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LET'S START TOGETHER

Programme "Let's start together" has enabled smooth transition of Roma children and children from low income families into the first grade of primary schools partnered in the project. The project goals were to promote inclusive and more just society which respects cultural diversity of Roma and creates equal opportunities for social inclusion and, additionally, to contribute to creating equal opportunities for Roma children and youth to attain quality education and social integration.

The Open Academy *Step by Step *organized training in education for social justice and cooperation with families, aimed at primary school teachers and other professionals involved in education of children in the county.

Programme “Incentive Parenting” was held for parents of preschool children. It consisted of 15 workshops through which parents were encouraged to improve their home learning environment. The workshops were carried out by pre-trained facilitators. The programme especially fosters pre-maths and pre-reading skills in children. During 15 workshops every child received various picture books and other materials for creative expression, play and learning.

As part of the project we have created three e-picture books, "Bursunsul and Paskualina", "Oranges for Everyone" [Naranče za sve] and "Dora and the Spectacles" [Dora i naočale] (owing to the copyrights granted by the Step by Step Association). E-picture books integrate the sound of the narrated text with visual cues highlighting the words being read in Croatian and Boyash Romanian language.

The implementation of the programme continued through the projects "Let’s start together 2" in Sisak (in cooperation with the City of Sisak) and "Let’s start together 2" in Slavonski Brod (in cooperation with the City of Slavonski Brod). With the support of local authorities, "Incentive Parenting" workshops for parents of preschool children continued to take place even after these projects have ended.

Duration: October 2014 – October 2015 ("Let’s start together"); January 2016 – December 2016 ("Let’s start together 2" in Sisak); January 2016 – December 2016 ("Let’s start together 2" in Slavonski Brod)

More on the impacts of the programme can be found in the UNICEF publication.

Video

As part of the 'Let's start together' program, teachers and professional associates held 25 workshops "Incentive Parenting", in which parents and children participated. Workshops empower parents, and other family members, to encourage their child's learning and development in early years through work and play, before starting school, as well as to develop trust in school. In the UNICEF video you can see and hear parents, teachers and children talking about the workshop ‘Incetive Parenting’.

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