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Belarussian Parents' and Teachers' League

Photograph of five studentsBelarussian Parents' and Teachers' League (BPTL) is a non-profit, social organization that was formed in 1998 to promote a civil society in Belarus. Growing out of the Step by Step program operated by the Belarussian Soros Foundation, BPTL is focused on strengthening civic grassroots activities for parents and other concerned citizens. This work is accomplished by mobilizing the core tenets of the Step by Step program—creating democratic school that encourage active parent and community collaboration and promote individualized, child-centered practices. The mission of the BPTL is to affect systemic change in educational institutions and other spheres of civil society so that citizens are able to think creatively and analyze their political, social, and cultural environment effectively.

There are three broad sets of activities that this non-governmental organization (NGO) engages in:

  • Educational Programs: 17900 teachers of children from birth through 12 years old have been trained in the Step by Step methodologies. 1550 children with special needs are served in inclusive classrooms in 280 schools across Belarus. 28 teachers and teaching assistants working with Roma children have been trained, and 86 of the children are receiving child-centered curriculum.
  • Civil society Programs: 965 parents have participated in a variety of workshops and trainings designed to build their skills in working collaboratively with teachers and school administrators. 415 other community residents from 20 cities/communities have attended workshops on advocacy. And 3475 youth from 11 universities/colleges have participated in volunteer community projects, including serving as teaching assistants in Step by Step classrooms.
  • Publishing Programs: 6 methodologies and training manuals have been translated into Belarussian for parents, teachers and administrators. A newsletter has also been developed and distributed as a way to exchange information among the 1,595 active, full-time members of the BPTL.