Impact: Our preschool will expose the children to routine, teach basic concepts, develop early literacy skills, plant the seed for the love of reading, and build the foundation for a better future.
Las Manos de Christine is a tiny NGO serving the children of a tiny Guatemalan village (Aldea El Hato) by providing English classes, a library, art classes, summer camp, and educational support. We are unique in that we work in the public school and collaborate with the local teachers.
El Hato is a poor, hard working community. Illiteracy rates are high and educational achievement low. We believe that a good education can lead to better opportunities, futures, and quality of life. It takes a generation for these changes to occur and in El Hato, where the parents don’t know what it means to be educated, it has to happen in the school. The public school recognizes the need for change, they understand the importance of reading, and they know their children are missing out on the most important years of learning, but they don’t have the training or resources to improve the system.
By sharing resources and knowledge through training, we create better conditions for learning and leave the local school with what it takes to give their students a higher quality of education. The program is a response to the needs of the community, the community is needed to make it happen, and ultimately the program can be turned over to the community. It is sustainable.
We will build and operate a free bilingual preschool and reading program in collaboration with the local
public school. The preschool will be for children ages 3 to 6 who are too young to attend the public kindergarten. We expect 50-60 children in attendance, split into 2 classes of 25-30 children. The classrooms will be on the public school property. We will adapt an already existing preschool curriculum from an Antigua private preschool to meet the needs of our El Hato population. The curriculum meets the Ministry of Education’s requirements in addition to having a rich, diverse, and fun program focusing on early literacy.
We will organize teacher workshops, trainings, and demonstrations. The local teachers complete a 3 year teacher training after middle school and are put into classrooms with very few resources, lots of children, and no support. We will be supporting the local teachers in these gap areas. Since we will be supplying them with books, multi- sensorial resources, and materials that require a different set of knowledge and teaching methodology, we will need to train the teachers in order for them to utilize these materials correctly and productively.
Start-up costs for the Early Literacy and Preschool Program are approximately $13,000 and yearly operating costs approximately $9,000. These costs include construction of 2 classrooms, teacher stipends and trainings, furniture, materials, and a daily healthy snack.
Our preschool will expose the children to routine, teach basic concepts, develop early literacy skills, plant the seed for the love of reading, and build the foundation for a better future.