We wrapped up the 14th (yes, 14th!) edition of the Irena Sendlerowa Award “for fixing the world”
This year, the jury awarded Agnieszka Jankowiak-Maik, a history and social studies teacher from High School no. 3 in Poznań, educational activist, blogger, chief editor of two websites - CiekawostkiHistoryczne.pl and TwojaHistoria.pl. The winner received a traditional award and a prize of 15 000 PLN.
Agnieszka Jankowiak-Maik was distinguished for her consequence and determination in building a school system which is open to the constantly changing world. She demonstrates how to approach diversity, how to learn from students, remain sympathetic and alert to the needs of excluded and less fortunate social groups. She helps build skills which enable children to engage in meaningful social communication and to spark valuable relationships.
In the words of Krzysztof Czyżewski, the head of the award committee: “Together with her students, Agnieszka Jankowiak-Maik initiated innovative programs and public initiatives which combined education, art, developing communication skills, modern media, and social engagement. All her projects are based on the value of grassroot work. For Agnieszka, history as a science is a source of stories about role models and traditional values which remain relevant today. Stefa Wilczyńska, Janusz Korczak’s forgotten coworker; Zofia Nałkowska, one of the most scandalous Polish writers; Swedish nationalism; women in Jewish ghettos; Warsaw Uprising nurses; women-pioneers in the digital industry - those are the narratives and heroes you will find in her educational program. Social studies classes became a way to teach social engagement. Agnieszka combined them with social practice - volunteer work, building projects for the local community, writing applications for participatory budgeting, engagement in anti-discriminatory, pro-European and municipal initiatives.”
This year, the jury also awarded a special prize to Dariusz Martynowicz, a literature teacher from the Tytus Chałubiński Lesser Poland School of Hospitality in Myślenice. Dariusz was one of the initiators of a local initiative called “Region-mural Kliszczacy.”
The prize will help repaint a mural in Pcim in the Lesser Poland region. The mural, created together by the local community, was a form of affirmation of regional culture and tradition. It also promoted an openness to other cultures and different traditions and, as a result, was destroyed - the word “hospitality”, which underlined the citizens’ attitude towards newcomers, was crossed out and replaced with a World War II emblem.
Tolerance, mutual respect, responsibility for others, courage - those are values we find crucial in our work. We were proud to be able to co-finance the special award together with the Signum Foundation, contributing to making Pcim a better place, for everyone.
Congratulations to both teachers!
The Irena Sendlerowa Award “for fixing the world” is a way to appreciate teachers for working towards diversity, tolerance, responsibility and social solidarity. It is organized by the Civic Education Center.
Each year, the EFC Foundation makes a financial contribution to the Award.