Commencing this year, DreamRoot is collaborating with local leaders Rose and David, to launch a tutoring program in Les Cayes, Haiti! Rose and David operate a school that teaches more than 200 students, from first to sixth grade. They are also heavily involved in community-wide education and outreach services. Rose and David hold a deep conviction that education will change the trajectory of individual lives and ultimately, their nation.
Many students struggle in school and are needing extra help, exacerbated by the issues of inadequate nutrition and an unstable home life. Most of the parents of the students are not educated enough to adequately help them with their schoolwork. And many of the parents who are educated can be working long hours away from home, striving to put food on the table, leaving them unavailable to provide support.
This progressive new tutoring program has been created to assist students who are struggling to understand concepts taught in class. It is designed to provide support to parents who struggle to feed and house their children and barely have the means to pay for school tuition, books, and uniforms. The program is changing the trajectory of the lives of many students, giving their future a boost.
FACT: a passing grade at school is 50% but the average grade of kids in school is 40-50% which still permits them to move up to the next grade. However, many of these children are falling further behind as they keep moving up, and they are falling through the cracks.
With the Les Cayes program in place, students at the school now receive weekly tutoring and homework help. The tutors are currently comprised of 6 vetted young adults from the community who have completed 12th grade but who have not gone on to university and who may otherwise have limited work opportunities.
The school day ends at 2:00 pm and the tutoring program takes place from 3:30-4:00 pm. This gives students a break after classes finish to play, unwind and transition to the tutoring session, and this keeps them engaged longer before heading home. With students staying at school longer in the day it means they are in a safe space for longer. They are not going home to an often empty or unsupervised house, keeping them out of danger, out of trouble, and off the streets.
Rose pointed out that there are no extracurricular activities for kids in the neighborhoods where they live, in Haiti. Safe civil, sporting and cultural areas like parks, museums, or theaters are nonexistent. School and tutoring programs are some of the only constructive outlets that are available to positively engage students and develop their creativity and vision for their future.
Sadly, too many school students face a future of limited hope when they graduate. Many of the young adults who finish their secondary education have no path forward, no opportunities or vision for their life. With very limited work or continuing education opportunities open to them, youth can often be seen hanging around town with nothing to do. Some may be tempted to go down the wrong path. Heartbreakingly, Rose and David have seen too many young people die at the hands of police.
By engaging local youth in paid tutoring jobs that invest in younger students, emerging leaders have something positive to aspire to, that is sparking hope. Through the training, job experience, and mentorship by Rose and David these young tutors are being equipped and empowered to lead in their communities, and they in turn will inspire more leaders.
This tutoring program is a continuation and augmentation of ongoing efforts in the community. In 2020, DreamRoot purchased 127 textbooks for students whose families could not afford them. For many of the students, it was the first time they had ever received books. Tablets were also purchased and made available to teachers to bring modern technology and relevant applications into their classrooms to facilitate learning.
"What giving the books did was give the teachers hope that they can work and have a successful year with as many students passing as possible. The students have hope that they have a better chance at passing this year because they have the number 2 tool needed (with their teacher being #1) for a successful year, and the parents have some of the stress of choosing between food on the table or books for their kids reduced." – Rose, DreamRoot Local Leader
The DreamRoot Resource Center, constructed in 2021, offers the students a space outside of their normal classroom where the change in ambiance helps keep the students engaged, and this facilitates learning. The subjects they study each week at the Resource Center include English classes, expressive reading, and learning about their rights as children. These subjects are above the government requirement and typical school curricula. The Center also hosts workshops and conferences for the wider community throughout the year. Soon, they plan to add additional subjects such as music and choir.
These initiatives led by Rose and David and their strong team are catalyzing these young lives into their calling to have a positive impact in their families, communities, and the nation. Follow DreamRoot on social media to keep up to date on impact testimonials.