Alicia started La Escuelita in 1996 and has continued teaching and expanding the school. She is a community member who was not a trained teacher but responded because the children of their community could not afford to go to the public schools.
The teachers are continuing their education through a Teacher Scholarship Fund established for these teachers. Any contributions are needed and very welcome.
"When we went back to school our world was opened up and now we can offer more to our students".-- Leonor Nájeras, teacher
The teachers of La Escuelita (The Little School) started and maintain this school for children who would not otherwise be able to afford to go to school in the capital of Nicaragua. They provide all the school materials often from their own pockets if needed. However, they themsleves make only $100 per month. The Teachers' Fund supplements their income to cover special days like Mother's Day and National Teacher's Day and to help them care for the needs of their own families.
The teachers have developed methods and lesson plans that use the direct experience of the children and take into account the special needs of this population. Many of the children are hyperactive, mistreated, suffer from malnutrition, and in some cases are ignored by their parents. Given their life experiences, they are very independent and self-sufficient - traits that the teachers work to enhance. They also suffer from great embarrassment about their poverty and the fact that they have to work, which leads to low self-esteem and the need for constant reinforcement from the teachers. The teachers of La Escuelita have made these problems and needs the basis of the Escuelita’s education in gender issues, rights and duties of children, early pregnancy, dangers of drugs, healthy habits, etc.