In 2023, with dozens of renovated STEM Kindlotekas in Poland and a pilot kindergarten facility through collaboration with social partners, we were able to more effectively address the current needs of young, curious individuals with our initiatives. Kindlotekas are spaces with equipment, tools and books that allow for educational activities based on STEM methodology such as programming and robotics workshops, music making and science experiments.
79 STEM Kindlotekas in Poland
Our renovation teams covered most of Poland to bring all willing Kindlotekas up to STEM standards. As a result, young people in 79 facilities can now use modern educational spaces equipped with TVs, educational mats, robots, Kindle readers, and many other helpful devices. After the upgrades, even more students will be able to embark on their journey and develop skills of the future, which is our way of helping to provide equal educational opportunities in Poland Altogether, there are 83 STEM Kindlotekas in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and nine “Zaczytana” Kindlotekas – smaller reading corners in schools, libraries, and cultural centres – making it 92 areas where children and teenagers can utilise the latest equipment and read books.
The new equipment and layout of the facilities are just part of our effort to maintain the highest educational standards that the Kindlotekas’ offer. To ensure the effectiveness and comfort of using resources, we regularly hold meetings with Kindlotekas coordinators. In May and June 2023, over 100 coordinators participated in workshops organised by the Digital Dialogue Association, the programme’s social partner, in STEM Kindlotekas across the country. This allowed individuals from different regions to exchange experiences, inspire further actions, and foster closer collaboration.
A significant opportunity for development was the November “Kindloteka Summit”, the first nationwide gathering of all Kindlotekas coordinators, which Amazon organised with the Digital Dialogue Association. It was a time of intensive development, with coordinators familiarising themselves with the latest equipment in Kindlotekas, and building relationships with other coordinators from all over Poland.
Kindloteka for the youngest
Last year, in collaboration with the Trefl Foundation, the Educational publishing house Podręcznikarnia, and the Digital Dialogue Association, we developed an educational offer dedicated to children in kindergarten. As part of the pilot programme “Kindloteka z Treflikami”, we provided resources for preparing and conducting activities in a kindergarten in Poznań, Poland, including mechatronic systems, educational mats, robots, Kindle readers, and tablets. The staff underwent various training sessions, not only to understand the usefulness of the new equipment, but also to inspire a different perspective on preschool education. The preschoolers developed creative skills, utilising everyday items to positively impact their ability to seek solutions. The programme's reception served as a source of insight and inspiration for expanding the pilot to additional locations.
Gifted Explorers – new webinars available
The first edition of the “Gifted Explorers” programme, supporting the integration of the Polish-Ukrainian community and shaping the competencies of the future, was positively received. Consequently, we decided to launch another edition of the project. We prepared 20 webinars for students and teachers to create amazing projects using items available in any home. So far, almost 2,000 students have taken part in six webinars. Additionally, our social partner, the Digital Dialogue Association, prepared dedicated worksheets that can be used during webinars, school activities, or individual work. There is also a school competition being prepared, aiming to promote best practices for activities fostering Polish-Ukrainian integration, along with an online conference for teachers.
Back to school with Amazon and social partners
Before the start of the school year 2023, we kicked off our annual “Back to School” campaign. Collaborating with the Polish Red Cross, the Zaczytani Foundation, and the Flying Bags Foundation, we provided school supplies and educational assistance to Polish and Ukrainian children in need across the country. Thanks to inter-organisational cooperation and partnerships with experienced organisations, nearly 200 employee-volunteers were able to pack 9,000 books, 5,000 school kits, and 600 toys.
Developing competencies of the future through Meet and Code
In 2023, we once again joined a group of local partners in the Meet and Code initiative, actively supporting the development of digital competencies among children and youth in Europe. Throughout September, the initiative gathered over 6,000 participants in Poland. Meet and Code has been a successful programme for six years, allowing children and youth to acquire new digital skills. By reaching smaller towns and rural areas, the initiative promotes equal opportunities and limits technological exclusion. Participants of events organised by local foundations and associations have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with technology and understand its impact on their daily lives.
“Leśna paczka” (The Forest Crew) in the fight against loneliness
Together with the Zaczytani Foundation, we created the educational e-book “The Forest Crew”. The story combines two important ideas for us: promoting reading and caring for the well-being of children and youth. In the story, we aimed to address the issue of loneliness, identified as one of the causes of the current mental health crisis among children. The publication also includes a script for bibliotherapy, intended for parents, caregivers, educators, and teachers of school-aged children.
Volunteers - our greatest strength
Many initiatives would not have been possible without the help of our volunteers. They packed books and school kits, visited Kindlotekas, conducted workshops for young children, and recorded an e-book with the Zaczytani Foundation. Thanks to the efforts of almost 120 volunteers in our logistics centres, local assistance gained nationwide reach.
This year, our team in Poland have achieved a lot. Through collaboration with social organisations, we have been able to quickly respond to the emerging needs of the country’s young people, and we will continue to focus on the continuous development of our educational activities and plan events for the coming year, to allow even more people to benefit from our initiatives.