The Alex Fund supports Fiecare Copil in Gradinita (‘Every Child in Preschool’), Romanian NGO OvidiuRo’s program currently operating in 20 impoverished communities. Fiecare Copil in Gradinita is helping 1400 poor children attend preschool and kindergarten so they will be able to enter primary school with the same skills as other better-off children start school with. OvidiuRo’s methodology encompasses close collaboration with local leaders, teacher training and educational resources, parent involvement and incentives, and educational enrichment such as summer programs.
OvidiuRo helps local communities develop high quality education programs that target children at risk for dropping out.
Summer “School Preparation” Program (Sotron)
OvidiuRo’s Sotron program (“hopscotch”) prepares disadvantaged children who have had no preschool experience, for success in first grade. Children are introduced to the school environment by attending several hours a day for two weeks. Teachers trained by OvidiuRo use a curriculum and a workbook designed by our directors and approved by the Ministry of Education it covers basics that children should know upon entering the first grade (numbers to 10, colors of the rainbow, letters of their name, shapes, animals, and plants).
Weekly School for Moms & Toddlers (Sotron Zero)
Many poor parents who might not be willing or able to send their 2 to 5 year olds to preschool on a daily basis can be persuaded to bring them one morning a week.
Sotron Zero is a kindergarten class held once a week throughout the year for 2 to 5 year old children without previous preschool exposure. Local “school mediators” gather the children from the community for every class, ensuring high attendance. In this non-threatening, low-key setting, children and their parents (usually moms) gradually adjust to the school environment.
After-School Activities (Caleidoscop)
Homework help sessions: Having a place in which to study and the opportunity for additional tutoring is especially important for children who may not be able to find a quiet corner in a chaotic and overcrowded home environment. OvidiuRo helps local schools set up such programs.