In 2009, our organization set out to build Casa Chapi, a boarding house for children living in areas so remote that school became an afterthought. These kids could live and attend public school in the nearby town of Chivay. After two years of operating the house, the Ministry of Education of Peru proposed that we build a private school (managed by Quechua Benefit) on the Casa Chapi campus. They were impressed by the academic performance of our students. They wanted to use Casa Chapi as a model in the highlands to encourage other nonprofit organizations to follow suite.
In 2008, a study done by World Bank Group ranked Peru FIRST in school attendance but LAST in school performance. We needed to be different.
The truth is, we knew zero about operating a school and did not have the resources to build the classrooms. Through persistence of the Ministry and the generosity of our donors, we were able to deliver our beautiful Casa Chapi school in 2013. The Ministry agreed to supply and pay for teachers’ salaries along with start up books and supplies.
By developing a student-centric pedagogy based on project-based learning, our organization easily identified one of the largest obstacles facing our highland students: language. Most of our students come from homes where Quechua is their native language. The school curriculum is taught in Spanish.
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• Reading Spanish is the most important skill we can teach our first and second graders. They are ill-equipped to join classes taught exclusively in Spanish, as mandated by the Peruvian government. If kids cannot read, they become frustrated, fall behind and are destined to drop out of school.
• Children need weekly, timed reading tests to increase their reading and comprehension skills. Our first and second graders (where Spanish is a second language), on average, test 34.5% above the standard set by academic reporting to the World Bank. The Ministry of Education has taken a substantial interest in our decision to teach reading as an additional workshop with specialized books and vocabulary aids. This success has stirred interest within the Ministry to expand our program outside of the walls of Casa Chapi.
70% of rural Peruvians drop out of school. Once children can read at their grade level, the dropout rate plummets. The dropout rate for Casa Chapi kids between primary and secondary school is less than 10%!
At Casa Chapi we want to honor the needs of our diverse population. Curriculum include classes taught in Quechua, including Quechua culture and language as well as values education.
Quechua Benefit believes that a quality education is the foundation from which, together, we will break the cycle of poverty. Each child who graduates from Casa Chapi will do so because of your generosity. They will go farther and earn more for their families in the future than anyone might have thought possible.
With your help, Casa Chapi has the capacity for 29% growth over the next 5 years. That means hundreds more children will have the opportunity to change their futures.
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Provide clean drinking water for one child during the school year at Casa Chapi.