On September 16, 2009, the first American Language Center, established with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF), opened doors at the Plovdiv Language School. At the official ceremony, ABF’s President, Mr. Frank Bauer, called the new establishment “the first center of excellence” launched at a Bulgarian school and expressed his belief that it will be emulated by many similar entities throughout the country, thus bringing the educational environment in Bulgarian schools up to international standards. Principal Mariyana Gencheva emotionally acknowledged that the project gave her “the biggest professional satisfaction”.
The center offers the use of contemporary English language teaching tools and promotes American culture. The six classrooms of the center are entirely refurbished and equipped with modern furniture, laptops and multimedia projectors, and thematically decorated with posters related to the U.S. history, nature, arts, and culture. Over 1,000 students at the top-ranked school in the Plovdiv region, which is one of the top 10 in the country, have the opportunity to study English in a stimulating and motivating environment, benefit from the achievements of current technologies, prepare themselves for international exams, and realize their full potential.
The project was implemented by ABF in partnership with the school and several other private donors. It has demonstrated the opportunity to encourage and develop philanthropy in Bulgaria once an appealing goal has been defined and pursued.