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Solidarity basket for UBinding

Solidarity basket for UBinding

Aid to UBinding is dedicated to children with learning problems that can even lead to school dropouts and social exclusion.

This year, the money raised through the Solidarity Basket of the UB will be used to prevent school failure and school dropouts through the Petit UBinding program. Its function is to detect reading difficulties in children at an early age and to carry out an initial intervention. The raised funds will allow us to offer children with socioeconomic difficulties the intensive attention they need in their educational process so that they do not fall behind or miss out on any future opportunities.

"With the Petit UBinding program, more than 30,000 children have been evaluated and monitored over the past nine years."

Several international studies have reported that more than 70% of learning difficulties are related to reading. If detected at an early age, these difficulties are a very effective predictor of school failure in secondary school, and even of school dropouts and everything it can involve. The Petit UBinding program is present in more than seventy schools with the aim of detecting the difficulties of children in the first year of primary school and carrying out an initial intervention on these difficulties. Unfortunately, there are many children who present these difficulties and require intensive attention through the UBinding methodology, but their families cannot afford it due to their socio-economic situation.

The fundraising from the UB Solidarity Basket would help and make it possible for these children in need to overcome their learning difficulties without having to assume any costs. In this way, they could improve their future opportunities and reduce the risk of dropping out of school.

The beneficiaries of this aid would be selected among the public schools that have been part of the Petit Ubinding program during these last years, under accreditable social and economic criteria and in coordination with the board of the involved schools. Therefore, a much higher degree of the use of resources is achieved, since, apart from the clinical and formal information of the methodology itself, the school’s work will also be available.

To participate in the Solidarity Basket, and thus contribute to Petit UBinding, you can buy as many participation tickets as you wish, for two euros each. Four baskets, named Galet, Tió, Neula and Pessebre, will be raffled. Each of them is full of gifts: from tickets to cultural activities to book sets, gastronomic products or merchandinsing products of the University of Barcelona.

Research and healthcare

We spoke with Jordi Gonzalo, general director of the Finestres Foundation, about the support given by his organization to the UBinding program: “The project was born in the former Department of Basic Psychology of the Faculty of Psychology of the UB, which is now the Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology. In 2014, the Faculty of Psychology and the UB decided to delegate part of the project management to the Finestres Foundation, with more experience in management of services and care units, health centers and patient management and, since September 2016, we have been managing it completely. The activity of UBinding connects perfectly with the mission, vision and values of the entity, given that in UBinding, there is applied research and teaching apart from care. An example of this is that this year fourteen undergraduate students from the Faculty of Psychology are doing their internships in the UBinding project. UBinding also offers the UB expert degree in dyslexia and reading difficulties. The internships for this degree are also carried out in the project”.

The Josep Finestres Foundation manages the UB Psychological Clinic, a center of the UB where UBinding carries out its assistance activities. The children who undergo intensive intervention receive follow-up visits at the Psychological Clinic.

“Through the Petit UBinding in-school intervention program, aimed at detection and prevention, more than 30,000 children have been evaluated and monitored in the last nine years. As for the intensive, individual intervention of UBinding, more than 4,000 children have benefited from it in the same period”, explains Gonzalo. “The follow-up is very important, which is why UBinding offers free follow-up visits to all children who request them”.

One of the questions we asked him was about the possibility of introducing the benefits of this program into the formal education system. “The Petit UBinding program is designed to be applied in schools and could be incorporated in its entirety in the first year of primary school in all Catalan schools”, he notes. As the expert says, difficulties in reading performance in primary school have proven to be an effective predictor of failure and dropout in secondary school. For the teacher, it is really difficult to adapt to the twenty-five different reading levels of the twenty-five children in a classroom, which makes it difficult to for him or her to accompany them during their process. For Gonzalo, UBinding enables to individualize and personalize the involvement, and it is an ideal complement for the teacher: “The initial and final evaluations, and the adapted work during the course, would enable us to work on reading acquisition in a systematic way that has been scientifically proven to be effective, while it would also allow us to detect children with more severe difficulties and tell their families.

Two adults and a girl look at a computer screen.
Most of the children who use the UBinding methodology change their perception of reading.

The joy of readig

Considering that reading rates in Catalonia are still below the European average, this program’s potential contribution seems clear. “Different studies have shown that around 30% of the population in countries similar to ours could present some kind of reading difficulty. Most of this population is not aware of this difficulty. Most of the children who use the UBinding methodology change their perception of reading, and what used to be effortful and boring becomes a mechanical process that allows them to enjoy the stories and get into the books. If children start to like reading from an early age, perhaps the low reading rates could be reversed”, says Gonzalo.

Finally, the expert wishes to emphasize the social and charitable nature of the program’s funding: “The UBinding methodology earns income from the care activity itself. It is the families and schools who, through their contributions, allow UBinding’s multidisciplinary team to continue doing research and developing its app and offering unique assistance. The fact that the fundraise from the charity basket go to UBinding means, on the one hand, giving some children the chance to overcome their difficulties and opening a window to a different future from what might be expected, given their current academic and socioeconomic situation”. He also wants to take up the cudgels to put an end to the prejudices that unfortunately still present: “This program gives us the possibility to give visibility to the difficulties of learning to read. These difficulties are often hidden under labels such as lazy, unmotivated or distracted. These labels can mark people’s future, which is why it is necessary for the population to be aware of their existence, and the detection and intervention proposed by UBinding is so important”.

A girl and a woman look at a computer screen.
Facade of the UB Psychological Clinic.