Fabretto Children's Foundation

Our mission is to empower underserved children and their families in Nicaragua to reach their full potential, improve their livelihoods, and take advantage of economic opportunity through education and nutrition.
Aug 27, 2014

Primary Education Report, September 2014

Primary students in Esteli
Primary students in Esteli

In Nicaragua, keeping children in school and on track is an enormous challenge. Children often drop out during the school year to work to support their families or fail to pass the grade level. Government data estimates that 47% of students in rural areas have repeated at least one grade level, and repetition is strongly correlated with poverty.

 

Our primary enrichment programs work to change that. Last year, almost all of our students stayed in school (94%) and passed to the next grade level (93%) - an enormous accomplishment in Nicaragua, and especially in vulnerable communities. From 2011-2013, with Fabretto programs, the percentage of children reading At or Above Grade Level more than doubled. By focusing on ensuring early grade literacy, we help children master the basics to reduce drop outs and grade repetition.

 

Children also need to be engaged and interested in school to develop a love of learning. Fabretto's after school enrichment programs introduce children to new activities that they do not experience in regular public school classes. Volunteers are a key part of this program, sharing their expertise in music, sports, technology, arts & crafts, and more.

 

This quarter, a volunteer named Camilo led a group of primary students in an introductory photography workshop in rural San Jose de Cusmapa. With support from Fabretto enrichment teachers Hilda and Milenia, Camilo taught his students about the basics of photography. Camilo reflected, "'In communities as isolated and poor as Cusmapa, a workshop like this is something totally unique and provides them with a great opportunity to explore their creative side, have access to technology, and get to be excited about learning from the photos they have taken so that they improve in every class.''

 

The kids had a blast! One student explained, "We were really excited about this workshop and to take advantage of the opportunity to learn how to take good pictures." With Camilo, the students learned how to use a digital camera, went into the field, and took photos of their environment, families, and friends - an incredible opportunity. You can follow the video series, "Desde Mi Lente," or Picture My World in English, on the Fabretto blog to learn more about this initiative and its results.

 

With the support of dedicated volunteers like Camilo, Fabretto's enrichment program will continue to motivate students to stay in school and discover the possibilities of education.

 

Primary students engaged in literacy activities
Primary students engaged in literacy activities
Camilo, Fabretto volunteer, leading a workshop
Camilo, Fabretto volunteer, leading a workshop
A student takes photos during enrichment class
A student takes photos during enrichment class

Links:

Jul 15, 2014

Rural Secondary Education (SAT) Update July 2014

SAT students learning at the San Isidro farm
SAT students learning at the San Isidro farm

In early 2014, Fabretto opened two new SAT centers in the communities of Sonis and Cacauli, outside of the town Somoto. Fabretto also welcomed 152 new students to the SAT program. In 2013, SAT students created seventeen small business initiatives, and students have added ten new businesses in 2014. A total of 78 youth and 7 parents are actively generating income through these productive initiatives, which include growing coffee and chia, selling used clothing, making fruit smoothies, beekeeping, and raising chickens.

One of the youth driving this progress is Gilberto, the newly elected president of the San Isidro de Bolas school cooperative. “When I came to Fabretto, I was only interested in playing soccer”, Gilberto admitted with a smile. He had heard about the San Isidro SAT program through his cousin, who also mentioned that soccer was popular in the schoolyard. “However, with the SAT program, I soon began to understand that life is not just a game,” he explained.

Today, Gilberto is in his final year of the SAT program. During his term as the cooperative's president, Gilberto's main ambition has been to motivate the cooperative’s members to start their own projects. Gilberto worked at an artisan workshop in the past, and he dreams of starting a hammock business. While preparing his business plan, Gilberto has inspired his peers to take action as well, and the cooperative is receiving more loan applications than ever.

Gilberto aspires to use income from his business to fund his university studies after graduating from SAT. He also wants to use his new position to improve the lives of others. “Being president helps me to become an entrepreneur myself. But apart from my personal needs, I can also help other people; help them to work hard and work hand in hand with them. I also want to support my family and serve my community by providing work for those who need it.”

SAT students during a field lesson in Cusmapa
SAT students during a field lesson in Cusmapa
A SAT student working on agricultural project
A SAT student working on agricultural project

Links:

Jun 4, 2014

Primary Education Report, June 2014

Student Reading during Library Time
Student Reading during Library Time

In 2014, Fabretto's Primary Education Enrichment program has continued to bring quality education and nutrition to children in vulnerable communities. A key component of this program is improving teacher preparation. In Nicaragua, one quarter of public school teachers are not formally trained. In rural and historically underserved communities, where children are often struggling or behind, this percentage is even higher.

Fabretto responds to this need with comprehensive teacher training that develops effective educators who create a positive classroom environment. Most teachers in Nicaragua rely on traditional blackboard lessons where the teacher talks and students copy into their notebooks. In contrast, Fabretto training sessions helps teachers use updated teaching methods and facilitate activities that encourage student participation. Teacher training can have an enormous impact on student performance and attendance; we have seen that good teachers keep children in school and help them truly learn, which is especially crucial in the communities where we work.

This year, Fabretto has selected primary school teachers who show leadership potential to attend training sessions that cover teaching reading and mathematics, fostering creative and critical thinking skills, and promoting positive values (respect, responsibility, etc.). To multiply the impact, Fabretto has designed training sessions to prepare participants to replicate the training sessions at their schools for their fellow teachers as “teacher-trainers” (see infographic). Fabretto staff also follows up with regular classroom visits to support teachers as they implement the new methodology.

Teachers and students alike are benefiting from excellent teacher preparation. Sindy, a first grade teacher in Somoto, has worked with Fabretto's primary enrichment program for four years. The day we visited her classroom, her students were working independently on an interactive literacy lesson, creating words by matching slips of paper with syllables. Jean Luis, age six, told us proudly that he was able to write "hard words" now. For Sindy, Fabretto's training helped her design creative lessons to teach the basics of reading, the most fundamental academic skill. She explained, "The children are motivated... I've visited their homes to motivate their parents too." With improved teaching techniques, Sindy and her fellow Fabretto teachers are awakening children's interest in learning and building a strong foundation for their futures.

Teacher Training Infographic
Teacher Training Infographic
Sindy, Somoto teacher, with her students
Sindy, Somoto teacher, with her students
Student working on interactive literacy project
Student working on interactive literacy project
Quality teachers inspire students to learn
Quality teachers inspire students to learn

Links:

 
   

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