Renovations financed by Bolzano Province and Amici Nel Mondo!

10.10.2010

Extensive renovations successfully completed!

IMG_1919On September 1st the “Gradinita Rasarit Nr 2” Neohumanist kindergarten in Bucharest, reopened its doors after an extensive renovation project, financed by the “Cooperation in Development” program of the Autonomous Region of Bolzano Italy, Amici Nel Mondo, Lanesra Foundation and the generous contributions of several private sponsors. The kindergarten now has a new roof, thermopane windows and doors, insulation, a new sewage pipes, tiling in the kitchen, bathrooms, hallways, and office, a new office annex, a repaved courtyard, water and air filters, and replastered and painted walls in the classrooms.

Unexpected surprises caused unexpected expenses

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There were surprises along the way, such a mysterious animal tunnel that led to the discovery of gaping holes in the sewage pipes, and also the blackened wooden subroofing, that needed to be entirely replaced. Apparently the subroofing had been only minutes away from catching fire before the ceramic stove heating system was replaced with a gas furnace and radiators a few winters ago. The IMG_1440wood was already charred near to the chimneys, and all of the subroofing was blackened from smoke and rot. When the workers began to tear it off, it crumbled in their bare hands without the need for tools. These unexpected discoveries led to unexpected expenses that surpassed the original grant from the Bolzano region, but luckily Amici Nel Mondo, Lanesra Foundation and private sponsors stepped in and provided the funds needed to complete the entire project as it had been originally planned. The kindergarten has been completely transformed from a dilapidated and deteriorating building into a new, beautiful and welcoming atmosphere for small children.

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Enrollments have doubled in the newly renovated kg!

In the meantime, despite the deeping social, political and economic crisis in Romania, enrollments have more than doubled, compared to last year. Last year, the two Neohumanist kindergartens in Buchareststruggled to keep from closing, as they went into a heavy financial loss. They survived thanks only to the generous support of our sponsors. The kindergartens have tended to attract more modest, middle income parents, who were the first to feel the pressure of the economic crisis. Many lost their jobs or had their salaries reduced, and could no longer afford private child care. Last September, the kindergarten opened with only 5 children as several had withdrawn during the summer, and it reached a maximum of 10 children in the springtime – less than half its capacity.

By contrast, in October, we already have 18 children in attendance, with a total of 20 enrolled, and a maximum capacity of 25.

Socially disadvantaged children attending for free in smaller kg

Our smaller kindergarten, in a more economically depressed part of Bucharest continues to have low enrollments, however, it has also increased in comparison to last year. Last September the school opened with only 3 children enrolled and reached a maximum of 10 children in the springtime. This year, there are already 10 children enrolled paying fees. Due to the impact of the crisis, which has increased the number of children not attending kindergarten this year, the school will be accepting beneficiaries selected from some of the most vulnerable socio-economically disadvantaged families. Already one such child is attending, and we are expecting 2 more, as well as one child with special needs, for a total of 4 beneficaries. Please consider donating to sponsor the costs of these children to attend.

 

NHE Curriculum submitted for accreditation on the national level IMG_1920In the meantime, our dedicated team of Neohumanist teachers, met throughout the summer to draft a comprehensive Neohumanist Curriculum, defining its unique identity in contrast to other existing systems, and carefully articulating compenents such as a framework for curriculum planning, daily flow, designation of physical spaces, teacher training, parent involvement, developmentally appropriate benchmarks and more. The process itself helped to consolidate our collective understanding of Neohumanist education in a much more coherent and organized way. We have already received an intial review by a committee of experts in the Ministry of Education. The response was encouraging, and we must continue to elaborate and clarify certain sections. The process has begun and we hope to soon receive the permission to be able to officially apply the curriculum on an experimental basis in our kindergartens. The kindergartens were authorized using the traditional Romanian curriculum – which, though it has been greatly improved and is holistic in vision, in practice it still creates a suffocating amount of paperwork that made it difficult for our teachers to adjust with, without losing the uniqueness of our NHE style.

Thank you to our sponsors for your continuing support!!!