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The ASB Senior’s Centre “Prager Zeile” in Dresden and the “Lesestark!” reading partnership

The ASB Senior’s Centre “Prager Zeile” in Dresden and the “Lesestark!” reading partnership are the best-practice examples which were identified during the meeting in the capitol of Saxony. In the “Prager Zeile” are located 116 apartments for seniors, where they are able to claim against a daily care if needed. On one floor is a “meeting centre”: the inhabitants and other seniors from Dresden can join several courses (computer trainings, sport classes, choirs), have lunch and participate in several activities. Together with the salaried staff volunteers organise painting classes, games and excursions.

During the visit it was possible to join the “Bingo”-group: one volunteers plays Bingo with the elderly people. The volunteer herself offers several activities, but the Bingo-group is her “absolute favourite”. The elderly come together to play, to have a coffee and to talk. It’s a real exchange and they have the possibility to talk about everything in a comfortable atmosphere. “To gamble and to win is just marginal; I like to meet other people and to leave my room for a while. And it’s always a lot of fun!”, says one of the seniors.

The “Bingo” as a volunteer’s project was pointed out as one  best-practice-example from all projects which were visited andobserved in Dresden. The indicators were at a high rate and the advantages of this project were especially the transferability in an international context and the efficiency (that with a low budget the success is high). Another important fact is, that the ASB regional association has a volunteer’s coordinator, which is a fixed contact person and there is a system of quality management, trainings, monitoring and recognition in fixed frames.

The “Lesestark!”-project invites children from kindergartens and elementary schools to libraries, where a volunteer is reading for them. The project is wide spread all over Dresden, so 4000 children from several parts of the city can join. The “Lesestark!”-team works together with 85 volunteers. The volunteers are in several ages, have several educational and professional backgrounds and are differently experienced in working with children. “Now, after two years with the project here in our library, we can see results: children are coming back to the library after school, sometimes with their parents, they started to read” says the director of the local library.

For the volunteers it is very satisfying to see the children with wide opened eyes listening to the reader. The project offers several trainings, meetings and monitoring and has a coordinator. The results of the indicator rating were also very good; the advantages of this project are the social / educational necessity, because the number of reading children is increasing, and the innovation, because beside the kindergarten / school children have another access to literature and books.