Starting November 1until the end of next March, kindergartens from the Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, and Central Bohemian Regions and from the city of Prague can apply for up to 800 thousand crowns in a grant and for technical consulting support. The Karel Komárek Proměny Foundation and its Playful Garden grant program offer assistance with the restoration or construction of school gardens that help children develop in a healthy and multifaceted manner.
"During the preschool age, children are open to new experiences, learn through playing and imitating adults, form their view of the world, and discover their abilities. Today, however, places where children can develop in an entirely uninhibited way are in a short supply. We believe that school gardens provide a great opportunity in this regard because they are visited by children practically every day," explained Jitka Přerovská, Director of Karel Komárek Proměny Foundation.
The main purpose of the Playful Garden program is to create a stimulating environment in the school setting, which offers children conditions conducive to their multifaceted development and which functions as a useful aid for both teachers and parents. In itself, already the transformation of a school garden is a part of the learning process. Projects are executed with the involvement of various stakeholders, including school officials, children, their parents, and people from the local community. Children are drawn into the community in a natural way, often encountering for the first time principles that govern the functioning of public space and civil society.
The current invitation for proposals under the Playful Garden program is open to kindergartens from the Karlovy Vary, Ústí nad Labem, Liberec, and Central Bohemian Regions and from the city of Prague. In a three-round evaluation procedure, the foundation will select five kindergartens to which four million crowns in grants will be distributed. The foundation's assistance is intended for preparing project plans, completing design documents, and performing landscaping work.
Beneficiaries will not be required to provide partial funding for projects. Nonetheless, the use of other resources, such as partnerships with the local community, the founder, or volunteers, will be included among positively rated criteria. In addition, such partnerships provide conditions conducive to the long-term sustainability and future development of school gardens. Technical support provided to schools together with grants will include joint seminars, individual consultations, and free-of-charge use of offerings from the foundation's education program.