“ANDREI!” I call his name and I stare at him and smile. He knows how happy I am to see him.
Andrei: “Present!” We’ve been practicing for days and he knows what to say.
Then I call “FLORI!” And I look at Flori who is fixing her dress of excitement and joy.
Andrei helps her: “Flori, say ‘present’!” And Flori shouts, “Flori,” not knowing exactly what the other word means.
And one by one I call out one by one: “MĂDĂLINA! ELENA! DANI! MIRUNA! ANASTASIA! BOGDAN! IONUT! ROMINA! ….”
This is the first of three groups of children enrolled at the school outside. Each group consists of ten children. We know them by name and we notice when one is missing and immediately ask about them.
When a child is missing, the saddest answer is: “He’s in Brasov!” That actually means he’s begging in town and won’t be back until later in the evening. He’ll have to make some money before he can get home.
And I know he didn’t want to go, because the outside school is so much fun and we serve snacks. But, he had no choice…
With a sad heart that one is missing, we begin the activity. We wash our hands with soap. We throw the napkin in the trash after wiping our hands and then we sit down at the table. We wait for the lesson because we have so much to learn before school starts in the fall and we have to be ready.
At school outside we learn to come on time, sit in our chairs, pay attention, take turns talking, hold a pencil. We learn about colours and how to draw. We learn which is our right hand and which is our left hand, or ‘the other right’.
Outside School is a program for children who have never at on a chair at a table and never held a pencil in their hand. It is a support program designed to prepare children for school in the classroom.