We are happy to announce our newest project partnership – a perfect fit for our continued commitment to support educational needs for children in the Puerto Vallarta area. In January 2018 Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation began offering monthly funds to pay the salary for one of the teachers at the Volcanes Kids Education Project (VKEP).
Volcanes is a very small, tight-knit neighborhood located on the outskirts of PV and is considered one of the city’s poorest areas. Everywhere in this small community are houses without electricity, telephone, running water or toilets. Seven years ago, after a decade of delays, the Mexican government finally built a new elementary school in Volcanes with 6 classrooms to replace the old, overcrowded school next door which was then abandoned. However, a small group of people (parents, the staff and principal of the new elementary school, civic and local government leaders, some generous visionary gringos from the Vallarta Sur Rotary group, and the “godfather” of the project, Art Fumerton), soon realized the potential in renovating and refurbishing the old school to help the children with before and after-school support in this struggling little community. Thus, the Volcanes Kids Education Project (www.volcanesproject.com)began. Today it serves and supports the educational needs of over 400 children each day!
VKEP supplements the regular public school curriculum by offering English and computer classes from 10 AM to noon for children attending elementary school or middle school during the afternoon, and the same classes from 1:00 to 4:00 PM for those in the morning school session. Each classroom at VKEP has a full-time, professionally trained teacher and, in most cases, a maximum of 20 students. There are 20 laptop computers available in the air-conditioned computer lab with an instructor during class sessions. Also on Saturdays there is a Math Club, a Book Club, and a Kids Club. In addition, there is a reading intervention teacher working with children struggling in the regular school with reading skills, as well as music, dance, and band classes. Our foundation’s Mexican representative, Beatriz Flores, has begun offering “Character Counts” sessions featuring discussions about morals, ethics, and other things to shape character. Many of the children now volunteer to help maintain and clean the school and tend to the garden. This past summer, a Summer Camp program was developed to introduce children to careers and opportunities available to those with a solid educational base. And, the VKEP school building houses a small community library with books available to all adults and children living in Volcanes.
This is a VERY IMPRESSIVE program making a major difference in the attitudes and potential futures of many children. We are happy to help support their efforts through monthly contributions and watch this exciting storybook unfold.