After-School Feeding & Tutorial Program

Improve a child’s mind and body.

The public school system in Guatemala leaves much to be desired. Teachers, in general, have only the equivalent of a high school degree. There is also a heavy emphasis on crafts and not academic learning, with most public schools underfunded and understaffed. Those with any money at all, send their children to private school. This is not practical for children growing up in the more remote communities that we serve.

Just recently Guatemala implemented “free” public school education for all children in the primary grades. While it is low-cost, school is not mandatory in Guatemala and many children do not attend. There can be a lack of motivation on the child’s or parents’ part because the child must often work to supplement the family income or sometimes because there is no value seen in education. It is just in the last decade that there has been a gradual shift in the importance placed on education by the Mayan Indians.

Where Casa de Sion comes in:

  • After-school tutors keep the children abreast of their school instruction, explaining and augmenting the lessons from the classroom. They also go into more advanced studies, whetting the appetite for children that may want to continue their education beyond the primary grades.
  • Basic health and hygiene are taught. Children learn to brush their teeth, wash their face and hands, hair care, etc. We emphasize basic traditional virtues such as the word “gracias,” cleaning up after oneself, helping with chores, and showing concern for others. These are part of the values underlying our program.
  • A nutritious lunch is served three days a week. This is a real meal (not a nutrition supplement) with protein, vegetables and a piece of fresh fruit.

It is no surprise that the local teachers report a significant performance difference in the children that attend our programs, and our pediatrician reports a noticeable improvement in general health. Besides being a fuel for mind and body, these healthy meals also teach the children what proper nutrition looks like and broadens their outlook on eating.

Help change a young child's life!

Donate to the After-School Feeding Program

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