More than 50 children at School 136 in Ferentari, Bucharest, took part in another “Read with me” event, organized by Policy Center for Roma and Minorities. This event is part of a campaign in which public figures are invited to read books and stories to students. Today, Mrs. Andreea Marin Banică read from one of her favorite childhood books (“Zâmbește” by Helen Exley), stressing the importance of having a positive attitude and enjoying what you do. Mr. Laszlo Andor, the European Comissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion talked in return about the crucial role of education and how it can positively influence the children’s future development.
Mr. Andor also explained that it is important to enjoy school because it encourages children to use their imagination especially when it comes to reading. Moreover, the European Comissioner, stated that school should engage parents in a joint effort to improve the educational process.
The event took place in different classrooms, while storytellers including Mrs. Oana Badea (State Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports), read from a famous Dutch children story. The opening declarations were held in the classroom which hosts the Alternative Education Club at School 136, a Policy Center for Roma and Minorities initiative aiming to create a safe, creative and challenging space for the children in the Ferentari neighborhood and to provide continuous counseling and mentoring for a core group of children involved in this project. The Club will encourage children to participate in activities like photo and art classes, games and sports and share with them the benefits of education.
We also had as guests: Mr. Csaba Asztalos (National Council Against Discrimination), Mr. Nicolae Idu (EU Ambassador to Romania), Mrs. Oana Mizil (Member of the Romanian Parliament) and representatives from the EU Comission, the Royal Netherlands Embassy, the District 5 Mayoralty, local NGOs and the school.
The EU Comissioner’s visit is also tied with another project of our organization, REACT, which is a pilot awareness raising campaign supported by the European Commission focused on the active citizenship of Roma and non-Roma developed by three NGOs in Romania, Bulgaria and Albania under the umbrella of the European Roma Grassroots Organisation Network (ERGO).