Advancing educational opportunities in rural Ecuadorian Amazon
Project Launch: 4/3/17
The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of Ecuador's most ecologically diverse areas although the region also suffers from high rates of poverty. Few opportunities for social mobility are available. The Arajuno Road Project has developed a student-centered curriculum to better provide the area's residents with courses to become competent and literate polyglots (Spanish, Shuar, and English). These multilingual skills will prove invaluable as adolescents and adults seek the chance to work in business, the tourism sector, and in other niches in and out of the region. This project seeks to expand the coverage of this curriculum within and outside of the formal classroom setting, offering the chance for participants to receive educational programming at school, in a community computer lab, and through the community centers.
Project Update: 8/15/17
Five of six language and literacy projects have been completed by five teachers in two schools. Classrooms from both schools delivered their projects through presentations, materials and plays to their parents, classmates, community members, and local authorities. The projects highlighted the region's local heritage and created resources that the schools will continue to use. Traditional tales, local history, and daily life were all chronicled for future students and the communities. Two of three parent workshops have also been completed. In-country mental health professionals led sessions to support mothers and fathers around issues that impact the students' home lives. Six home visits to deliver study furniture to students were completed, estabishing student work spaces in the home. Needy families were identified by a teacher-led initiative throughout the school year. One cycle of community center classes has been completed and the current cycle of classes is in progress (classes are offered for six week periods). The vast majority of classes have been given in English. There is some computer access during the community center library hours. Two training workshops for local teachers on how to implement language and literacy projects have been conducted.
“Support from World Connect is exactly what we needed to implement a more effective education program in the schools. I have seen excellent school projects this semester, all of which celebrate local cultural identity. It has been great to see local teachers supported and empowered! ”
– Laura, Project Coordinator
“I was impressed by the candor and trust with which mothers opened-up at our second Parent Workshop and it gave me a lot of hope for the future of this initiative. A mother who expressed helplessness at the first Parent Workshop and said she’s already tried everything and doesn’t think there is any more she can do for her children has now volunteered to travel to the capital for a three-day workshop. She will be the parent representative helping design and promote our Parent Workshop initiatives for the coming school year.”
– Stephanie, Project Leader
“I am already planning deep changes to the strategies I will use in the classroom next year based on my experience with the Language and Literature Project. I am motivated and determined to engage all my students through meaningful and interesting texts that are relatable to them.”
– Fanny, Project Participant
“I wanted to create an intercultural pamphlet with topics relevant to our community for a long time. This grant made it possible by providing those resources. The most gratifying thing to me was to see how community members welcomed our students with open arms and were delighted to share their lives with us. Our students got to visit farms and participate in agricultural activities, which is invaluable.”
– Olguer, Project Participant
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