The English Program (2008 – present)
The English program was started in 2008 by one of our dedicated volunteers, Madeleine Anderson. English language is imperative for success in the Guatemalan education system and workforce. In 2013 UPAVIM expanded the English Program to a full-day Bilingual Program providing students with a greater opportunity towards gaining language proficiency. Students are co-taught by a Guatemalan teacher and a Native English Speaker from 7:30 in the morning until 3:30 in the afternoon. They are taught in both Spanish and English. The program increases the children’s time in school from 25 hours a week to 40 hours a week, providing the students with a safe and nurturing environment to learn. When asked what was the motivation for attending UPAVIM school, 6th grader Angel responded, “It’s really good for my future because many times in Guatemala there aren’t jobs and speaking English can take you places. The little to big kids receive English here which is special because in other schools students get 30 minutes and only a few times a week. Here I have 2.5 hours of English everyday.” Angel is twelve years old and started at UPAVIM CAA as a first grader. He is one of the top in his class.
School director, Pahola, speaks about what makes UPAVIM CAA different than the surrounding elementary schools: “the boys and girls study from 7:30am to 3:30pm. They have this schedule because one of the priorities is that they learn English as a second language. This unique schedule also benefits parents that work and it keeps the kids of the community off of the street for more hours a day.” Pahola began as a teacher in the school and is currently the director. Her own child, nieces and nephews are enrolled in the school.
UPAVIM is raising money to help keep the full-day education program going. Public schools in Guatemala are generally open just a half day. UPAVIM’s school was able to extend its day to full-day a few years back but this extension is supported through fundraising (while the normal half-day is supported through the craft program).
The Bilingual Program will create options and opportunities for UPAVIM’s students that would otherwise be unobtainable. To continue and expand this program in the current school year (January-October), we need to raise $12,000.
Donations to the English Program help to fund:
- School Supplies:
- Reading Books
- Science Supplies
- Art Supplies
- Notebooks, Pencils, etc.
- 7 Guatemalan teacher salaries
- 1 Guatemalan Director salary
- 5 native English teacher stipends
Donate to the English Program
Thank you for your support!
UCDF – UPAVIM Community Development Foundation
- A registered U.S. based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- Please specify on your check how you would like your funds used, or designate As Needed.
- Please mail your donations to:
- UPAVIM Community Development Foundation
- c/o Mary Joan Ferrara Marsland
- 155-B Independence Street
- Berkeley Springs, WV 25411