The Dominican education system is one of Latin America's poorest: in a 2010 study by the Ministry of Education, fourth-graders answered correctly only 38.2% of math questions and 34% of reading comprehension questions. In Dominican bateys, impoverished rural communities, students fare much worse. Only 21% of teens attend secondary school, compared to a national average of 51%. 1 in 5 children under age 15 live without their parents, underscoring the enormous barriers to educational achievement.
Yspaniola's Learning Center engages children aged 4-15 in active learning activities, emphasizing critical and creative thinking, basic literacy and math skills, and support of self improvement, particularly for the most behaviorally challenged kids. Students who grow up in the Center will become lifelong learners, with vertical access to higher education through Yspaniola's program of university scholarships and mentorship. Currently the Learning Center serves 133 children with hopes to expand.
The Learning Center offers a vertical model of educational attainment that will grow as students graduate from our program to become the teachers and mentors for a new generation of children. With this project's support, we aim to incorporate preschool classes and teen mentorship to feed into our existing university scholarship program, thereby offering higher education to the most vulnerable youth in the Dominican Republic. Through education, families may finally break the cycle of poverty.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).
Yspaniola's 2013-2014 Annual Report (in Spanish)
Batey Libertad Learning Center