The Aid and Education Project, Inc.
“ El Proyecto de Ayuda y Educación “
Dear Sponsors, Donors & Friends:
THANKS TO EVERYONE…
Thanks to everyone for their support, especially our sponsors, donors, and volunteers. Everyone has been great. In addition to a few new sponsorships, we’ve received donations to help the children of several poor families who are not in our Scholarship Program, as well as some much needed in-kind gifts including a VCR, a TV, and a laptop computer. We have also received gifts for extending the Maya Cultural Education Program.
From all the kids --- “Muchas Gracias!”
A NEW SCHOOL YEAR
We will have five kids in
high school/trade school this year. (In
We are happy when kids in
the program want to learn a skill at the high school level.
College isn’t cheap anywhere in the world, but in
GETTING A LITTLE TOUGHER
When you are dealing with very poor people, many of whom are illiterate and have physical or family problems, it is hard to know how easy or how hard to be. And, each case is different. You can’t treat a grandmother raising kids on her own as you can a family with a mother and father. You don’t want to be too hard. And, you don’t want to be too easy; after all, we’re not in the business of giving away something for nothing.
So, we take a middle ground. Now that we have earned the trust of the families and the community, we are going to make the rules of the game a little tougher. Here’s how it is going to work going forward:
For most students, we will pay all educational expenses needed for a solid basic education. If the parents choose a school that costs more than this base level of expense, we pay half the extra cost and they pay half. In other words, we think the better school is worth the cost if they do.
Going forward, we will also offer a financial incentive for outstanding performance in school. For students with an average of 90 or above in the last 4 quarters, we will pay 100% of their school costs, even if their expenses are above the base level. This provides the right incentives for good performance, and is recalculated frequently enough to reward improved grades even in the short run.
In addition, we will require something in return from most families for our help. Parents, as well as adolescent students, must be willing to donate some time to our organization. This could mean something simple like helping take the kids for their medical exams or helping clean a classroom. For the older students and parents with an education, it could mean tutoring or helping buy school supplies for younger students.
We believe this approach is both fair and sends the right
message to the families. By working
with us to provide our services, it helps them feel that they are part of the
organization --- i.e. that it’s a team effort.
Which in fact, it is.
THE MAYA CULTURAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
As indicated in our last newsletter, our vacation school and weekend classes now consist primarily of teaching the kids about their Maya heritage. This keeps them off the streets, engaged, and away from television. More important, it gives them pride in their past, something that they virtually never get in their schools.
In November and December
(their “summer” vacation) we held these classes in
If nothing else, we know we are teaching something that the kids find fascinating. And who wouldn’t if you had never been taught anything about your own history?
Through an individual
grant, we also started a pilot program on Maya Cultural Education in
Chichicastenango, a community about 2 hours away from
Finally, we are very happy
to announce that a good friend has agreed to join us in the
At her own expense Ana
In the future she will continue to work with us on the Maya Culture Education Program, as well as on other programs in our Project.
We’ve mentioned before
that we need volunteers in
We need a translator (English to Spanish), grant writer/researcher, website manager, nutritionist, and an artist/illustrator. If you have any of these skills to donate, or know someone who does, please give us a call.
The good news is that so far we have been able to recruit a great crew of volunteers. Over the last 18 months, 19 individuals have donated time to the organization.
MANY WAYS TO HELP
Sponsorship is our most
popular way to help kids in
Whatever your interest and whatever your budget, there is a meaningful way to help. We can only guarantee that your gift will be very much appreciated by someone who truly needs your help.
HELP US MAKE OUR CASE
Many recipients of this newsletter are members of civic and religious groups that give to charities such as ours. We are always very happy to make a presentation to your group to see if there might be a fit (travel expenses permitting).
Or, if you would like to give out some of our brochures at a gathering or event where people might be interested, we will be glad to mail you literature for that purpose.
Now is the start of the school year, and now is when we need new sponsors and donations most urgently. Any effort you that you are comfortable making on our behalf will be greatly appreciated.
Please refer your friends to our website at www.aidanded.org. On the website there’s a general description of the Project, information and pictures of the students, and past newsletters.
Thanks again for your support. As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.
All the Best,
Aid and Education Project, Inc. 183