By Mariela Rodriguez – Assistant Director
We called it the “Kindergarten project.” In early 2018, as a new school year was beginning in Honduras, a parent approached to say that their child’s kindergarten teacher was interested in being part of our computer-assisted learning initiative. At the time, our education programs focused on grades 1-9. Nonetheless, we decided to meet with the teachers. At the end of the meeting, our team offered to help fund, along with their parent association, half a television set to project English learning programs to an entire classroom of children. Our vision was for the kindergarten to pay us back and offer half-funding to another school in the future.
In September, we visited and checked-in on the project and were amazed at how the kids interacted with the program through the television screen — singing songs in both English and Spanish and learning to pronounce the sound of the English letters (see video).
In exchange for the assistance they received from Shoulder to Shoulder, we asked them to host a meeting with kindergarten teachers from other local towns to share their advances in the project. In mid-November when the meeting took place, teachers from 5 different kindergartens – representing 4 towns were present. The meeting was a success, and a number of teachers expressed interest in joining next school year!
We as an organization are very thankful and impressed with the success of our Kindergarten project and seeing the enthusiasm and gratefulness amongst the parents and the teachers causes us to also be excited to expand next year.
We saw that empowering community members was fruitful for both parties.
We’ve seen that finding community motivation, support and initiative is like hitting the jackpot.