Child Aid

Child Aid’s mission is social and economic development through literacy because education has been shown to be the most effective long-term solution to extreme poverty. We focus on rural villages in Guatemala, where illiteracy disproportionately affects indigenous people, and in the early grades where education can make the biggest impact on literacy and overall life chances.

Our program consists of a scaffolded, four-year curriculum of workshops in schools (2 per year) and one-on-one classroom coaching (2 individual sessions after each workshop).  We also provide high quality, grade appropriate Spanish language books to each school, along with rolling bookshelves and a classification system. When we leave a school, we have built a book collection with between 7-15 volumes per student.  In addition, our staff spends additional time in each school, meeting with the school Reading Committee and the school principal to increase the use of books across content areas and providing additional coaching sessions as requested and desired.  Finally, we hold a 4-6 week, school break program, called Adventures in Reading, to help children retain literacy gains made during the school year through the long summer vacation.  In total , our 4-year intervention represents at least 350 hours spent with each school.

In 2017, we will be working in 71 schools with 720 teachers touching more than 17,000 students. We have signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education in the State of Sololá, giving us permission to expand into the remaining 480 primary schools in the State.

Guatemala is not a failed state.  It has a minimally adequate number of primary school buildings.  But a building with almost no books or supplies, staffed by teachers with extremely inadequate training does not, in fact, constitute a school.  Child Aid’s approach is to work with the existing infrastructure and teaching staff, showing teachers how to implement the new national curriculum and go beyond it to essentially change pedagogy.  We help teachers produce students who can read and then go beyond that to produce children with the skills to use reading to learn throughout their lives.

917 SW Oak St.
Suite 208
Portland, OR 97205
United States
Issue Areas: 
Education, Children & Youth
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