School the World

About the Project

This project is one of the 2022 WISE Awards finalists. 


Context and Issue 

School the World operates in rural Guatemala, Honduras and Panama with marginalized and largely indigenous communities. Children are learning in extremely poor conditions, with few resources such as books, and poorly trained teachers with no accountability. Currently, conditions are much worse due to the pandemic’s extended school closures. These children have lost 4X more school days than any other globally and 3 million are expected to drop out.

Solution and Impact

Using a grassroots model, we unite community leaders, parents, and teachers to transform local school systems into drivers of positive social change. Our holistic programming begins with early childhood, ensuring children start school ready to learn; continues to primary school, emphasizing literacy and social-emotional learning; and extends through secondary school, equipping young people with the digital and life skills needed to chart a path out of poverty.

Infrastructure begins our partnership with the community and local government. Through trainings, parents become empowered knowing their child’s right to an education and how they can support them. Teacher capacity grows with 2 years of training focused on school readiness, foundational & digital literacy, social-emotional learning + remedial techniques.

Future Developments 

In 2017, a deep dive at our first schools showed increased 1st grade passing rates, higher completion rates and, in a school where the drop-out rate had been 60%, it decreased to 25% and was recently verbally reported < 3%. Surveys of parents, teachers & students showed improved morale, increased home support and teacher accountability. Further, 95% of parents understood their role as 1st educators.

First, we plan to roll out a “catch up” initiative to mitigate the pandemic learning loss and maintain/increase enrollment. We will continue to expand our Early Childhood and Scholarship Programs in Guatemala and launch both in Honduras and Panama. Finally, we are currently working on a post-pandemic vision, strategy and goals for 2025 and beyond! 

May 19, 2022 (last update 09-15-2022)