Toronto Foundation Partners with Nová Škola o.p.s.

In cooperation with the Nová škola (New School) Foundation, the Wallace F. Toronto Foundation is proud to be the primary sponsor of an exciting new after-school mentoring and educational program in the Czech Republic called Rozlety (Taking off!)

The Rozlety program gives underprivileged children from a variety of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds the little extra support and encouragement that they need to be able to succeed academically.  The primary focus of the Rozlety program is to tutor and prepare disadvantaged middle-school aged students for their high school entrance exams and then to help them thrive in the high school environment.  Most of the Rozlety participants are from the minority Romany community among whom illiteracy and drop-out rates are substantially higher than the average in the Czech Republic.

The pilot program, underway in Prague since January 2006, is expected to last 24 months.  As part of the Rozlety program, the Wallace F. Toronto Foundation has also funded a supervised after-school club in downtown Prague where Rozlety students can come for help with their homework, tutoring, mentoring, and to socialize with other children their age.  The club is also a safe place for students to gather who might otherwise be out on the streets or home alone after school.

What is Nová škola?

Nova skola is a non-governmental, not for profit organizaton founded in 1996 and re-registered as a public benefit organization in 1999.  The original foundation’s activities were a continuation of the activities of the civic association MENT (Man, Education and New Technologies), founded in 1991. Since that time Nova skola has become a leading organization in the fields of Romany education, the training and support of Romany assistant teachers, creation of alternative educational programs for students with special needs and the promotion of multiculturalism in the Czech school system.

The Nová škola Mission Statement

Nová škola provides alternative education for all children and adults designed to:

Create equal opportunities to education for all members of society regardless of the ethnic, cultural, social background or religious beliefs. Improve respect for human rights and the rights of minorities through educational reform. Contribute to the establishment of and respect for a multi-cultural society in the Czech Republic. Support education of students with special needs or from minority backgrounds with a special emphasis on the Romany minority.

The program is designed to improve educational access and achievement for disadvantaged youth and minority students in the Czech education system as well as improving educational achievement with the goal of testing an innovative solution, or establishing a best practice that could be replicated.

Taking Off

Through the program we work with disadvantaged youth and minority students in the 7th, 8th and 9th grades to improve their academic performance and prepare them for secondary school entrance exams. Nova skola also help them to define their career goals and choose the right secondary school.  Through a mentoring program we train college students to the students who participated in the first phase of the program to ensure their success.  The mentor/mentoree relationship will continue through secondary school.

Project Goal

The goal of the program is to improve the educational achievement of 90 disadvantaged youth and minority students over a three-year period and to prepare them to successfully take their secondary school entrance exams. We will also develop a mentoring program totaling up to 30 mentors from colleges through which to support those in secondary school and assist them to successful complete their education. A long-term goal of the program is to prove its effectiveness as a model for improving academic achievement of disadvantaged you and to replicate that model.

First Toronto Foundation Funded Nová škola Event

Since the Wallace Toronto Foundation first partnered with Nová škola on the Rozlety (Taking off!) program, Nová škola used a portion of the funds provided by the foundation to host a movie night with some of those in the program.