IMC Weekend School
IMC Weekend School is a supplementary school for children (aged 10-14) in underprivileged neighborhoods, often of immigrant backgrounds, in the larger cities of the Netherlands. Through a three-year course, professionals (volunteers) introduce students to a wide range of topics, including journalism, medicine, law but also training in presentation, research, debate and conflict resolution. It is an education focused on developing an all round character.
IMC Weekend School connects youth to passionate professionals who engage them in their fields. The contacts created between social classes affect both the students and the guest teachers. In the alumni program, guest teachers, sponsors and Weekend School alumni stay connected, and develop professional relationships. Research shows that IMC Weekend School alumni have better professional prospects, are more confident, and feel more connected with society than control groups.
In 2018, IMC Weekend School has ten branches, about 1100 students every Sunday, 2387 alumni, around 4000 volunteer guest teachers per year, over 100 corporate and private funders, and over 300 pro bono funders. IMC Basis runs the program in a growing number of regular schools (13 branches). IMC Weekend School on Tour runs the program for newcomers’ children in the Netherlands (6 branches).
Founders – IMC Weekend School was designed by psychologist Heleen Terwijn and founded in collaboration with IMC (International Marketmakers Combination).
Funding – Over a hundred companies, foundations and individuals finance the Weekend School organization. There are over three hundred pro bono partners.
Guest teachers – Each year, IMC Weekend School welcomes over 4000 volunteer guest teachers from a broad range of professions.
IMC Alumni – Weekend School alumni connect in a vibrant network: IMC Alumni. Among other activities for self-development, alumni teach the younger generations. Alumni embody the ideals of the Weekend School, ‘learn from your elders;’ ‘pursue your talents,’ and ‘give back.’ IMC Alumni organises a wide variety of activities, among which trainings, professional communities, and alumni boards. IMC Alumni builds an online platform to facilitate alumni’s career options and connectedness to the Weekend School, their peer group, guest teachers and partners.
Research – In close collaboration with Dutch universities, Weekend School studies target groups, methods and working factors. As data shows, Weekend School alumni stay more motivated to pursue their talents and develop in school more than non-Weekend School students. Also, in and outside the Weekend School organization, they give back to society.
International recognition – In 2009, IMC Weekend School was awarded winner at the Marketplace of Ideas – United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. In 2010, IMC Weekend School was a finalist for the WISE Awards (World Innovation Summit for Education).
- IMC Weekend School impacts student’s lives: “Without Weekend School, I would not be where I am now.” “IMC Weekend School made me grow.” “IMC Weekend School enabled me to become who I am.”
- IMC Weekend School impacts guest teachers: “Weekend School gives me the chance to work together with immigrant children, whom I normally only read negative things about.”
- IMC Weekend School impacts students’ motivation, perspective, social skills, and social engagement.
- Weekend School alumni engage in teaching younger generations, and set up their own community projects.
- IMC Weekend School inspired over 30 similar projects in the Netherlands.
IMC Basis – IMC Weekend School works towards systems change by running the program in a growing number of regular schools in the Netherlands during regular school time (currently 13 branches).
IMC Weekend School on Tour – IMC Weekend School employees, alumni and guest teachers provide Weekend School courses in language schools for newcomers children in the Netherlands (currently 6 branches).
Building a Global Network – IMC Weekend School helped set up a successful sister-schools in Brussels (three branches) and Hong Kong. The organization welcomes social entrepreneurs who wish to set up Weekend Schools in their own countries.
In 2018, IMC Weekend School celebrates it’s 20th anniversary