Laguna de Apoyo has one primary school with about 55 students (Pre-K through 6th grade) and 3 teachers. Students receive basic subjects including Spanish, math, and science, but do not have arts or music classes. Secondary students study at school up on the crater’s rim, and their coursework includes English and computation courses.
Students face challenges to finishing school, whether it is due to economic stress on the family, early pregnancies, and/or a lack of parent/teacher support. CocoMango works to expand students’ economic opportunities through the following programs:
The local primary school runs from 7am–11:30am and there are three teachers covering pre-K through 6th grade. This results in three grade levels learning together in one classroom. We aim to support teachers by assessing needs and seeking material resources, in-classroom assistance, and providing individualized tutoring to high-needs students.
We provide 3 English levels at the primary school on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 8:30am – 9:30am. While not all primary school students live close enough to attend our afterschool program for further English practice, this option allows all primary school students grades 1 to 6 access to an English language education.
Laguna Activa Youth Enrichment Program
We offer an afterschool enrichment program for students aged 5+ from 1-4pm on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Thursday’s to provide academic support, opportunities for personal growth and facilitate creative learning. The various avenues in which we develop these categories are through reinforcing basic academic skills, helping with homework, learning English, and introducing new areas of learning (art, theater, dance, sports, environmental conservation/recycling, team-building, etc). We strive to create a space where all youth are supported and respected.
Adult English Education
Three nights per week, adults are invited to participate in English classes at our volunteer house. Through learning a second key language, students broaden their skill set and future job prospects.
Community members who are committed to improving their reading and writing skills receive literacy instruction 1-2 times per week from fellow community members or visiting volunteers. We coordinate 1-on-1 sessions at students’ homes and utilize didactic materials provided by the Municipality of Catarina.
Expenses related to a secondary or university education put significant financial stress on families, and some individuals opt to work full-time rather than continue their studies. A Fruitful Future! is our new scholarship program that seeks to provide quality secondary and higher education opportunities to residents of Laguna de Apoyo who demonstrate dedication to their studies or are motivated to return to school. We hope to award our first secondary school scholarships for the 2015 school year to cover school fees, transportation, 2 uniforms, and 1 pair of shoes for recipients.