We hear more and more about functional illiteracy (a notion that refers to people who can read but do not understand what they have read) and the statistics constantly give us alarming news. The PISA tests for reading, writing and mathematics, position Romania at the base of the European ranking. The percentage of functional illiteracy rose from 39% in 2015 to 44% in 2018 (OCED, 2019). The last two years, marked by a pandemic, have further influenced the literacy rate in vulnerable rural communities.

All this has led us to take action to prevent and overcome this problem among the most affected children. In 2021 we launched the pilot program “Aventură prin lectură” – Adventure through reading, in order to prevent and combat functional illiteracy among children in difficulty by ensuring access to literacy activities.

“The complexity of the problem has led us to intervene in an integrated manner. From the experience we have gained from the programs we already carry out, we have learned that it is not enough to work with children. To have real results, it is necessary to turn our attention to both teachers and parents. In this way, we educate and mobilize the whole community in order to obtain lasting results and an increased impact ”.Adriana Dobrea – Executive Director of United Way Romania.

Specifically, the activities to stimulate reading, carried out with children, are complemented by professional training in literacy and working with vulnerable groups, dedicated to teachers, but also by information meetings about the importance of reading in the family, addressed to parents.

Estimated results in the first year of the project

420 children from seven vulnerable rural communities along with 210 parents and 24 teachers participate in the Aventură prin lectură program. Specifically, United Way Romania will carry out individual and group activities to encourage reading, guidance and learning activities between colleagues, thematic excursions, training courses for teachers. In addition, the participating children will receive a hot meal during the activities, and in each center involved in the United Way project will arrange a fully equipped reading room.

Donate now online https://bit.ly/3s7iSju_Aventura_prin_lectura  or text VITOR and DONATE MONTHLY 4 Euro to 8864 or 2 Euro to 8844 and contribute to reducing functional illiteracy in Romania! Help a vulnerable child discover the adventure through reading!