Learn to succeed

The “Learn to Succeed” program prevents school dropouts in poor urban and rural communities, where children’s education is not the priority, but parents’ daily struggle to find resources necessary for survival.

“Learn to Succeed” has an integrated approach, where actions are focused on the child’s needs. Parents, teachers, volunteers and local non-governmental associations work together to solve the problem of school dropout, which is not one of the child, but of the whole community.

Thus, the children’s chances of breaking the barriers of poverty and having a positive impact in the community increase significantly. To date, more than 6,800 children have been enrolled in the program.

Dropping out of school and the lack of any form of education is a serious problem in Romania and, without an integrated intervention, it will continue to increase in many communities.

The Learn to Succeed program aims to improve children’s lives through access to education, and its main objectives are:

  • Increasing school attendance of children from vulnerable backgrounds;
  • Improving the school situation of the children in the program through tutoring and mentoring activities;
  • Improving the teaching and empathizing skills of teachers who work with children from disadvantaged backgrounds;
  • Increasing the number of teenagers who continue their education and prepare for entering the labor market;
  • Developing awareness of the importance of education at the level of parents.

Main activities

1. After-school program
Children receive personalized assistance and educational support in partner day centers and after-school social programs. They also get help with homework and making up for educational gaps, thus improving their school results.

2. Material support for children
Poverty is the main cause of school absenteeism. That is why it is imperative to ensure that school is free for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Within the project, children benefit from a hot meal or a healthy snack every day, as well as financial help by providing supplies, clothing, shoes, hygiene products and medicines;
For the period of the summer holidays, when, in general, children from disadvantaged backgrounds no longer come into contact with any form of education, risking losing the knowledge acquired during the school year, through the program they continue to participate in the activities in the centers or receive kit educational items including books, creative materials and educational games.

3. Teachers’ Academy
The courses help teachers to improve their methods of working with children from disadvantaged backgrounds;
The Academy’s activities are based on a curriculum developed by United Way program specialists. The topics are: communication and relationships in the school environment, the positive approach to difficult behaviors, the tripartite parent-child-school relationship, the management of the student class in inclusive schools, the role of the school in the community, the relationship with institutions and other representative actors in the community and techniques and methods to stimulate active learning.

4. Activities with volunteer tutors and mentors
Volunteers provide support to children with reading, writing, math and homework both during the school year and during the summer holidays.
The mentoring program is dedicated to teenagers in the project and wants to make United Way volunteers life models for the beneficiaries.

5. Parents’ Academy
Parents attend monthly Parenting Academy meetings where they improve their parenting skills. These meetings are facilitated by psychologists or social workers and aim to develop the relationship between children, parents and the school.