The Learning Center will reopen in just weeks!
The Learning Center has been on summer break for over a month now and will open its doors to a new year full of hope and great expectations. Recall, the Learning Center ended its 2014 school year with a huge BANG!
Next week, we will officially kick off our Scholarship Fund Campaign for 2015. Our goal is to support the enrollment of ten to fifteen students to attend the Learning Center needing financial assistance. The tuition amount of $100 per student is the same as last year.
I have proposed a change to the financial assistance arrangement to include the following:
The parents of the students receiving the AGB Scholarships are requested to pay the first $25.00 of the tuition. The donated $100.00 by the “Friends” will be used first to supplement the remaining balance by allocating $75.00. The remaining $25.00 of the $100 will be allocated to help purchase school supplies and other educational material needed by the Learning Center.
Parents unable to pay anything due to extreme financial hardship conditions may receive the full $100.00. The Learning Center staff will make that determination on a very limited, case by case basis.
This change is intended to keep us in a partnership role with the parents. “Friends” believe its role is to partner with and support the Community’s efforts to provide essential English education to their students. In addition, unlike in the USA, determining a family’s financial status is not easy and in a very small community such efforts are considered to be somewhat culturally problematic.
Representing “Friends”, I have also agreed to support some of the funding needed to help cover the cost of an Administrative position at the Learning Center. The Board approved this position last year and has offered the job to a prior volunteer who is returning to Copey to marry someone in the community. This selection is believed to be an excellent choice with prior Learning Center experience and long-term plans to become a member of the community.
To date, the teachers including someone designated to be in charge of daily operations are typically volunteers from outside of the country. The Board of Directors believes the time is now to hire someone to be in charge of the daily operations and to help move the Learning Center to the next level. Many things are needed including improvements in the facilities and classroom equipment. Equally important is the need for educational continuity. Unpaid volunteers are an excellent resource and provide tremendous talents and skills to needed areas such as Copey. However, volunteers are only available for a short time and then move on to other assignments or discontinue as volunteers. Most volunteers only stay from 3 to 9 months on such assignments. This constant turnover at various times throughout the year presents real challenges for meeting the long-term needs of the Learning Center.
Eve, a Peace Corps volunteer and the current day-to-day leader at the Learning Center, has been unique in many ways. Her nearly eighteen months with the Learning Center has provided many long-term benefits to both the students and the community. She has also demonstrated how valuable continuity is. The Learning Center wants to keep up the momentum Eve has produced and continue moving forward as a rural education leader in Costa Rica.
Therefore, we have a second funding opportunity to support in 2015. “Friends of Copey” will strive to raise $2,500 to help pay for the Learning Center’s first hired staff scheduled to be on board in March. This funding initiative represents about half of the amount needed. This fund drive will also be officially launched next week along with the AGB Scholarship Fund in a special Post announcement. Interested donors may choose to contribute to one or both of these important funding needs. More specific details will be provided next week when the formal announcement is made.
Many “Friends” following this project for the past year recognize there are minimum efforts made to raise money. There is no fee to be a “Friend of Copey” and we do not profess to be a major fund-raising arm of the Learning Center. As “Friends” we are reminded that our prayers and positive wishes for the best results for the Learning Center are our key contributions. We believe this type of support opens many doors of opportunity for the Learning Center and its students. However, sometimes we are unable to get around the need to be financially involved. Without the financial support, several of the students would not have attended the Learning Center in 2014. “Friends” with the financial means and the desire are invited to support “Friends of Copey” with donations to the AGB Scholarship Fund and or making a contribution to support the new administrative position. Whatever a “Friend” does is of tremendous value and deeply appreciated.
See next week’s Post for all the necessary details and instructions.