The time children in Germany spend in nursery care and primary school lays the foundations for their lives. According to a study carried out by the University of Aalen, physical exercise – or, more specifically, the sense of balance – and mental performance, are key factors. The study examined the hearing, eyesight and sense of balance of more than 3,000 children at ten primary schools.
One of the scientists working on the study summarised this impressive achievement: “Tell me how long you can stand on one leg and I can tell you what grades you get in maths.” But playing and romping around in playgrounds and sports fields obviously has other benefits for a child’s development. Children seldom hurt themselves seriously if they fall in the playground, but in doing so their reflexes are being trained for real accidents and falls.
Variety is an important factor for children to enjoy this 'training for life' as well as what the facilities are like, e.g. attractive playgrounds and sports fields. Creating safe and motivating places for games and sports is a question of financial resources, and these are distributed very unevenly throughout Germany. The city state of Hamburg, for example, spends EUR 8,700 per primary school child, but in North Rhine-Westphalia EUR 4,800 has to suffice.
To counter this imbalance, schools depend on help from volunteers. Savings Bank employees carry out volunteer work for children and young people in nurseries and schools – but also on completely different social projects. The Savings Banks support their employees in many ways.