|The program's main goal is to |
improve performance in math
and Spanish so students like
Luis (pictured above) can excel.
When a child falls behind in schoolwork in the developing world, the door to opportunity begins to slam shut. There aren’t too many second chances available to these students. In Mexico, to keep those doors of opportunity open, CCF
offers the PANBRA program
(which in English means a program for children with poor academic performance).
It was initiated in Mexico in 2002.
Since that time, CCF has been able to expand the program. It now serves more than 600 children by offering extra help with their education when they fall behind. It assists children with below average and even failing grades — a program desperately needed in Mexico to help prevent children from dropping out of school.
PANBRA offers creative ways of teaching children.
Because education is key to their success, its importance is emphasized in CCF’s programs. It was created to keep children in school, offering remedial assistance to children ages 6 to 13. Children participating in the program meet after school and on either Saturday or Sunday as well.
Today, CCF further supports the program by offering 28 community organizations more professional support specific to the needs of various age groups. In addition, new strategies are being developed to measure the impact of the program.
Classes are kept small to give children as much attention as possible. Older youth from local high schools or colleges who have shown talent in math and Spanish, receive special training to work with the children and teachers.
The program’s main goal is to improve performance in math and Spanish, the two subjects that are essential for a child to move up to the next grade.
Teachers use innovative techniques involving creative activities. For example, math concepts are taught through the use of chess and dominoes. The program also encompasses physical activities and works to develop the self-esteem of each child.
Teachers keep close watch on the children’s grades and progress, which they report to the projects every two months. Children in the program may also benefit from special testing. Many of the children in the program have shown steady improvement.
The PANBRA program has proven successful enough to offer it in many areas of Mexico. Initially piloted in Oaxaca, the program now reaches children in the Hidalgo, Central, Michoaca, Mixteca, and Puebla regions, among other areas.