If this is your first time reading this series, stop now! It’s a two-part story and you might want to read the first part before continuing. If you like the thrill of spoilers, go ahead and keep reading, we won’t be mad. In the first part, you learned how the schools we started partnering with in 2015, and graduated in 2017, are doing today. This time we are going a little further back in time and talking with San Marcos. Our partnership with San Marcos began in 2014 and they graduated in 2016. Take a trip down memory lane to learn how your support has made a difference.
During our time at San Marcos elementary school, we were able to sit down and meet with teachers from 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. We learned that the teachers are still utilizing the kit that we handed off which included two laptops, one projector, one TV and internet access. As we know, technology is not always reliable. One of the laptops stopped working last year, and thankfully the school was able to use some of the money raised to buy a brand new one. This was a good test, to see how necessary and how possible it is, for the community to sustain the program, when serious problems happen.
The school is still using a schedule, to organize and make sure that every classroom has a turn and can use the technology. One room at San Marcos has a fixed equipment set, and each teacher visits the technology room on a set schedule every week. The teachers explained that the combined money in the school’s bank account was used in the following ways: 30% was used to buy another projector (the school is so big that two projectors were not enough), 30% is used to pay for internet, 20% is used to maintain the equipment, and the last 20% is still in the bank. It is a motivation for the school community to have some money tucked away and accrue interest. It is not easy, but the community works together to replenish some of the money by having fundraisers. For example, this past year, the community sold food. Parents are also asked to contribute a monthly stipend.
All of the schools we visited are doing well and we are so excited to learn that they are continuing with the program in a meaningful way to them!
TINFA strives to provide the tools to empower communities in the long run, to make changes and establish methods that make sense to teachers, students, and families. In the future, we look forward to connecting with and hearing from other schools, learn and adapt together.