Nicolae - Making the Grade
Keeping children in school is one of the most important and life-enhancing services of Fundatia Inocenti / RCR. A high dropout rate is endemic in Romania. In Bucharest alone, in the year 2010, nearly 20 percent of schoolchildren left formal education before the fourth grade.
Nicolae, now 11, is a glowing example of the good that comes from staying in school. Abandoned by his parents at birth, he spent his first year in a Bucharest hospital. Our in-hospital Child Life program nurtured his development during the period of infancy so crucial to a child’s future prospects.
Subsequently, we were able to entrust his care to his great grandmother, Nica. Now 75, she and Nicolae manage on her modest monthly pension of $200.
Although in his early grades, school was a challenge for Nicolae, he was supported and tutored in our School Failure Prevention Program for the duration. This program runs from noon to 4 p.m. every day during the school week, focusing on homework and social skills. The program is staffed by certified teachers, trained staff and volunteers, and supported by a social worker and a psychologist.
In 2014, after four years with the program, Nicolae came home with a report card showing marks of “Very Good” in most subjects. “Very Good” is the highest grade given out in the Romanian educational system. Prior to this year, his best scores had been “Good.”
Entering fifth grade, typically a very challenging level for most children, Nicolae will continue to receive tutoring and mentoring in our afternoon program. Along with great grandma, Nica, we are proud of what he has achieved and confident he will continue to make great strides in his path to success in school and in life.