We arrived at the school in Juquila mid-morning on a Tuesday. The schoolyard was filled with elementary students having morning recess. As our group of visitors greeted Pastor Reineiro, the children gathered around us to listen in and say hello. Inside the school, a large room was divided into three classrooms; the preschoolers were finishing a morning lesson, and the oldest class was having a snack. As an educator and school researcher, I’ve researched school culture extensively and loved seeing how much mutual love and care I saw between students and teachers. These students were flourishing.
The school was small - we saw at least 50 students at the one-room school that day - but vibrant. The larger room was broken into smaller classrooms using the students’ cubbies as dividers. Each classroom had bright walls with murals of trees throughout. On the walls, the teachers had bulletin boards with calendars and job charts, much like when I visited my first grader’s class in Pennsylvania. Obviously, these teachers, and Pastor Reineiro, the school’s founder, have poured their hearts and resources into making this school this vibrant. And they have dreams of doing even more with more resources, particularly technology.
This gets to the purpose of my visit. When a group from Amoveo visited the school in the fall and asked what the school needed most, the lead teacher, Lupita, said she needed a computer. She knew how much more she could do with her students if she had the technology. A friend in Pennsylvania learned of the need and donated a laptop that I could bring to the school on that Tuesday. Lupita was thrilled. By Friday, she had already sent me pictures of the students using the computer.
And here’s the thing: this school, and schools like it, are doing far more than giving students an education - which is a huge thing in and of itself. Research shows that participation in schools like this can improve stability and health for these students and their families in short-term and long-term ways.
Want to learn more about how you can get involved in supporting this school and these students? Want to see the work for yourself?