frame. As a local self-government we are proud and honored to be able to present ourselves as a true, cooperative and reliable partner, said Vasiljkovic.

Jelena Selak, director of PI “Poletarac” emphasized that accredited seminars for teachers held within the project helped strengthening competencies of educators and empowering them to refine their skills and future work.

Our teachers are glad that the kindergarten in Deronja is now on the NDF Schools of Life map. Moreover, there is not greater satisfaction than receiving support from people who recognize our  efforts to make a positive change in children’s lives and share with us a common goal – striving for their better future. Together we have succeeded to create a safe, caring and stimulating environment for these wonderful boys and girls to learn and play with their friends. From now on we can ensure them a pleasant stay in bright, warm and colorful classrooms, filled with new toys, didactic materials and furniture, stressed Selak.

Beside the kindergarten in Deronja, 10 Schools of Life have been opened so far in Jalovik, Donji Tovarnik, Ljig, Raska, Knic, Merosina, Kraljevo, Vladicin Han, Lucani and Sid.

NDF Call for New Projects aiming to expand the capacities of preschool institutions in Serbia is now open.  Implementation of selected projects is planned for 2018.

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