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Oct 18, 2016

Eyeglasses for Children in San Juan de Oriente


Niños con anteojos

Students from San Juan de Oriente Center wearing their new eyeglasses

This month, the power of partnerships was manifested in the lives of children with vision limitations from Fabretto’s newest Education Center in San Juan de Oriente. Thanks to a partnership between Coastal’s Change The View, and a local Nicaraguan company, Opticas Visión, children received their very first eyeglasses and even got to choose their own frames!

Fabretto and Coastal partnered to identify students who struggle to learn with blurred vision. Ultimately, 73 children received complimentary eye examinations thanks to Opticas Visión. Of those 73, 40 children under 16 years old had never had their vision screened and required eyeglasses. The excitement was evident in the faces of the children and parents. Most families in San Juan de Oriente live on less than $2 a day – a pair of eyeglasses is a luxury they cannot afford.

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Celia’s son receives a new pair of eyeglasses at Fabretto’s San Juan de Oriente Education Center.

”I was never able to bring my child to an eye doctor. I can’t express how happy I am for my son.” commented Celia López, mother of one of the 40 student beneficiaries.

One by one, the students received a new pair of eyeglasses, accompanied by their proud parents. This donation has changed the lives of these children for the better, improving their reading skills and overall performance at school.

Thank you, Coastal and Opticas Visión, for being true change-makers!

About Coastal 

Coastal is the largest online eyewear company in the world with a mission to make vision correction accessible worldwide. Founded in 2000, Coastal offers the most extensive selection of prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and sunglasses.

Change the View is Costal’s charitable initiative aimed at removing barriers to vision correction and health by donating prescription eyeglasses to restore vision, providing UV protective sunglasses to protect from sight deteriorating UV rays, distributing Vitamin A tablets to prevent the early onset of eye disease in children, sharing educational resources and facilitating optical training to aid with long-term and sustainable solution.

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Jul 27, 2016

The Ripple Effect of Teacher Training

Darling with her students.
Darling with her students.

In a country where only 28% of rural children who begin school reach the 6th grade (UNICEF), Fabretto’s Early & Primary Education Program boast a 92% retention rate. This program supports strong academic, social, and personal development, serving as a resource for the whole community during and after school. 

Through teacher training in leading Montessori and Open Learning methodologies, Fabretto is able to reach thousands of children, both directly and indirectly. When a teacher is trained by Fabretto, he or she is prepared to replicate knowledge with other teachers in their communities. This is the case of Darling, a skilled teacher who has trained other teachers in rural communities of Nicaragua. 

Darling was first drawn to the Fabretto Mama Margarita Center in Somoto as a 10th grader looking for an opportunity to be in the student choir. After graduation, Darling became the proud recipient of a university scholarship through Fabretto. 

Having started by volunteering at the Fabretto Center during her free time, she quickly excelled in the organization. As a scholarship student majoring in Education, she participated in Fabretto teacher-training workshops. In 2009, before her college career was complete, she was offered a teaching position.

Three years later, now a college graduate, Darling is responsible for overseeing educational programs and leading teacher training in 11 rural communities in Somoto. Trained in Montessori and Open Learning methodologies, she is passionate about improving student performance and retention through hands-on learning, also known as ‘Learning Through Play.’ 

In 2015, Fabretto received more than 3.5 million Lego pieces in 2015 thanks to the generosity of The Lego Foundation. Darling is one of the many teachers implementing play-based learning through the use of Legos in the classroom, and the children are loving it. The teachers she trains all agree: “This works because I have tried it and I have seen the results.” 

Montessori and Open Learning methodologies and materials are spreading throughout Somoto classrooms. It is evident that Darling and other Fabretto trainers have inspired more teachers than anyone could have imagined.

Today, Darling is implementing these programs at the regional level. We are confident she will reach even more at-risk children through the ripple effect of teacher training.

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Apr 29, 2016

We have a new library!

Inauguration Ceremony
Inauguration Ceremony

Thanks to your wonderful support and to the family and friends of Zach Ciperski (1980-2014), La Vida Education, Elite SEM, and The Campbell Foundation, the town of San Juan de Oriente can now enjoy access to a brand new library. The original library, founded by Aaron Pick, had grown to be so popular that it could no longer accommodate the overwhelming amount of children participating in reading clubs and other educational activities. The new space will make it possible for more children and youth to not only have a safe space to read and study but also to play sports, grow a school garden, and host community events.

Following the opening ceremony, the Ciperski family and Elite SEM presented the library staff with new books and sports equipment. The group then spent the following days working on the library's finishing touches and interacting with the children and other community members.

Today, the San Juan de Oriente library serves over 500 children and youth. Adelayda Lopez, director of the library, shared with us the excitement she and children feel now that they can enjoy the new space: "This space was specifically designed for children; even the bookshelves and sinks are child-sized! The children are more excited than ever to be a part of our programs. As director, I am confident that we will continue to grow and to benefit more children from the surrounding schools."

Thank you so much for making this new library a reality! We are counting on your support to continue to provide access to quality education programs to children and youth in Nicaragua.

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Before
Before
After
After
Volunteers and children during reading activity
Volunteers and children during reading activity
Thank you!
Thank you!

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