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Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children

by Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Creating Educational Opportunity for Maya Children
Women gathered for the "charla"
Women gathered for the "charla"

At Pueblo a Pueblo we know that providing primary education scholarships to children is not enough to ensure their academic success. The goal of our Primary Education Scholarships (PES) Program is to provide children with the support they need to succeed in the classroom. In order to reach this goal, it is necessary to think beyond notebooks and pencils and also consider the effect that home dynamics have on students. Recently, our PES team hosted a “charla”, or chat, and invited the parents of the beneficiary children to attend and learn and talk about responsible parenting.

“The chat focused on talking about the potential outcomes of a child who is raised under an unhealthily stern and strict household, a parenting style that is very common in these communities” Johanny Quieju, the Primary Education Scholarship Program Manager, said.

The program team monitors the kids’ attendance, grades, and overall performance during the school year to make sure we address any potential risks to them not succeeding.The need for an event like this arose after noticing a common theme among the PES students who began showing signs of disinterest in school. “When we talk to the kids who are missing school alot, getting low grades, missing tutoring sessions or have a negative attitude towards school, the issue points back towards unhealthy family dynamics” Johanny added.

About 27 women gathered on the basketball court of Panabaj Primary School to attend the discussion about foster ing supportive relationships and encouragement for their students to reach their full academic potential. The chat consisted of open discussion and tips on how to make strides towards raising confident and successful children. One mother even said that she appreciated the event because she wanted to provide the best kind of parenting she could to her son, even though her parenting style is much more affectionate than the one she received. Your GlobalGiving donations make it possible for local children to succeed in school and receive the holistic support they need to fulfill their academic potential. Thank You!

The "charla" focused on responsible parenting
The "charla" focused on responsible parenting
Participants in the "charla"
Participants in the "charla"
Discussing the importance of responsible parenting
Discussing the importance of responsible parenting
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Chukmuk students at tutoria
Chukmuk students at tutoria

After classes end for the day at Chukmuk Primary School, a small group of students circle back to the library for an afternoon filled with games, stories, and puzzles. “Today is tutoría day!” (tutoring day) exclaims Maria, a fourth grade student.

Last month, our Primary Education Scholarships Project officially launched tutoring sessions for the 2017 school year. Although the scholarships project began in 2006, our team added the tutoring component in 2016.

In communities throughout rural Guatemala, children face many barriers to a good education. There are limited school resources, overcrowded classrooms, and under trained teachers. With difficult economic conditions and underfunded schools, struggling students are often left behind. The result is persistent illiteracy, high grade repetition, and low levels of schooling (ENCOVI).

“Through our monitoring and evaluation results, and our meetings with teachers, we realized that some of our sponsored students needed a little more support in class,” explained Johanny Quieju, the project manager. “That’s when we began to develop one-on-one tutoring services.”

“When students fall behind in class, schools here don’t have the resources to support these children. Students then stop attending school, or even drop out,” Johanny adds. Students in our Primary Education Scholarships Project get individualized attention from Isabela Chichom, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Project Tutor.

Currently, Pueblo a Pueblo offers tutoring services in three subjects--Spanish, math, and science, for students between fourth and fifth grades. This year, 11 sponsored students are enrolled in the tutoring sessions at Chukmuk and Panabaj Primary Schools.

“I feel like I’m doing well in tutoría,” says Franco, fourth grader at Chukmuk Primary School. “Whenever I don’t understand something, I can ask Ms. Isabela for help. I feel more confident in class now.”

For Isabela Chichom, she’s encouraged by the development of Pueblo a Pueblo’s tutoring sessions. “We’re excited to see tutoría grow over the next few years, so that more students can get the support they need to succeed.”

Franco, a 4th grade student, reading a story
Franco, a 4th grade student, reading a story
Isabela, tutor, reading a book to the students
Isabela, tutor, reading a book to the students
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Sponsored students with their new backpacks
Sponsored students with their new backpacks

After a two-month long break, students in Guatemala returned to school at the end of January. This time of year is usually filled with much excitement, with new notebooks, pencils, and anticipation of what the new school year will bring. However, for many children in rural Guatemalan communities, the cost of buying the materials required for the coming school year presents a significant roadblock to attending classes.

That is why our Primary Education Scholarships Project includes a full bag of school supplies for all beneficiary students, so they can start the school year off right. And thanks to the support of our GlobalGiving donors, Pueblo a Pueblo is able to support two more students this year, Gabriela and Daniel.

Gabriela and Daniel are both entering the 8th grade at Panabaj Institute. Gabriela loves school and has a strong academic record. When she grows up, Gabriela wants to study law and become a lawyer. Johanny Quieju, the Primary Education Scholarships project manager notes, “Gabriela has always been a hard worker in school, but without financial resources, it would have been very difficult for her to continue her studies. With the support of GlobalGiving, Gabriela can continue to attend school and pursue her dreams.”

“Daniel is a bit older -- 18 years old -- because before the support of Pueblo a Pueblo, he had to repeat the 6th grade several times. Before a sponsorship, he didn’t have access to the right materials or a tutor when he was falling behind in school. His family works very hard in agriculture, so they didn’t have the time to support him in his studies,” Johanny explains.

Since Pueblo a Pueblo first began to support Daniel through an individual sponsor, and now through contributions of GlobalGiving donors, he has improved his grades and is much more active in school. “Now that he has the right tools to excel in school, he’s taking advantage of the opportunity, and I can see an attitude change in him. He is on track to graduate middle school this October,” adds Johanny.

In February, thanks to your contributions, we presented Gabriela and Daniel with school supplies and backpack to begin the school year. Also, with your GlobalGiving donations, Gabriela and Daniel will be supported throughout the year by our Primary Education Scholarships team. Thank you for your support!

Johanny speaking at the school supplies drive
Johanny speaking at the school supplies drive
Daniel
Daniel
Gabriela
Gabriela
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Graduation at Panabaj Primary School
Graduation at Panabaj Primary School

Fall is always an exciting time for Pueblo a Pueblo’s Child Education team. And this year 12-year-old Cristobal Ramirez and his family are especially excited. At the end of October, Cristobal’s family all gathered at Panabaj Primary School and proudly watched him earn his diploma.

October marks the end of the school year here in Guatemala, which means graduation season for many of our student beneficiaries. In total, 11 students successfully graduated from Panabaj and Chukmuk Primary Schools. Graduation from elementary school marks a huge milestone for these students, since a lack of access to educational support hinders many from thriving in the classroom.

However, with the support of Pueblo a Pueblo’s sponsorship program, students can receive weekly tutoring sessions, personalized attention in subjects ranging from math to social sciences. Students like Cristobal, who began the year with low academic performance, began to attend tutoring sessions and dramatically improved their marks.

Stories like Cristobal’s are possible only with the support of donors like you. As we near the end of the year, Pueblo a Pueblo is counting on you to reach our goal of $60,000. With every dollar, we can continue this cycle of change for communities in rural Guatemala. Together we can extend educational opportunities to more children, open more doors, and empower more communities.

Donate today to make a difference in rural Guatemalan communities!

Beneficiary graduates at Panabaj
Beneficiary graduates at Panabaj
Teachers proudly watching their students graduate
Teachers proudly watching their students graduate
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Parents at a workshop at Panabaj School
Parents at a workshop at Panabaj School

This July, our Primary Education Scholarships team began a new pilot project called Charlas con padres (Chats with Parents). In rural communities surrounding Lake Atitlan, many parents are illiterate and find it difficult to help their children with their studies. To address this issue, the project includes a series of workshops focused on helping parents find creative ways to support their child in school.

The first workshops took place at Chukmuk and Panabaj Elementary Schools. According to Johanny Quieju, Pueblo a Pueblo’s Primary Education Scholarships Manager, “Many parents came to participate, and feedback from the workshop was very positive.” Illiteracy is common here, so there is not a lot of emphasis on education. With this project, “I think more parents are understanding that their role is to motivate their children to succeed in school,” added Quieju.

Some ideas to support children at home with their studies is to keep regular communication with the teacher, designate a specific homework hour, and limit distractions during that time. Other ideas include having children write down recipes as their parents cook -- this not only records family meals, but it helps students with their reading and writing!

These ideas may seem small, but the purpose is to help parents have an active role in their child’s education. “With these steps, we can increase parent’s participation,” remarked Johanny Quieju. “We are very excited to expand this pilot project to other schools in our beneficiary communities!”

A workshop at Chukmuk School
A workshop at Chukmuk School
Johanny speaking at a workshop
Johanny speaking at a workshop
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Organization Information

Pueblo a Pueblo, Inc.

Location: Neenah, WI - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Pueblo_a_Pueblo
Project Leader:

Neenah, WI United States

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