GROW: Ecuador Tutoring Project Update

GROW Bananas Organics Unlimited Ecuador Tutoring Program 23

Children International’s Guayaquil, Ecuador location has sent GROW a wonderful update on their Tutoring Project, which helps address the educational needs of the communities we serve and to help assure that children stay in school. Learn how the GROW Fund is helping to maintain this program for future generations. 

According to data provided by Ecuador’s Education Ministry, 3.5% of the children and youth between 5 and 17 years of age in Ecuador did not attend to school in 2012 due to “academic failure.” Recent investigations revealed that low academic performance can often be associated with one or more causal or contributory influences including unstable home and/or school environments, family separations, negative emotions, low levels of academic stimulation and motivation in the homes, learning disorders, the lack of personal organization in students’ lives, and the failure to learn and apply adequate study techniques.

The strategy of the Guayaquil tutoring program consists of providing educational support for sponsored and non-sponsored children that are in elementary school and are at risk of dropping out of school due to low grade averages in subjects that are known to be the most difficult ones: Science, Social Studies, Language, Communication, and Math.

Children International hired a full-time professional educator with extensive experience in working with children, youth and the community to develop the tutoring programs’ strategy in the field. During the months of January and February 2014, the initial phase of the project (information and promotion) was carried out in 5 service areas:

  • First, children and their families were informed of the objectives, methods and logistics of the program.
  • Second, qualified young peoplewere motivated to assume the role of volunteer tutors. The qualifications for volunteer tutors were the following:
    • They had to be between 14 and 19 years of age.
    • Their overall grade average had to be between 80 – 100 % (8/10 to 10/10).
    • They had to have available time to dedicate to the program.
    • They had to be in their last 3 years of high school years or attending a university.
    • Though not a requirement, it was desirable for them to have had experience working with youth.

Staff met with parents of youth candidates for volunteer tutors and informed them about the program and its requirements, including the time that the youth would need to invest in it. 

(Click the images below to enlarge)

In February, 55 qualified volunteers were selected and registered as tutors.

Children International purchased basic supplies for the preparation of didactic materials for the 300+ boys and girls that were projected to receive tutoring. These supplies were provided to the volunteer tutors so they could prepare teaching aids under the supervision of the agency’s professional educator.

The young tutors were then trained. They also prepared teaching aids for the tutoring sessions such as:

  • Didactic cubes (to assist the comprehension process, the development of skills, and to help provide motivation for the learning process).
  • Dominos (a didactic resource that is used to relate quantities with graphics and the sequence of
  • Didactic bowling (an educational game that helps teach the operations of addition and subtraction).
  • Mental Operations (a game used to develop participation and to teach children how to combine mathematical operations).
  • Memory cards (made with images and numbers, these cards are used to develop the memory retention).
  • Numbers game (a recreational education tool to help increase children’s logic skills).
  • Puppets (very useful tools for reading workshops).

The actual tutoring sessions are set up for participants to attend three 2-hour group sessions per week. Each group is composed of 10-12 participants. The groups meet at Children International’s Service Area Centers and community meeting places in the mornings and afternoons to accommodate morning and evening school schedules.

There are now currently 340 children enrolled in tutoring sessions that are served by our 55 volunteer tutors under the supervision of our professional educator.

If not for your support of GROW, this could not have been made possible. Thanks to the GROW Fund, many more children will have the chance for a better future.

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