Because of the speech and language delays suffered by many handicapped children and children raised in institutions, RCR/Inocenti started the Inocenti Early Literacy Program for children in our hospital and Foster Care support programs nearly ten years ago. To date, more than 2,000 children have received regular home visits, after school tutoring and/or after school classes to help them stay in school. In addition, the Inocenti Early Literacy Programs have trained more than 500 volunteers and foster parents to work one on one with children usual a special curriculum featuring nearly 50 books with special talking points and activities for each book.
To reduce the language and reading delays suffered by institutionalized, disabled and at-risk children.
Glina – Ilfov County
Bistrita, Beclean, Reteag and Nasaud
The program uses a professionally created curriculum of books and activities to encourage parent-child communication and attachment. Specially trained and supervised volunteers work one-on-one and in small groups with children in all of Inocenti program settings, thus providing an important community connection and advocacy for children in need. Early Literacy is promoted across all of the Inocenti Programs; therefore children in our hospital programs, foster and biological families, after school programs, and the placement center are all supported by early literacy activities with the following specific objectives:
• Promotion of early literacy activities, starting in the first months of life.
• Encouragement of reading as a positive interaction between a parent and child, thus developing parent/child attachment.
• Improved verbal communication and stimulating the interest for writing and reading activities
• Development of reading and writing skills and a secure type of attachment of institutionalized, post-institutionalized, and community children. Early literacy skills are developed through story sessions, phonic games, letter recognition, creative activities, literacy games and memory games.
• Endorsement of reading as a part of a child’s daily routine – to foster parents, biological parents, and other people that take care of children.
• Involvement of the community in the improvement of the children’s education level right from the earliest ages.
• Provision of books, games and writing / creative resources.
• Promotion of books as an enjoyable and essential part of education, providing institutionalized children with recreational and educational activities.