Jan 22, 2019

When Parents are Engaged, Children Prosper

Teachers from many kindergartens gather together
Teachers from many kindergartens gather together

We called it the “Kindergarten project.” In early 2018, as a new school year was beginning in Honduras, a parent approached to say that their child’s kindergarten teacher was interested in being part of our computer-assisted learning initiative. At the time, our education programs focused on grades 1-9. Nonetheless, we decided to meet with the teachers.  At the end of the meeting, our team offered to help fund, along with their parent association, half a television set to project English learning programs to an entire classroom of children. Our vision was for the kindergarten to pay us back and offer half-funding to another school in the future.

In September, we visited and checked-in on the project and were amazed at how the kids interacted with the program through the television screen --  singing songs in both English and Spanish and learning to pronounce the sound of the English letters (see video).

In exchange for the assistance they received from Shoulder to Shoulder, we asked them to host a meeting with kindergarten teachers from other local towns to share their advances in the project. In mid-November when the meeting took place, teachers from 5 different kindergartens – representing 4 towns were present. The meeting was a success, and a number of teachers expressed interest in joining next school year!

We as an organization are very thankful and impressed with the success of our Kindergarten project and seeing the enthusiasm and gratefulness amongst the parents and the teachers causes us to also be excited to expand next year. 

We saw that empowering community members was fruitful for both parties. 

We’ve seen that finding community motivation, support and initiative is like hitting the jackpot.

Watch video: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-dlFUJ7CS3TOxPU_EEEZtg7coMrvrg4Z/view

Dec 30, 2018

Climbing Mountains to Feed Children

Enermila and her 3 children
Enermila and her 3 children

Recent report from our Nutrition Team: 

"Enermila has four children, three of which are receiving the nutritional supplement Chispuditos. She lives in a very small village and she is very poor. Her husband is very strict with her. He won't let her have visitors in the house. He won't allow her to go anywhere. He is, as we say here, very machista.

Enermila has to walk over an hour with her four children to have them weighed, measured, and receive the nutritional supplement. She has to figure out a way to do it that won't cause her husband to get angry and not allow her to go. We had to figure out a way to get to see her in her home. We managed to find out when her husband was not there and visited her. She was so pleased to see us and offered us hospitality in her humble home. She was very grateful for the program and told us that her three children in the program are having less health issues since getting the supplement. She has a great deal of difficultly buying milk for her children so the Chispuditos is a godsend. Her husband will not give her much money as he has other families to take care of."

Every 3 months, the Shoulder to Shoulder staff go out into 15 different communities to ensure that vulnerable babies and small children receive the micronutrient supplement called Chispuditos.  Children who are lacking in necessary micronutrients suffer from poor brain development, anemia, stunting and under-nutrition.  The children live in mountainous areas and it is extremely difficutl to get to those areas. 

Want to get a feel for what it means to "Climb Mountains to Feed Children"?  Watch this great video, produced for Shoulder to Shoulder by Mallory Brown.


This project would not be possible if not for the generosity of two important donors: 

Mathile Institute -- provided us with a $50,000 grant; and

Tim and Kathleen Gunderman -- provided us with $22,000.  

Not everyone can provide gifts as large as those.  But, we are equally grateful to the 135 Individual Donors who made contributions to this project in 2018.


Won't you consider making an End of the Year Contribution to this project?! 


Oct 29, 2018

Teachers from 23 Schools Gather for Technology Training

80 Teachers, from 23 schools, attend Training
80 Teachers, from 23 schools, attend Training

On August 30th, we held a training session on Educational Technology.  In attendance were 80 teachers, from 23 schools, in 7 towns.  Nine (9) of the schools were new to using the KA Lite technology.  We trained on the transition from KA Lite to Kolibri. Eight (8) schools were sent off with new equipment to start teaching in "presentation mode."   


For myself, it was a special meeting to have all of the teachers we have been working with over the last year and a half together in one room.  I believe we work with the absolute best from each school.  These teachers inspire us at Shoulder to Shoulder, and without their dedication to the kids' education, this project would not be successful.  


In September, we were lucky to have Dr. Dick Buten and Laura Manship come to Camasca for a week and a half. These two are treasured not only by us, but everyone in the Frontera. All year we hear “When is Dick coming?” “When is Laura coming?” We had another successful and productive week by their sides – visiting schools, talking with teachers and leaders, planning for the future, and deploying some extra equipment. Highlights from the trip include: 



** Talking with leaders in Concepcion and San Antonio about community proposals to expand the educational projects to their WHOLE municipalities;


** Working with the Regional Education Department to get all of the Honduran curriculum in digital form, and


** Encouraging the expansion of the robotics programs. In November, we are going to have a robotics competition between Concepcion, Camasca and Santa Lucia!

StS Volunteers -- Sandy (left); Grace (right)
StS Volunteers -- Sandy (left); Grace (right)


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