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Little Iva has just one wish…to go to preschool!

by , 12th Dec 2019

Did you know that every other child in Serbia does not have access to preschool education? Every day they miss on the chance to play, learn and grow with their peers. But, together we can change that! Let’s give them their Christmas miracle! 

„Dear Santa, I have just one wish. I love to play with Mark the most. But Mark goes to preschool, and there is no place there for me too. I am not asking for a toy or candy this time. Just to go to preschool so I can play with him again. Love, Iva”

Unfortunately, a lot of children in Serbia wish for just that one place in preschool. As waiting lists keep on growing, so do children’s drawings of the „ magical fortress “ filled with amazing toys, books and their friends from the neighborhood. However, the majority of preschools in Serbia are in a very bad infrastructural condition. They haven’t been renovated and adapted to children’s needs since the 90s. Also, all the toys, books and didactic material is outdated and cannot be used for modern teaching methods. Furthermore, municipalities face various financial, administrative and law difficulties which disables them from opening new preschools and investing more in early childhood programs.

Because of that, there is simply not enough place in preschools for every child in Serbia. That’s why we launched our Season of Giving campaign once again – we want to open new preschools in Serbia and give every child an equal chance!

Our goal is to raise 100.000$ and provide 200 children access to preschool education for the first time. Our founders, Novak and Jelena Djokovic, are matching all donations! For every dollar you give, they give a dollar too.

By donating…

$50 you could put 1 child in preschool for a month;

$100, 2 children could go to preschool for a month;

$250 you would give 5 children the chance to go to preschool for a month;

$500 you could put 1 child in a preschool for a year! 

But what does this „one year of wonder“ means to a child?

Children enrolled in at least one year of preschool education are more likely to develop the critical skills they need to succeed in school and less likely to repeat grades or drop out. As adults, they contribute to peaceful societies and prosperous economies.

Every other child in Serbia does not have access to preschool education.

Every other child in Serbia does not have access to preschool education.

6 key benefits of preschool education

  1. Enthusiasm for life-long learning

Preschool education can improve children’s chances for success in later life. Investing in early interventions timed to take advantage of the crucial phases of brain development is necessary for all children. Good early education can impart skills that last a lifetime – patience, discipline, manners and perseverance. According to research, students who had learned much more in the early years were more likely to go to college than students with otherwise similar backgrounds. Students who learned more were also less likely to become single parents. As adults, they were more likely to be saving for retirement. Perhaps most striking, they were earning more.

  1. In preschool children improve their social and emotional skills

At that age, children slowly begin to understand what they are feeling, but they aren’t able to manage their emotions. They may giggle uncontrollably at awkward times, and their moods can change dramatically.

Preschools provide children with the right stimulating environment where they can develop their social and emotional skills. They slowly shift from “parallel play” to playing together with their peers. They are motivated to learn how to cooperate, solve problems and share. Teachers teach them how to deal with conflict while also managing their emotions and controlling their impulses.

The majority of preschools in Serbia are in a very bad infrastructural condition. They haven’t been renovated and adapted to children’s needs since the 90s.

The majority of preschools in Serbia are in a very bad infrastructural condition. They haven’t been renovated and adapted to children’s needs since the 90s.

  1. Preschools promote language and cognitive skills

Building a strong vocabulary in early childhood is a critical foundation for learningAt age 3, pre-schoolers typically know about 300 words. That expands to 1,500 words by age 4, and 2,500 words by age 5. In preschools, children have many opportunities where they can be introduced to new vocabulary: during play and snack time, by learning new songs, by listening to teachers read their favorite stories, etc. Teachers try to make feel children feel comfortable in conversation by provoking them with interesting questions, thus helping them stretch their language skills. 

  1. Preschool teachers nurture a child’s curiosity

While attachments to their parents are primary, young children can also benefit significantly from relationships with their preschool teachers. Teachers observe, ask questions and listen to children’s ideas. Then they create activities based on their interests which further boost their curiosity and imagination.

There are many children in Serbia who just like Iva, miss on these advantages of preschool education.

There are many children in Serbia who just like Iva, miss on these advantages of preschool education.

  1. Children develop their pre-math and literacy skills

Through various preschool activities, children get familiar with math concepts and literacy. For example, they sort materials in the maker space area into things they can build with and things they can decorate with – classifying! They explore shapes and textures while making art – comparing and understanding attributes! They clap out the beats to a song – counting!

Teachers also boost a child’s literacy skills. For example, they give children different kinds of paper and writing tools, like crayons, markers, and pencils. They also encourage them to spell words based on what they hear and what letters and sounds they know.

  1. Preschool education boosts a child’s motor skills

Preschools provide several opportunities daily for children to run, climb, and play active games. Activities are offered to help children develop fine motor skills, such as threading beads or cutting with scissors. Children are also challenged through a variety of activities to build their hand-eye coordination and balance.

There are many children in Serbia who just like Iva, miss on these advantages of preschool education. We want to change that! Joins us via this link fundraise.novakdjokovicfoundation.org to help us make their Christmas wishes come true!

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