We are nearly through our most successful school year ever AND well on our way to implementing changes for 2014 that will allow us to reach hundreds of children not currently being prepared for preschool in the rural areas of Guatemala.
This year our teachers have had 28 sessions every day preparing 350 kids to be successful in the first grade. There is a new building for the classroom in Xeneco, a second session in Cero Alto and another teacher and a classroom in Colonia Juan XXIII. Our teachers gathered in Antigua in june to learn new methods, and are now utilizing techniques that are seldom seen in Guatemala. Click here to see the details.
We have 3 sessions without sponsors for 2014 at a cost of $1500 each. Want to help?
We are also making progress on our innovative program of recorded curriculum for use in the very rural areas where there are no teachers. We have 20 scripts written and recorded in Spanish and are continuing to apply the learnings from testing them in our current classrooms. We have undertaken the very large step of finding partners to do the translations and recording in two indigenous languages. I met with the Guatemalans that are leading this effort before I left in August. I will be returning to Guatemala in October to meet with the library and an association of radio stations to check progress and choose more partners to expand the program next year. For more details on the progress click here.
We need help with funding the expansion to more programs, languages, and more rural areas. $2500 will get the program started in a new language area.
The program to teach the mothers the importance of nutrition and prepare meals for the kids at school is thriving. I met with mothers who are locating more local sources for fruits, vegetables, chaya, and eggs, and are attending classes for learning how to grow, cook, and include them in their meals. Click here to learn more. We will again be applying to renew the grants from the Herrod Foundation and Feed the Dream to continue this program in 2014.
Our program is small and very simple. We find graduated but unemployed teachers and offer to put them to work in their communities as preschool teachers. Our sponsors’ donation gives them a stipend each month and provides the classroom materials. They have to find the space to hold the classes and manage all the relationships with parents and leaders in their community. They are social entrepreneurs.
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The majority of rural, poor children are ill-prepared for the first-grade. The February 2006 World Bank report states: 30% of children in the Central American countries fail the first-grade; many drop-out at this point. Often parents can’t read or write; many work long hours and children are cared for by older children. Over the last 6 years, there has been progress but the needs are still great.
Our program is small and very simple. We find graduated but unemployed teachers and offer to put them to work in their communities as preschool teachers. Our sponsors’ donation gives them a stipend each month and provides the classroom materials. They have to find the space to hold the classes and manage all the relationships with parents and leaders in their community.
They are social entrepreneurs.
Thanks to 25 donations, including yours, we raised $1328 that we have spent to buy materials and books for the teachers to use in the classrooms. Although we did not reach our goal of $5000 and 40 donators, GlobalGiving is still allowing us to stay on the website for the year. This gives us exposure to people who we do not know and would not have found.
To revitalize and strengthen our literacy program, we have launched an initiative, which we are calling, ” 10 Star Books”. With the advice of our teachers, we are selecting 10 of the best children’s picture books available including some in Kaqchikel to form the basis of our literacy program.
One of our most experienced teachers, Lucy Diaz and 2 teachers from the USA, Nancy Carpenter and Tina Hille are collaborating to develop teaching guides for the “Star Books” which support the development of reading and writing and further the objectives of the national curriculum. The plan is to publish this guide for our 23 schools and to offer the entire package to public schools in Guatemala to improve kindergarten instruction.
The budget for “10 Star Books” is $2300 ($100 per school) to purchase the books and $2000 to develop and print the guides
People trying to find ways to make an impact on people’s lives that leaves them empowered to help themselves often find it is not easy. Searchers are rewarded when they find something that works. Our program is one of those. There are now 28 classroom sessions in 22 communities creating 24 jobs for unemployed teachers.
Thanks to your donation and the donations of 21 others, we raised $1290 that we have spent to buy materials for the teachers to use in the classrooms. Although we did not reach our goal of $5000 and 40 donators, Global Giving is still allowing us to stay on the website for the year. This gives us exposure to people who we do not know and would not have found.
We not only develop kids to prepare for the first grade. We give confidence and experience to the teachers just graduating and looking for jobs. Three of last year’s teachers used their experience to find better jobs, one with a large NGO, another with a public school, and the third with a private school. All for more money and benefits. One wrote this week to express her thanks. Hello. I am writing to wish you the best and hope that all is going well. It was a pleasure to work in the Let's Be Ready Program. I miss being away and would like to know that it has a special place in my heart. This year I finish with my best wishes for success and thank the sponsors for their support. They were a great help in my studies and my family. God bless you always, Diana Anabela Lopez
People trying to find ways to make an impact on people’s lives that leaves them empowered to help themselves often find it is not easy. Searchers are rewarded when they find something that works. Our program is one of those. There are now 31 classroom sessions in 24 communities creating 26 jobs for unemployed teachers.
Thank you again for your contribution.
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