Koos Slagter


Stichting Leergeld Westerkwartier – Noordenveld

WESTERKWARTIER – “In 2013 zijn we gestart met de voorbereidingen voor een Stichting Leergeld in het Westerkwartier, in 2014 waren we operationeel. Twee jaar later is Noordenveld erbij gekomen. Met de stichting helpen we kinderen die vanwege de financiële situatie van hun ouders niet deel kunnen nemen aan activiteiten waar leeftijdsgenootjes wel aan mee doen. Het eerste jaar hebben we 75 kinderen kunnen helpen en dat worden er dit jaar naar verwachting zo’n 515 kinderen in de twee gemeenten. Ik ben met Stichting Leergeld in aanraking gekomen door mijn baan als rector op een school in Delfzijl. Volgens de sociale kaart van Delfzijl moesten er veel kinderen in armoede leven, werd mij verteld door iemand die in Tilburg voor een zelfde stichting werkte. Of het een idee was om ook in Delfzijl Leergeld op te richten, stelde hij voor. Daar voelde ik direct iets voor. Ik kan het niet uitstaan dat er  kinderen zijn die van jongs af aan minder kansen hebben door de financiële situatie van hun ouders. Zij kunnen er immers niets aan doen. De meeste ouders ook niet trouwens.  Het bleek een aardige combinatie, rector en Leergeld. Ik ken veel kinderen en hun ouders. Toen ik in 2012 afscheid nam werd ik benaderd om ook voor het Westerkwartier (ik woon in Zuidhorn) Leergeld op te richten. Het streven van de provincie was om in iedere gemeente één Stichting Leergeld te hebben. Het was zelfs voorwaarde voor subsidie. De provincie verstrekte iets van een ton om voor alle Leergelden in Groningen de organisatorische kosten te kunnen dekken. Dat Noordenveld erbij is gekomen hebben we te danken aan burgemeester Berend Hoekstra. Noordenveld is weliswaar Drenthe, maar Hoekstra vond dat we de samenhang die er is tussen het Westerkwartier en Noordenveld moesten gebruiken. De organisatie is landelijk, we zijn een zelfstandige stichting. We zijn trouwens op zoek naar een nieuwe voorzitter. Welk profiel we voor ogen hebben? Iemand die bekend is in het Westerkwartier en Noordenveld, iemand met een netwerk. En iemand die het belangrijk vindt dat álle kinderen mee kunnen doen. Gelijke kansen krijgen om tóch goed terecht te komen. Wie wil dat nou niet? Iedereen die zich geroepen voelt voor deze nobele functie kan een mailtje sturen naar leergeldwk@ziggo.nl.”


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