About the Project
This project is one of the 2010 WISE Awards finalists.
Espacios para Crecer (EpC) is an innovative transitional education program designed to rescue children between the ages of 6 and 13 from the worst forms of child labor and reinsert them into the school system or prevent them from falling into the child labor market in the first place. Most of these children are the victims of inter-generational poverty.
Solution and Impact
The 18-month program, structured in daily lessons, focuses on three areas: academic, personal and recreational. The EpCs, which are managed by trained facilitators from the local community, use 16 publications, including student workbooks and facilitator manuals. The methodology, which incorporates Quantum Learning (QL), accelerates learning and actively engages the students.
The program’s impact is stunning: participants attend regularly and 95% are back in school and have broken the cycle of child labor. Public schools in poor communities have been strengthened by the QL-based EpC dynamic methodology. Teachers have rediscovered their passion for their vocation as educators, and students’ learning potential is mined.
The community-based EpCs are supported by a consortium of 16 Dominican organizations as well as the public sector through the Ministries of Education and the private sector through corporate social responsibility programs. The program has proven to be applicable to a variety of geographic and socioeconomic settings. To date, there are 375 EpCs in the Dominican Republic serving over 9,000 students, with a total of 2,000 teachers trained in QL. Colombia has 400 EpCs for 9,500 students and 484 QL-trained teachers.