Aula Magica (Magic Classroom) delivers pre-recorded interactive preschool programs to poor children in remote areas not served by the Guatemalan government, in their native languages. It trains and pays community facilitators to guide children in program activities, developing kids' cognitive, language and social skills and preparing them to attend and successfully complete primary school.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Early childhood learning is crucial to later educational attainment, but in many rural areas the Guatemalan government does not provide preschool. Children there enter primary school ill-prepared and run a high risk of early failure: while nearly 60% of Guatemalan kids fail to complete primary school, the rate for rural indigenous children, whose first language may not be Spanish, is even higher. At least 30% fail the first grade, when many drop out, severely limiting their future opportunities.
How will this project solve this problem?
This project helps overcome geographic isolation and lack of educational resources by delivering audio preschool programs in indigenous languages. Low-tech, low-cost and culturally sensitive, it trains and pays literate community members to lead children in fun, interactive group learning sessions and activities. Aula Magica plans to roll out the program in 50 communities in 2014 and eventually to provide programs in all 23 of Guatemala's indigenous languages.
Potential Long Term Impact
Providing audio preschool programs to underserved indigenous areas will help stem the tide of failure in primary school by preparing children to learn. Training community members to be program facilitators will create jobs and raise awareness of early childhood learning among parents in remote areas while increasing support for children's further education. Longer term, early learning can have a significant positive impact on children's future opportunities and livelihoods as adults.
Total Funding Received to Date: $1,285
Remaining Goal to be Funded: $9,215
Total Funding Goal: $10,500