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Romania: The Story of Irgiz and the Abandoned Children



Romania: The Story of Irgiz and the Abandoned Children
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.35

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Irgiv, communist, encouraging, housing, exploited, continuation, breastfeeding, economically, mistrust, dealing, motivation, self-esteem, brutal, oneself, curriculum, prenatal
     content words:    Black Sea, United States, European Union


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Romania: The Story of Irgiz and the Abandoned Children
By Jennifer Kenny
  

1     Irgiz lives and works in Romania. Romania is a country in southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea. If you wanted to compare its size to something in the United States, Romania is smaller than the state of Oregon. Romania was once nicknamed the breadbasket of Europe. Irgiz is old enough to remember the stories about the beautiful farmlands that grew plentiful crops. Then things changed. Most farmers were forced to give up their land and move to the cities under a powerful communist government. People became poor, and many became hungry.
 
2     The dictator at the time of all these changes was Ceausescu. He also wanted a large country. He told women to have large families with at least five children. Women obeyed him. Unfortunately, many of the pregnant women were malnourished and had no medical care. Some of these women died as a result. Some of the babies were born quite sick. Some families just couldn't afford to raise the children. Therefore, many of these children were abandoned. Romania went from being called the "breadbasket of Europe" to the "land of orphans."
 
3     Ceausescu was thrown out of office and executed in 1989, but the damage was done. Many children were left in government orphanages. Even as late as 2004, approximately 4,000 children were abandoned in maternity hospitals and, even more than that, about 5,000 were given up in other hospitals, according to UNICEF. This was in addition to the 80,000 who were already institutionalized or in substitute family situations.

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Find Romania on a map. Create a 3-D model or a poster of its geography.

2.  Read about Romania in an encyclopedia. List 10 facts about it.

3.  Romania has changed nicknames as its country's history has changed. Research nicknames for other countries and how they came to be.



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