Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel

by Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc.
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Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Inspire 3000 Honduran Children to Excel
Our Team Meets with Intibuca Mayor to Collaborate
Our Team Meets with Intibuca Mayor to Collaborate
Kolibri is being recognized by local government as effective in engaging and supporting resource limited schools with quality offline content. 

When we received our 2021 grant from the Inter-American Development Bank, our education program was able to reach 51 new schools all over the department. It was a quick deployment responding to the covid needs in Honduran education. After the pilot, our team wanted to make sure the schools continued to use Kolibri to its highest potential. For this we upgraded them with the latest Kolibri software over this past winter. The schools were all excited to receive the updated equipment back and the feedback was so great that mayors were calling us to join efforts. 

Over the past months, three mayors began laying bricks toward Kolibri sustainability:

** The Mayor of Intibuca (pictured) purchased TVs for all 9 schools in his municipality that received the pilot last year. This fulfilled our sustainability component where communities were asked to put their shoulder next to ours.

** The Mayor of Jesus de Otoro invested in additional tablets and computers for new schools to receive Kolibri, and

** The San Antonio Mayor, who has supported Kolibri expansion in his town since 2019, continued by selecting a municipal IT support staff to be trained in Camasca.

The action of these three mayors furthermore sends a message of support to help make Kolibri a success. Our team continues to meet with other mayors who also want to follow suit, making us excited for future partnerships. Thank you for following our work and supporting our teachers, our mayors and our team. 

 

With Respect,

Mariela Rodriguez

Communications Coordinator

StS at the TV Donation Ceremony
StS at the TV Donation Ceremony
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Minsis and Edson
Minsis and Edson

This Thank You letter was written by Edson, a student member of the First Global Robotics Team of Honduras. During the whole process he had a positive attitude and willingness to work, and that led to him being chosen as the outstanding student of the team.

 

My name is Edson, I am a member of the National Robotics Team of Honduras and I am a student at Guarajambala High School, in Concepción, Intibucá.

One of the things that motivated me to be a member of the team was the desire to learn about robotics, programming, and assembling robots. I was also encouraged by knowing that during the competition, I would be meeting many people from around the world, their traditions and culture, and that I would also be able to build some relationships with them.

Along the way, many challenges were faced -- personal challenges, school challenges, and the competition itself was a challenge. But, what motivated me the most was the learning process we went through. I was present in every meeting we had, it did not matter if it was in person or virtual. We met all the challenges. I also knew that by the end I would have more knowledge and that I would be able to share it with the kids of my community so they could develop a love for robotics also.

The knowledge that had the largest impact on my life is programming. I was attracted to it right from the beginning -- I wanted to learn more about its use, not only to program a robot but to apply it to real life, in areas of education and health.

I was so thrilled to be selected as “Outstanding Student.” My family rejoiced, and it has been the best prize I have received in my whole life.  I am very thankful because it is helping me a lot in my high school classes. I am a year to graduate and I am studying informatics. In the future, I plan to study Computer Engineering or Graphic Design, which has been my life dream.

I will always be grateful to you, Shoulder to Shoulder!

Sincerely,

Edson

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Father signing so daughter can take tablet home.
Father signing so daughter can take tablet home.

We are pleased to say that in 2021, we delivered 3500 computer tablets to 51 junior/senior high schools.

To begin, I want to talk about students dropping out of school.  Many of the students who had dropped out, or were in danger of dropping out, returned to schools motivated by using this new technology.

We have seen that some students who have difficulties doing or wanting to do their homework, now due to this new resource they do it more effectively and quickly.

Many of the teachers have been encouraging recreational and assignment reading; but there are also students who have read on their own, beyond the readings assigned by teachers.

We could also see that some parents who were initially afraid to take the tablet because of the responsibility that it meant at home, decided to take it after they saw that the other students were progressing better and more productively than their children.

Among the things that we can observe in the teachers is that they are happy and motivated with the software especially because the students like it much. We receive expressions from some teachers that the resource is serving themselves as reinforcement, mostly in mathematics. 

As I said, at the beginning of this project, the learning curve normally takes between 3 to 6 months.  We have great hopes for the success of the program once the adaptation period is over and the learning curve has passed.

Student with tablet.
Student with tablet.

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StS and US Embassy in Honduras working together
StS and US Embassy in Honduras working together

The United States Embassy in Honduras and Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc., work with the Honduran Ministry of Education to bring digital learning to rural Honduras

The U.S. Embassy Honduras, Public Affairs Section provided $110,000 in funding to Shoulder to Shoulder, for the development and distribution of digital curriculum via the Kolibri platform to more than 1250 children.  This work supports the official Honduran textbooks and is being closely coordinated with the Honduran Ministry of Education who is assisting in the implementation.

This effort enhances educational opportunities of vulnerable youth in areas with low Internet connectivity.   This project brings digital textbooks, video lessons, and a library of digital library books right into student homes via the Kolibri Learning Platform.  With this, they can continue to learn during times when schools are closed due to COVID-19.  The U.S. Embassy has provided funding for the transcription of Honduran textbooks onto inexpensive Android tablets and their deployment to students in 30 public schools in Southern Honduras.  

Kolibri is developed and maintained by Learning Equality.  It delivers a growing library of open educational resources designed for offline teaching and learning via open source software.  The software and content are entirely free.   It is centered around a learning platform with built-in educator support that can run on a local server device, e.g. laptop.  It is complemented by tools to organize these resources and others to the local curriculum.  In Honduras, Shoulder to Shoulder has implemented the complete set of textbooks needed for K-12 education plus a digital library of over 1000 books organized by grade level.      

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Second grader, Elvin
Second grader, Elvin

Little by little we are seeing the results of the seeds we are planting in our reading program.

Meet Elvin --  a student at our bilingual school.

Two years ago, I was the teacher's assistant in the preschool classroom.  There I met Elvin -- who had such a desire to learn. In every conversation we had I was impressed because of the vocabulary words he was using. And if the conversation contained a word that was new to him, he would always ask for its meaning. I saw his enthusiasm for books, but he always said, ‘’I am a Mathematics guy, teacher’’. He had developed many skills in all subjects he was taking at that time, but for sure he had more inclination towards Math.

In February 2021, at the beginning of the 2021 school year, I saw Elvin (now a brand new 2nd grader) standing in front of the garden, looking at the flowers. I greeted him and with enthusiasm he answered back:  ‘’I now know how to read Miss."  With that, we went up to the school library together. With excitement, I observed him as he looked for a book and then he read it to me.  He looked for a second one and once again, he read it to me. I was amazed! For a second grader it was a lot, I thought; especially because they did not spend enough time at school last year due to the pandemic. And that is when I understood the role that a responsible parent can play in the education of their children.

His mother helps him on his reading projects at home, and every time he reads she is with him. They have worked on how words with accent marks are pronounced in the Spanish language, and he also does intonation for sentences that require it. Although his mother does not speak English she always listens to him when he reads.  When he was done with reading, that day in the library, he asked if he could take a book home. I said, “Sure,” and so he did. In about a week he brought it back, and since then he has been taking books home.

Seeing kids coming to school is always going to be an exciting thing for me; but seeing kids coming to the library and asking for books is powerful; so, this is a moment I will forever keep in my heart!

Elvin reading in StS school library
Elvin reading in StS school library
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Organization Information

Shoulder to Shoulder, Inc.

Location: Dayton, OH - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @StoSHonduras
Project Leader:
Laura Manship
General Director
Dayton, OH United States
$50,899 raised of $65,000 goal
 
399 donations
$14,101 to go
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