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Foundation for Educational and Cultural Initiatives Step by Step

Photograph of two girls readingThe Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives is a non-profit, non-governmental organization formed in 1999. Its mission is to encourage the whole community to develop, implement, and accomplish programs that will assist children in achieving their full potential. This mission in accomplished by improving the quality of educational services in Macedonia through democratization of the teaching process and providing equal access for all children to high quality educational opportunities. Educational practices are improved through on-going training and technical assistance to teachers, pedagogues, psychologists, school principals, and parents.

Some examples of the main strategies used by the Foundation for Education and Cultural Initiatives are:

  • Building partnerships with ministries, teacher training and re-training institutions, local authorities, schools, kindergartens and national and foreign organizations that share the same vision and objectives.
  • Advocating for ongoing training of the educational staff and teaching teams in kindergartens, schools and students from the Faculties for Teachers.
  • Publishing professional manuals, textbooks, children's picture books and literature that promote our mission.
  • Providing children opportunities for creative expression through art forms by promoting partnership between educational and cultural institutions.

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Accomplishments:

  • 644 groups of children from the ages of 3-7 years and 90 groups of children under the age of 3 have implemented the Step by Step Program. The program currently covers over half of the preschools in Macedonia. Currently, 264 primary classrooms in 60 schools implement the program.
  • Teams of educators from pre-school organizations have been trained; seminars have been organized for over 800 teachers, 600 teaching assistants, 51 school principles, 38 pedagogues and 25 psychologists and 200 students from the Pedagogical Faculties.
  • Teams of educators from elementary schools have been trained; seminars have been held for 586 teachers, 60 school principles, 60 pedagogues and 34 psychologists.
  • Teams of educator from middle schools are trained and involved in project "Step by step to critical thinking" This project is implemented in 172 classrooms.
  • Toys, didactical and art materials, teaching accessories, furniture and equipment were distributed to classrooms that were extremely resource poor.
  • Contributing to the fund of developmentally appropriate children's literature, 11 picture books were published in Macedonian; in 1999, in partnership with UNICEF, these books were made available in the Albanian language.
  • Children's Creative Centers have been established in Skopje and Radovis. During the recent refugee crises, Children's Creative Centers were established in Tetovo and Gostivar.