Asociaţia Ovidiu Rom and the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth, and Sport (MECTS) are organizing contest among Romanian mayors to get every poor child in their communities in kindergarten this school year. The contest came as an idea from American actor Ethan Hawke. The Alex Fund, an American NGO started by the actor’s mother Leslie Hawke, has allocated USD 100,000 to help communities get all their children living below the poverty line into kindergarten this fall. Five communities will each receive a grant of approximately USD 20,000 (EUR 15,000) to be used to enroll and keep all eligible children in kindergarten for the 2010-2011 school year.
To qualify, communities must fulfill all the following criteria:
-Having a school mediator in the community
-Having at least 50 children who don’t attend kindergarten
-The local community’s capacity to implement the Ovidiu Rom methodology
-The community’s determination to bring every child in kindergarten
Each selected community receives up to EUR 150 for every kindergarten student whose family lives below the poverty level. In addition to providing food coupons to families whose children have perfect attendance, these funds cover teacher training and educational resources.
Applications will be accepted until 15 August 2010 and results will be announced on 31 August. More information about the application requirements and process can be found here.
Ethan Hawke, the two-time Academy Award nominee, is a board member of The Alex Fund and a long-standing supporter of the NGO that his mother and Maria Gheorghiu founded in Romania, Asociatia Ovidiu Rom.
Asociatia Ovidiu Rom helps schools and communities to successfully integrate children from impoverished families into the educational system. 'Fiecare Copil in Scoala' (“Every child in school”) is a national initiative to get every child in Romania into the education system at an early age. “Scoala te face mare” is a public awareness campaign initiated in 2009. Founded in 2001, The Alex Fund raises funds and awareness in the U.S. in support of educational opportunity for Romania’s poorest citizens .