We believe it’s time to get involved again in one of our dearest volunteering projects – Adopt a School (Adoptăm o Școală) – initiated and supported by our colleague Oana Ciherean who is directly involved in Adopt a School and is one of Dalia’s Book’s founders. What better way to give back as Autumn has already started turning leaves and it smells like cosy evenings in with a hot chocolate in hands.
Named the ‘Best Social Impact Startup in Romania’ by the ‘Central European Startup Awards’ in 2018, Dalia’s Book is a technology social startup that offers children equal opportunities to quality education by facilitating the adoption of digital tools in public schools in Romania. They’ve created two innovative digital education programs, one of which Adopt a School, implemented in over 40 schools at a national level, in both urban and rural areas, reaching over 2000 children.
The activities proposed by the Adopt a School project transform learning into a more attractive and motivating process, adapted to the individual needs of the children, including children with special needs and from socially disadvantaged environments.
In the process of selecting the school where the coding club will take place, Dalia’s Book is reaching out to schools where children are disadvantaged either because their parents can’t afford to pay for IT classes or because the school doesn’t put an emphasis on Science and Math education, leaving them with fewer options on getting a good job when they are adults.
To support the initiative this year, as well, and take it to the next level, Xoomworks Technology is donating 10 PCs to equip/expand a local school’s Information Technology Laboratory.
12 Xoomies from our Cluj-Napoca office have already volunteered to teach Scratch to 4th Grade students, once a week, 1h/day. Starting in November this year, the program will last until May 2019. They received their volunteer guides, some training on how to teach children, and are already familiarizing themselves with the Scratch textbook and creative computing guide so that non-techies among volunteers can do great, too. There will be an hour of code organised for students and volunteers to get to know each other, after which they’ll start learning.
“I’m very proud of this project and the people who choose to get involved. I think the most fascinating thing is to see that although the motivation of people to get involved is different, they all lead to one common purpose: the good of the society we live in.” Adelina Venter, Marketing Specialist, Dalia’s Book
There are many ways to get involved in this project, and some of our Xoomies from Cluj-Napoca were involved in supporting it last year, and the year before, training middle school kids in Scratch and helping them create fun games. It is great to see how we can combine technology with education and social responsibility.
Overall in the project, there will be about 5 schools involved from Cluj-Napoca this year, and Dalia’s Book is aiming to also run the project in Bucuresti, Brasov, Craiova, Timisoara, and Sibiu, cities throughout Romania where they ran it last year also with certain IT companies that have headquarters there.
The main reason for connecting companies with schools is to open opportunities for working together long term not only through our project but also with other initiatives that the volunteers might have. If anyone wants to get involved more Dalia’s Book encourages company visits or teaching also other subjects in addition to the club, and to more children, and they offer support for this aspect as well.
“I’m very excited to have Xoomworks Technology adopt a school again this year and organize coding clubs for kids! During the activities, they will not only learn coding concepts but also skills such as teamwork, creativity, critical thinking and how to give and receive feedback. All these help them perform better today at other subjects in school and prepares them for the jobs that they will have in the digital world of tomorrow.
Thanks, everyone for having an impact on the children’s lives and investing your time in bringing a modern education in our country!” Oana Ciherean, Software Engineer, Xoomworks Technology
We are happy that we have the chance to continue supporting this wonderful initiative, Adopt a School, that combines education with compassion, empathy, awareness and helping less fortunate kids. Looking forward to starting classes!