Over 3,500 children benefit from the Summer Workshops organized by OvidiuRO throughout the country
This summer, with support from the Fildas-Catena Group, approximately 1,000 preschool and school teachers voluntarily organize over 350 Sotron Summer Workshops, in 40 counties. More than 3,500 children participated, in the months of July and August, in the Sotron Summer Workshops – an educational module organized annually by OvidiuRO, starting in 2001, to offer children from disadvantaged communities learning experiences through play and exploration.
This year, the focus is on remedial learning, especially for children starting preschool. More than 4,500 illustrated books were distributed throughout the country, as well as teaching materials such as geometry kits, rulers, graphic sets, games about eco-habits, activity sheets, and hygiene kits.
All actions within the Şotron Summer Workshops are organized by volunteer teachers, and training courses and educational materials are provided by OvidiuRO. The Şotron Summer Workshops involve mixed teams of preschool teachers, primary school teachers or librarians, mediators, speech therapists, counsellors, and even students, who have worked with groups of up to 10 children. This year, the project was supported by Fildas – Catena Group.
The educational materials provided by OvidiuRO – from illustrated books to interactive games and worksheets – remain in kindergartens to be used throughout the new school year. Additionally, teachers have participated in training sessions both online and in regional meetings – a total of 15 sessions conducted by OvidiuRO trainers and teacher trainers at the beginning of the summer, nationwide.
The Şotron Summer Workshops span 12 days, with a minimum of three hours per day. On the first day, there is an opening event where children and parents meet the team and learn about the workshop’s program. This is followed by ten consecutive days of thematic activities where children learn about living beings, nature, and how to take care of themselves. Finally, the Şotron Gala, a closing ceremony, takes place, once again with the participation of parents. OvidiuRO workshops primarily target children from vulnerable groups who will start kindergarten in September 2022, as well as students who have not yet learned to read.
The workshops offer numerous outdoor activities, exploratory play, reading, science, music, movement, and elements borrowed from the Montessori pedagogy – all in an integrated approach that helps children find interesting answers to the question, ‘Who am I?’ The objective of the workshops is to encourage cooperation, structure children’s knowledge, and also develop their curiosity and motivation for learning.
“This year, the Ministry of Education approved the Methodology for the Organization of the National Program for Preschoolers and Students ‘Summer Workshops’ (O.M. 678/July 7, 2022), which encouraged more educational institutions to organize activities. Such a legal framework has provided many more opportunities for children to participate in educational, recreational, and leisure activities. Moreover, the 2021-2022 school year was also during the pandemic, with a large portion of classes being held online, which meant significant setbacks for many children from vulnerable groups. With the help of teams of volunteer teachers, we are trying to make up for this regression and prepare children for the next school year,” said Maria Gheorghiu, co-founder of the OvidiuRO Association.
In this year's edition of the Şotron Summer Workshops, the most active counties are Maramureș, with over 80 involved teachers and approximately 300 children, followed by Olt and Iași.
The Şotron Workshops continue throughout the month of August, and in the second half of the month, we invite all teachers, collaborators, or beneficiaries of these programs to celebrate Romanian Language Day together on August 31st by reading books by important Romanian authors with children in reading workshops. A list of readings for preschoolers can be found in the online catalog ‘100 de povești!’