Corporate Responsibility

Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stiftung Lesen launch cooperation

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Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stiftung Lesen launch a cooperation to raise interest in children aged from three to ten for mathematical and scientific content by reading to them. Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stiftung Lesen are therefore looking for STEM reader volunteers throughout Germany. The Project fosters both speaking and reading skills and presents STEM-related reading and media tips. The signal for the start of the cooperation was given with a reading hour on the head office premises of Deutsche Telekom AG on International Volunteer Day.

What happens when a volcano erupts, and how does a navigation system work? Many scientific and technical phenomena can be presented and explained through exciting narratives. And this is where the new cooperation between Deutsche Telekom Stiftung and Stiftung Lesen comes in. The aim of the collaboration is to recruit volunteers who are willing to read STEM-related subject matter to children aged between the ages of three and ten and so inspire an interest in them in books with a mathematical, scientific or technical focus. To this end, the two foundations have produced a special list of STEM-related media tips, encompassing not only classical books but also digital offerings such as apps and animated ebooks. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Children’s books encourage interests in STEM-related topics
The signal for the start of the cooperation was given on International Volunteer Day, with a reading hour on the head office premises of Deutsche Telekom AG. Group Chief Executive Officer Timotheus Höttges, Professor Wolfgang Schuster, President of Deutsche Telekom Stiftung, and Dr. Jörg F. Maas, Chief Executive Officer of the Stiftung Lesen, read to elementary school children in Bonn out of a book in the popular Olchi series that is concerned with research and experimentation.

Promoting speaking and reading skills
”Scientific studies have shown that especially at elementary school age, dealing with mathematical, scientific and technical matters promotes speaking and reading skills, and vice versa," Wolfgang Schuster points out. "That is a valuable insight, for only people with adequate speaking and reading abilities can understand and explain complex subject matter in the areas of nature, science and technology. Therefore, especially in view of the ever increasing volume and diversity of digitally available information, this is an essential precondition for successful participation in the digital world."

"Kids are eager for knowledge"
Jörg F. Maas adds: "Kids are eager for knowledge, and they enjoy researching and experimenting. That is precisely where we come in with our STEM reading partners – with corresponding reading events for pre-school and elementary school children, our aim is not just to arouse their enthusiasm for reading as such, but also and in particular for STEM-related topics. We are therefore all the more delighted – given this combination of goals – to have found such a suitable and committed partner as Deutsche Telekom Stiftung."

Starting from 2016, the volunteer readers will receive training in classroom and online formats such as webinars and tutorials. They can then approach facilities such as day care centers and elementary schools about working with the children there. Netzwerk Vorlesen, the "Reading Network" of Stiftung Lesen will, on request, provide assistance in finding suitable facilities.

Further information on STEM reader volunteers and the STEM reading and media tips can be found on the Internet at www.netzwerk-vorlesen.de (German) and www.telekom-stiftung.de/vorlesepaten (German).

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