La Escuelita is a sister project of Club Vallarta and an important part of EDVM. Children who participate in the educational programs at La Escuelita also participate in the sports and recreational program at Club Vallarta.
La Escuelita is a before and after school and holiday program with the goal of creating educational opportunities for children of low income families. All of the children enrolled in La Escuelita come from the Magisterio/Bosques del Progresso/ Coapinole areas of Puerto Vallarta. These neighborhoods, located near the old dump, have a history of poverty and related social issues. The public schools in these areas tend to be overcrowded, underfunded, and unable to provide much individual help to children who have fallen behind. Almost all of the children who come to La Escuelita are functioning well below grade level. Some cannot read or write; while others have never even attended school.
La Escuelita’s small class sizes allow for these students to receive individual help. Children enrolled in this program spend two hours per day improving their skills in math, reading, and writing. The teachers at La Escuelita have developed a curriculum which parallels what the students are being taught in the public schools. By spending extra time each day focusing on basic education, the children are better able to understand the things they are being taught at school. Local school principals have expressed gratitude to the staff at La Escuelita as they have noticed the improvement in the students who are enrolled in that program.
In addition to offering educational support, the teachers at La Escuelita also encourage and motivate these students and provide them with positive role models. The children are happy to be there each day. La Escuelita is a place where they feel safe, valued, and loved.
The staff also acknowledges the importance of good nutrition. Early on they found that many of the children had difficulties concentrating on learning because they were hungry. To address this problem, La Escuelita serves all the children a healthy lunch five days a week. For many of these children, this is the only nutritional meal they will eat during the day.
Children’s Shelter of Hope Foundation is proud to support this outstanding program by providing funding for staff salaries and benefits each month.