3 Ways to Help the Bread of Life Kids Love Learning
October 25, 2017
We all can agree that education is important. Here in the United States, many parents invest time, energy, and substantial funds planning their children's educations. Will they go to a Montessori preschool and benefit from a hands-on, child-centered philosophy? Will they home school and fill their afternoons with cultural experiences and frequent real-life field trips? What about the new school where children are buddied up with kids with special needs, learning inclusion and acceptance at a young age? The opportunities are endless.
In the Dominican Republic, the options look a little different. Many impoverished children do not attend any schooling until kindergarten. Public schools are either half-day (mornings for primary school, afternoons for secondary school) or an all day, 7am-4pm affair. It all depends on your neighborhood. Public school is considered free, but families still must purchase a uniform, black shoes, a backpack, and a lot of school supplies before the child is allowed in the classroom. Because of these options, children from struggling families are often thrown into school suddenly when their families can afford to send them.
For other families, "Colegio", or private school, is an option. For a fee, children start school as early as two years old. While not terribly expensive (some are between $5-$20 a month per child), it's more than the families we work with can afford. Some schools are even up to $200 a month! So where does this leave us?
We want a better option. One of our focuses for this coming year is improving the educational opportunities for the Bread of Life children. Here's what we're doing and how you can help:
1. Weekly Tutoring-
We have begun offering a twice a week tutoring time where the school-aged children are able to come in and work on their homework in a quiet, fun environment. We also focus on teaching our children how to read. Many children make it to third, fourth grade and are still unable to read. Our greatest need for the new tutoring program is prayer! Join us in praying that the parents of the children will see the benefit in their children spending this extra time on learning to read and for our "teachers" to continue coming up with innovative ideas to keep the kids' attention.
2. The Bread of Life Library-
Our kids LOVE books. Seriously, we can't keep them away from the library! The library is open between 2-5 days a week, for the hour before lunch at Bread of Life. The children are welcome to "check out" a book to read and then they "return" the book when it's time to eat. We have over 200 books already, and the kids are begging for more.