Education

 

 

Kids in front of Education CenterEducation Center and Library

The Education Center and Library opened in 2008. For this project, ACTS collaborated with The Children’s Initiative and La Fuerza de la Futura (a community leadership project) to renovate a derelict building to become a community education center. The Education Center houses a library – the Doctor Dean Biblioteca – with a full time librarian, Yorlin Castro. Under Yorlin’s direction, the library has developed into a very active center of activity. It offers resources in-house and local lending, in addition a small lending library which rotates among village schools surrounding El Rosario. For those who can’t read at home due to lack of electricity, the library now loans out solar lights. ACTS added computer capabilities to the library, initially to test interest in computer classes. Villager interest in computers has been huge and led to the 2016 expansion of the computer lab and class offerings. A community kitchen was added in a separate building outside the Education Center in 2014. Now the Center is used frequently for community gatherings of all types, and for a wide variety of educational activities, including classes in sewing, carpentry, nutrition, teacher training, and English as a Second Language.  In 2014, The Children’s Initiative built a new middle school in El Rosario for students who can attend school regularly, thus dramatically expanding the educational options for local families.Books in El Rosario library

Technology Program

As an extension of the work ACTS has done with the Education Center and Library, some additional needs of the community were identified, mainly focused on the area of technology. An assessment of the technology offerings at the library was conducted during a June 2013 trip. As a result of the observations made during this trip three core areas of need were identified:

  1. Improved educational resources
  2. Extension of communication channels to be able to access information and communicate with the rest of the world
  3. Organization and ownership of implemented systems
    These needs have been used as the driving force behind a multi-phased plan to provide the people of El Rosario and the surrounding communities.

The multi-phased approach to this plan provides the framework to show early tangible results, while also setting a loose framework to allow for iterative revisions based on lessons learned during implementation. The initial plan has three main phases, but is expected to change as the communities provide feedback. The three phases are as follows:

  1. Provide additional educational content at the community education center using computers and a small wireless network.
  2. Expand the wireless network to include other sites within El Rosario, including the schools and medical clinic. Identify communities interested in similar services.
  3. Expand the wireless network to connect schools in nearby villages. Install a wireless repeater to connect the network to a local Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP).

Each of these phases has distinct tangible results, and all phases will have an emphasis on improving computer literacy and overall system operation and maintenance.

Technology training

Horacio, the librarian, conducting a technology training class for educators from 11 nearby communities during the April 2015 trip.

A working group with representation from a number of members of the El Rosario community has been organized to help focus training and provide feedback. Educators from the surrounding communities have also been involved in the early implementation of this work, as they have the ability to provide the largest long-term impact. As feedback is collected and technologies change, the master plan will be revised to stay aligned with the needs of the communities.

If you would like to learn more about the details of this project please read our Master Technology Plan. This document will be revised every few years to re-align with community needs. For questions or comments, please contact Ethan LaRochelle.

Scholarship Program  

Responding to a need identified by the local Education Committee, ACTS subsidizes a modest scholarship program to help pay for transportation, tuition and books for families unable to afford them. The local Education Committee directs the program and decides upon scholarship applications.

Renovating school in Los PlanesSchool renovations

ACTS, with the help of young Americans and Hondurans in the La Fuerza para el Futuro, has renovated schools in several of the villages surrounding El Rosario.  Renovations have included repairs and painting of interior and exterior walls, replacement of doors and window security, building of latrines, and general site upgrading.

Teacher training workshop in El RosarioTeacher Training  

ACTS works with individual teachers from the United States to offer professional development to the teachers in El Rosario and the outlying communities. ACTS partners with PIALI, a non-profit dedicated to promoting reading throughout Latin America, to offer in-country training to local teachers typically during April or June. The Teacher Trips have been running for 8 years. Up to sixteen K-6 Honduran teachers participate. The teacher training is a shared cultural experience. US teachers work side by side with Honduran teachers to learn and to share a variety of skills and activities that are useful in any classroom.


 

Photo Gallery: EDUCATION