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Next Page

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Our Stories Project

Friday 12 September 2008

About this initiative

Following Next Page’s strategic commitment to promotion of reading and encouraging the process of Roma youth inclusion through creative reading and writing-related practices in Roma communities, Next Page developed the Our Stories project that brings Roma children and the written world together. The overall goal of the project is to explore diverse approaches in children literature creation and promotion. It promotes the development of sustainable reading habits of young Roma and their active involvement in literacy at all levels by providing access to age- and culture-appropriate materials. Our Stories incorporates developing a flexible model of mentoring schemes on story/plot development for Roma authors. Involvement of Roma children, teenagers, elder representatives of communities, and teachers contribute to the creative atmosphere of implementation.

Our Stories project is developed and managed by Next Page in collaboration with the International Reading Association (IRA), International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) and Critical Thinking International. The project is being implemented in 4 countries involving over 12 partners and 40 individuals – authors, illustrators, organizers, reading promotion experts, children books creative advisers, etc.


-  Researching of experts, book professionals and organizations that work in the field of children and multicultural books production and promotion;

-  Summarizing examples and good practices related to quality multicultural children literature that can contribute to the project goal, as well as Roma related literature suitable as topics and pieces;

-  Organizing of workshops on how to produce culturally sensitive books for Romani children;

-  Implementing of mentoring scheme linking four groups of Romani authors and illustrators with other professionals from the field of multi-cultural books;

-  Organizing of workshops and reading performances with children in Romani neighborhoods in Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia;

-  Publishing of 4 illustrated children books for extra-curricula reading;

-  Promoting and distributing of the Our Stories books and practices;

Interim results

-  Professional links and alliances contributing to the creation of multi-cultural literature for Romani youth;

-  2-day international workshop on writing for Roma children from a group of 20 Romani writers and teachers from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Romania and Serbia;

-  3 national workshops for writers and children devoted to developing plots of book stories;

-  Over 20 plots for stories drafted and discussed, 4 of them will be illustrated, published, and distributed;

-  A replicate model for a new approach to the issues of writing/reading for Roma youth that can be merged with government educational programs;

-  A pool of Roma writers with skills and knowledge on culturally-relevant writing for Roma teenagers;

-  A network of Roma cultural NGOs and international organizations in the field of promoting writing and reading for young people.