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Tutoring and loving it!

March 30, 2009

Is going to school enough?

Most parents feel that by sending their children to school they have ensured that children get complete education. But what if the school does not succeed in inspiring students to learn? What if the classrooms are cramped with too many children and with just a few overworked teachers to manage them? What if the lessons taught in classroom cannot be 2009_01_23_2329revised or explained at home due to lack of suitable guidance from parents?

Empowerment International struggled with the same issues recently, realizing that many of the program participants were not receiving an adequate education.

When Kathy Adams (Empowerment International’s founder and director) discovered that many kids who were regularly attending primary school failed to read as well as they were expected to, she decided to expand EI’s scope of work further. A tutoring program for many of the kids was needed in order to help above and beyond the school teachings.  However, lack of enough funding and resources were serious limitations and more people could not be hired. Also, foreign volunteers were only short term and not sustainable and private school was not an option due to the economic downturn and difficulty in getting more donations.

That is when the idea hit her. The students in secondary school could tutor the ones in primary school! However, she was apprehensive about the willingness of the already overworked teenagers to put in time for tutoring.  EI had a new pilot program in which 9 students of various academic levels were being sent to a private high school and in turn were expected to put in about an hour of voluntary work in the afternoons. These students eagerly agreed to their role as tutors.

However more tutors for the morning hours were required. What then happened was heartwarming! Half of the  secondary school students from EI’s general program agreed to help teach the children in the morning hours in spite of the fact that several also had to  work in the mornings. Thus commenced EI’s new tutoring program. 2009_01_23_2319

Today, teenagers excitedly and punctually come to the EI office where they teach the little ones the intricacies of math tables and correct spellings and pronunciations. They are patient and supremely proud of their new roles as tutors. Their parents are even prouder of the new task their children have chosen. The primary school kids are learning fast because of the one-on-one attention they get from their budding tutors. Currently 20 teenagers tutor around 62 children and they love it!

But then this is what EI envisioned for the children and community of Villa Esperanza in Nicaragua. It was a hope that one day, the children who get educated through the program take up the leadership and challenge of educating and improving their community. The success of the tutoring program seems like a giant step in that direction.

- Neha Singh

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In Nicaragua 50% of the kids that start 1st grade never finish  5th grade. It is our goal to make this percentage drop significantly.

$30/month is what it takes us at Empowerment International to put a child in school. If you would like to help a child stay in school and get better life, please click on the link below or contact us -

Donate at Change.org

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