The Polish Children’s Fund is an independent, non-governmental organization established in 1981. One of its major objectives is to help exceptionally gifted pupils and students develop their academic interests and artistic talents, and to adjust the educational system in Poland to accommodate the special needs of the highly gifted. In this field the Fund closely collaborates with the Polish Ministry of Education, as well as many scientific and cultural institutions.
The Polish Children’s Fund’s activities are based on co-operation with numerous universities, research institutes and cultural institutions, as well as individual academics willing to offer their time and experience to work with exceptionally talented children. Among those who have taken part in the Fund’s activities are Mr Ryszard Kapuściński, Prof. Leszek Kołakowski, Prof. Włodzimierz Kołos, Prof. Witold Lutosławski, Prof. Czesław Miłosz and Mr Andrzej Wajda.
Institutions particularly involved in the Fund’s activities include:
- University of Warsaw,
- Polish Academy of Sciences,
- Warsaw University of Technology
- Jagiellonian University in Cracow,
- Nicholas Copernicus University in Toruń,
- Chopin University of Music in Warsaw,
- The Royal Castle in Warsaw,
- International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw.
Since 1983, many thoustands of nominations to the Fund’s educational enrichment and support programme have been granted to outstanding pupils and students from all over the country (in the school year 2016/2017 there are 558 such nominees). These young people come from all social backgrounds, including a vast number from small towns and villages.
Each participant of the programme is given the opportunity to attend numerous workshops, seminars and meetings, and to consult the best specialists. The Fund also regularly organizes concerts of young virtuosos and exhibitions of the works of those with a talent in the fine arts. Every year, the association invites gifted teenagers to take part in 18-20 scientific workshops, 9-10 seminars in the field of the humanities, 1 workshop devoted to the fine arts and 1 devoted to music, 2 general multidisciplinary meetings, 3 multidisciplinary scientific camps, over 20 public concerts, and 3-4 exhibitions. There is also a lot of individual assistance offered to participants, basing on their specific needs and ideas, such as numerous grants for research projects and research internships in the best labs in Poland.
The Fund cooperates with foreign educational institutions. Some of our programme participants spend a year at Dulwich College in London, others take part in events such as the London International Youth Science Forum, Research Science Institutes organized by the Center for Excellence in Education at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, European Space Camp in Andoya (Norway), summer scientific camps Deutsche SchülerAkademie organized by the Bildung und Begabung Association, XLab International Science Camp at Gőttingen University in Germany, or International Wildlife Research Week in Swiss Alps organized by the Schweizer Jugend forscht foundation.
Our scholars successfully participate in international competitions in science, music and ballet.
We are also a national organizer of the European Union Contest for Young Scientists.
Our alumni include:
- Rafał Blechacz (born 1985) – pianist, winner of the 15th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2005. In 2006, he signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. Thus he has become the second Polish artist (after Krystian Zimerman) enlisted under this prestigious label.
- Tomasz Czajka (born 1981) – computer scientist, laureate of international olympiads and contests in informatics and mathematics, graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Mechanics (University of Warsaw) and Department of Computer Science (Purdue University). In the years 2007-2011 Czajka was a software engineer at Google (Mountain View, CA).
- Jacek Dehnel (born 1980) – poet, writer, translator and painter. His first collection of poems was the last book recommended by the Polish Nobel Prize Laureate, Czesław Miłosz.
- Jan Klata (born 1973) – theatre director, dramatist. One of the best known Polish theatre directors, called the extremely talented enfant terrible of the Polish theatre. Klata was nominated by The Minister of Culture to become the artistic director of the National Old Theatre in Cracow (from January 2013).
- Radosław Poleski, Ph. D. (born 1985) – astronomer, researcher at OGLE – the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment – a Polish astronomical project based at the University of Warsaw that is chiefly concerned with discovering dark matter using the microlensing technique. So far, fourteen planets have been discovered by the OGLE project, eight of them by transit method and six by gravitational microlensing method.
- Agata Szymczewska (born 1985) – violinist, winner of the 2006 Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition in Poznań. She plays with a poise, authority and musical intelligence beyond her years, sounding at times like a fiery young Ida Haendel – Hilary Finch, The Times, Oct 2010.
- Fillip Wolski (born 1987) – computer scientist, winner of gold medals at the International Olympiad in Informatics in 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, gold medals at the Central European Olympiad in Informatics in 2006, 2004, 2003, laureate of the Central European Olympiad in Informatics – gold medals (2005, 2004) and silver medal (2003).
The Fund’s activities are financed by the Polish Ministry of Science, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture, banks, companies, public institutions and individuals. The Polish Children’s Fund has also been assisted in this field by the PZU Group (one of the oldest and largest insurance groups in Poland), BRE Bank Foundation, the Orange Foundation, Foundation for Polish Science, Amgen Foundation, Google.
Read more: Marcin Kotowski, Piotr Migdał, Gifted Education, offtopicarium.wikidot.com