In December, Fabretto finished a successful school year with the Primary Education. At the close of the school year (the Nicaraguan school year runs from February thorough late November) a total of 7,657 children were enrolled in the early and primary education programs, equivalent to 93% of our target population of 8,200. With additional funding in 2012, the total population should be reached during the first quarter of 2012, when the school year begins.
This project is being implemented in the seven community education centers, owned and operated by Fabretto in: Managua (2), Estelí, Somoto, Ocotal, Las Sabanas and San José de Cusmapa. In addition to the Fabretto centers, the project is also implemented in more than fifty public, primary schools in the same municipalities. Fabretto works in close coordination with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Education, to improve the quality of education at all of the public schools. Children receive a nutritious lunch every day, as well as participating in enrichment activities that include: academic support, computer classes, ESL, sports, arts and school gardens.
Although final statistics for the 2011 school year are still being processed, the initial results are overwhelmingly positive. The preliminary reports indicate that the retention rate in 2011 was approximately 91%, while 95% of the students in the education programs passed their classes and were promoted to the next grade.
In addition to the children that benefit directly from this project, there were also 255 teachers that received training, an essential aspect of the project. With years of experience in community education programs, Fabretto understands thoroughly the importance of teacher training. It is the most effective way to improve the quality of education, particularly in primary grades. The teachers in the Fabretto project participated in training sessions that provided them with new tools and methodologies for teaching reading comprehension skills, mathematics, and classroom management. Workshops were also held for parents, to promote greater involvement in their children's education, as well as improving parent-child communication. Fabretto believes that parental involvement is also critical to helping students achieve greater success in school.
In 2012, this project will continue to focus on the provision of these critical services to early and primary education students. Thanks to the generous support from donors, thousands of lives are being transformed every day.
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