Preschool Project <
Infant and Toddler Groups Project <
Primary School Project <
Higher Education Project <
Teachers for Multilingual - Multiethnic Europe <
Promoting the Integration of the Roma <
Step by Step: Roma Special Schools' Initiative <
Training Model Sites Project <
Municipality - Model Site Project <
Children with Special   
Educational Needs Project
Boards of School Trustees Project <

Preschool Project

Step by Step Program for Preschool was approved by the Ministry of Education and Science with act #92-00-185/15.05.1995

In the international Step by Step Program Bulgaria has been included since the 1994-1995 school year with 7 kindergartens and 14 classrooms. Since 1999 57 kindergartens have been already working to the Program with 306 classrooms, 612 teachers, 7679 children and their families.
In 1999 an USAID-funded evaluation of the Step by Step Program for preschool was conducted by the Education Development Center, Inc., MA, USA in four countries - Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Romania and Ukraine. It was concluded that Step by Step Program offered equal access to quality education and encouraged the democratic processes in education. The data analyses showed that children in Step by Step classrooms acquired the educational material easier, developed skills for making choice, leadership, conflict solving, critical and creative thinking, initiative, worked in small and large groups.

Infant and Toddler Groups Project

Since January 1998 the Program has been implemented in 13 infant and toddler groups in 8 kindergartens in the towns of Sofia, Pleven, Veliko Tarnovo, Blagoevgrad, Varna and Haskovo. The medico-pedagogical staff involves 41 teachers, senior nurses and nurses.
This closes the continuity cycle of the work to the Program with birth to three, preschool and school aged children.

Primary School Project

The Step by Step Program for the primary school started in Bulgaria in the 1997-1998 school year in 14 first grade classes at 7 schools in the country - Sofia, Bourgas, Assenovgrad, Blagoevgrad, Vraza, Pleven and Rousse. Since September 1999 the implementation of the Program has started in 32 schools all over the country with 82 first grade, 83 second grade, 31 third grade and 15 fourth grade classes. 4694 children study there. The teachers use the Step by Step methodology and work in accordance to the compulsory for Bulgaria educational curriculum.

Higher Education Project

There are three universities and two colleges included in the Program, respectively the Neofit Rilsky Southwest University in Blagoevgrad, the Bourgas Free University and the Prof. Dr. Assen Zlatarov University in Bourgas and the pedagogical colleges in Vraza and Pleven. There 25 faculty teachers train students to the Program using interactive teaching methods. The students do their practica in the Step by Step model sites.

Teachers for Multilingual - Multiethnic Europe

This project has been carried out with the support of the European Community in the framework of the Socrates program.
The three-year project Teachers for Multilingual - Multiethnic Europe is focusing on linguistic and intercultural education in multi-ethnic classrooms. It is a partnership involving 3 countries from respectively Bulgaria (Step by Step Program Foundation), Slovakia (Wide Open School), and Spain (Teachers Training and Research Center).

The project will contribute to:
  1. promoting equal opportunities for a high quality education for and integration of children of migrant workers, Roma and other minorities;
  2. facilitating the learning of the host country language from pupils whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction in order to avoid the risk of educational and social exclusion;
  3. promoting the interculturality of education.
The target group is teachers working in multi-ethnic classrooms.
Year 1 is focusing on an initial evaluation of current practices and needs; developing 3 training courses, respectively Interactive teaching methods in multi-ethnic environment, Family involvement, New language approaches and the project evaluation and monitoring mechanism. Year 2 - training teachers in the 3 modules and in Using ICT. Year 3 - evaluation and dissemination.
The project will result in publishing 3 training manual-books and CD, creating a web-site, preparing videotapes, conducting an international conference and establishing an international network between the participating countries.

Promoting the Integration of the Roma

The 16-month project Promoting the Integration of the Roma, administered by Step by Step Program, aims to give an opportunity to Roma students for a better access to quality education in primary schools, secondary schools and universities as well as more knowledge and skills to work in the public administration and the police structures. It will give teachers a possibility to work better in the field of minority education and to create positive examples for integration of Roma people in the society as well as to take part in the democratizing of the Bulgarian society.
It is funded by PHARE and its beneficiary is the National Council on Ethnic and Demographic Issues at the Council of Ministers.

Step by Step: Roma Special Schools' Initiative

The Special Schools Project is an experimental three-year project developed since 1999 in four countries - Bulgaria, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. This project is directed to work with Roma children in the special schools and their families. Its aim is the successful integration of these children in the mainstream schools. 133 children are included in this project in Bulgaria. The education in the experimental class and the other classes included in the project is to the mainstream school curriculum, the Step by Step methodology and is based on Anti-bias education. A research has been conducted with the children from the experimental classes (26 children), which shows that after the second year 46,15% of these children are meeting the requirements for the mainstream school and could be successfully integrated.
The results of this project so far are showing that this is a very successful practice and gives a real choice for better education for these children but also that there is an urgent need more projects to be developed for integration of children from different minorities in the mainstream school in order to avoid their dropping out and fit the expectation of Multilingual and Multiethnic Europe.

You can read or download the research report in MS Word format:
English language
Bulgarian language

Training Model Sites Project

Connected to the efficiency of the work to the Program 19 preschool model sites and 7 school model sites have been working. Their function is together with the Regional Inspectorates of the Ministry of Education and Science and the municipalities to popularize Step by Step Program through conducting training workshops for teachers and principals from kindergartens and schools in the region. The training model sites work in close cooperation with the pedagogical faculties in order students and faculty teachers to be included in various educational activities. The model sites have concluded agreements for cooperative work with the respective Regional Inspectorates of the Ministry of Education and Science. Each model site has modern equipment and the necessary conditions for conducting training workshops are available.

Municipality - Model Site Project

Since the summer of 2000 Step by Step Program Foundation and the municipality of Shumen have been developing a joint project for training the pedagogical teams of 15 kindergartens and 10 schools from the region who want to get to know the Program methodology. The project aims the municipality of Shumen to become a Step by Step model site as well as both institutions to apply together for developing educational projects.

Children with Special Educational Needs Project

A new aspect of the Step by Step Program development is training the teachers to work with children with special educational needs. The real needs of the pedagogical practice and the need for a humane treatment of the children and their families have drawn the attention to this problem. The experience and studying the work with children with special educational needs undoubtedly support the idea that including them in the kindergartens and the mainstream schools is very favorable for their socialization.

The main emphasis in training the teachers is on:

Boards of School Trustees Project

Through teaching parents, principals and teachers Step by Step Program Foundation supported the establishment of effective Boards of School Trustees and their legal registration. That lead to the establishment of Parent Teacher Faculty Association. The foundation continues supporting the Boards of School Trustees and the Parent Teacher Faculty Association in order to make them sustainable and advocate for the Step by Step network.