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ConTextos Annual Report 2011-­‐12

become hubs for regional learning, where teachers congregate to learn more about best-­‐practice and share student work. With the US Embassy and the Santa Tecla Municipality, we have established the first public children’s library in El Salvador, providing rich programming to support literacy development for kids, parents and teachers. And next month, we will begin implementation of a literacy program using iPads for at-­‐ risk youth.

Dear Friends,

2012 marks the end of UNESCO’s Literacy Decade, an effort to move beyond just access to schooling, in order to achieve quality education for the world’s most disenfranchised children. But even after 10 years, so much work remains to be done. Communities where ConTextos works embody the contradictions of the 21st century: widespread access to cell-­‐phones and data plans, with firewood stoves and no running water. Kids access unlimited information in rural poverty, but attend In ConTextos’ second year, we’ve learned as much about program implementation as building schools that teach only through rote memorization, organizational strength. This year, we expanded the repeated copy and dictation. breadth of our work and partnerships and learned more about the depth of possibility. We have built a foundation that will let us continue to grow in quality of “Literacy is a fundamental human right programming and in quantity of children reached. and the foundation for lifelong learning.

It is fully essential to social and human development in its ability to transform lives.”

-­‐UNESCO

ConTextos changes this paradigm. By creating access to authentic literacy instruction, kids receive an education that encourages them to think deeply, make connections, develop curiosity about the world and communicate their ideas verbally and in writing. This year, we have seen considerable improvements in student outcomes and teacher practice. Our schools

On behalf of the entire ConTextos’ community—board, staff, schools, volunteers and more—thank you for your support. With your generosity, we have been able to create sustainable change in the quality of learning. We look forward to achieving even more in the coming years.

Debra Gittler Founder and Executive Director


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Our work in schools

Completing the Pilot-­‐Phase of our 2-­‐year Innovative Library and Training Model In 2012 ConTextos expanded our innovative teacher-­‐training model for a second year at three public schools. Working intensely with 23 teachers that serve 700 students, the results from our work show that improved teacher practice has transformational impact not only on student learning outcomes, but in nearby schools as well. For instance, during the 2011 school year at Corinto School, students in kindergarten through second grade read 60 books on average compared to zero books before ConTextos’ intervention. They regularly participated in class discussion, teamwork and individual written work. ConTextos observed the following in our students versus a typical school: more reading, deeper understanding of language and texts, improved spoken and oral communication and a love for reading and learning. “With ConTextos, my clases have become dynamic. Kids participate. They’re no longer afraid to use books, read aloud, work in groups and present their work to their classmates,” said Julio César Ventura, middle school language arts teacher at El Zapote School. “Students talk about their ideas and doubts. Before, I was the only one who spoke in class time.”

First grade teacher Roxana del Carmen Chiguila Pimentel explains, “The two things that have changed the most with ConTextos is that my classes are constantly participatory and we are constantly reading. You see the change in the kids. They beg to read more, to be read to more, and as a result their vocabulary and participation has improved.” In ConTextos’ diagnostic observations, teachers rarely engaged (Continued)

The Research Behind the Model

International and regional research shows that two years of intervention is ideal for sustainable changes in teacher practice and student. In 2011, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation conducted a study to determine how best to improve teaching quality. The study’s results conclude that teachers need on-­‐going support and training, both in the classroom and through constant and detailed

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feedback from trainers and colleagues. This is precisely ConTextos’ innovative model. Research from the Centers for Excellence in Teacher Training (CETT) revealed that in-­‐class support—the bottom-­‐up model—positively impacted teacher and student performance, and that two years of consistent, on-­‐going support is the ideal intervention for teachers, particularly in rural areas of the developing world.

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students in discussion and only offered choral style questions. Research from USAID and UNICEF shows that rote learning continues to be a serious impediment to effectively prepare the future generation for civil society and the work force. “Before, I thought books were only used for transcription, to copy down information. Now as I see them as opportunities to develop a vast array of my students’ competencies,” said teacher Blanca Elena Alfaro, El Zapote. Blanca, like many teachers, has been impressed not only by her students’ responses, but by teachers at other schools who are eager to learn more about what a non-­‐traditional education looks like.

The Multiplier Effect

The Ministry of Education (MINED) has recognized ConTextos’ teachers as mentors and leaders. ConTextos’ teachers regularly support other teachers in lesson planning and share resources and knowledge. Over 30 additional teachers from nearby schools have attended trainings and workshops through ConTextos programming and dozens more have observed best-­‐ practice during exchanges orchestrated by MINED. Graphic 1: The Multiplier Effect

375

• Teachers exposed to ConTextos' Methods by MINED and policy makers • 11,413 students

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• Nearby teachers participate regularly of their own volition • 913 Students

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• Teachers that directly receive ConTextos' Support • 700 students

The multiplier effect of teacher training shows the importance and need for ConTextos’ work, and the affectivity and potential for scalable change. “We’ve been able to borrow books from Corinto’s library to develop our own literacy curriculum,” explained teacher Juan Jaimes from San Luis School. Juan Jaimes and his colleagues have participated in

ConTextos’ trainings at Corinto school, and observed teachers giving classes. “For our students, being able to visit Corinto Library was so important. They’d never seen a library before!”

Sustainable Change “During this process, we’ve become more independent. Over the two-­‐year training process, we learn to make our own decisions, to evaluate our results to improve our teaching, and to help teachers at other schools learn to improve,” Elba Doratt, Director and 1st-­‐ and 2nd-­‐grade teacher at San Jorge School. Sustainable change in teacher practice is a key element of ConTextos’ intervention. “Many programs donate materials to public schools but teachers never learn to integrate them into practice,” explained Gladys Siguenza, Director of Teaching for the state of Ahuachapán. “Teachers in El Salvador don’t know how to get kids to read or think deeply because they never learned this way. That’s why ConTextos’ training and in-­‐class support is so important. The effects stay even when the program goes.” Graphic 2 (following page) shows changes in teacher instructional practice from 2011-­‐12. ConTextos’ teachers learned to integrate teaching strategies proven to improve student literacy results across content areas. Data was obtained from a sample of 13 teachers at ConTextos’ three public schools. These teachers have received consistent in-­‐class coaching support and regular workshops. Data compares three diagnostic observations in February-­‐April 2011 with 5-­‐6 classroom observations in 2012. Teachers are from kindergarten through sixth-­‐grade in all subject areas. Teachers demonstrate significant improvement in each area of observation. In more than 60% of observations, teachers implement on-­going assessment strategies, implement diverse reading strategies, use student work to motivate classroom practice and use open-­ended, higher-­ order questions to motivate student participation. Research has consistently shown that these types of teaching strategies are critical to improving student reading outcomes, especially in areas with little tradition of literacy. “It’s not enough to teach better. Teachers must make (Continued)

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sure that kids are learning,” says ConTextos’ LeadTeacher Trainer Zoila, who spends hundreds of hours observing classroom instruction. She continued: “Teachers were using the same rote lesson plans from years ago. Now teachers feel more creative and innovative, providing new experiences for students based on their needs. Before learning was just mechanical memorization. Now they recognize that their students need to learn in an environment that isn’t just more active, but more rigorous, too.”

“It’s not enough to teach better. Teachers must make sure that kids are learning.” Zoila Recinos ConTextos’ Lead Teacher Trainer

Graphic 2: Change in Teacher Instructional Practice 2011-­12 Applies on-­‐going assessment strategies

92%

15% 85%

Uses 1-­‐2 strategies to support reading development 0% 46%

Practices shared reading 0% Implements silent, independent reading Teacher reads aloud regularly

54%

15%

54%

8%

Teacher uses student work to motivate classroom practice 0%

85% 38%

Students use varied and appropriate resources 0% Students complete group work

8%

Teacher uses open-­‐ended higher-­‐order questions

8%

Before ConTextos

After ConTextos

0%

Teachers don’t just learn pedagogical tricks, but engage in professional communities to evaluate and implement what works best. “We never achieved this kind of reflection about our work. Sure, we met and talked, but we never went into such detail about student

31% 69% 20%

40%

60%

80%

100%

achievement. We meet regularly and it’s meaningful to help us constantly improve,” explained 5th-­‐grade teacher Jorge Rivera. Teachers take leadership of teacher-­‐circles, inviting colleagues from nearby schools when appropriate.

Student Results Measuring student results in a time as short as 1-­‐ 2 years can be challenging. During the time frame ConTextos has been working, the Ministry of Education has not implemented any national achievement tests to use as measurement or comparison. In 2012 ConTextos implemented assessments in March and early September with randomly selected students to measure reading fluency and comprehension, attitudes toward learning, and knowledge of printed text. (Continued)

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Issue | Date Kindergarten

According to the Ministry of Education1, nearly 25% of students drop out of school before reaching 3rd grade, mostly because poor quality education means they don’t feel they are learning enough to justify staying in school.

Traditionally in El Salvador kindergarten only teaches “socialization” without addressing literacy development. When ConTextos first began working in 2011, kindergarten was the most challenging grade to work with. Teachers and Directors originally refused to allow kindergartners to use or touch books or practice expressive writing.

Thus ConTextos decided to initiate evaluations in 2012 with kindergarten-­second grade. All Assessments are based on Marie Clay Concepts of Print. 1st-­2nd grades also incorporate components of Direct Reading Assessment and 1-­minute Fluency, using simple rubrics and a 20-­question survey with reading and writing prompts. Only writing conventions were measured, not expression.

“We thought that they would ruin the books so we didn’t want them to touch them. We thought that kids shouldn’t use books or attempt to write until they knew the entire alphabet,” explained San Jorge kindergarten teacher Laura Velis. Graphic 3 shows kindergarten gains in writing conventions and emergent reading concepts from March-­‐September 2012. At this age level, focus is not on comprehension so much as understandings and knowledge about written text such as the alphabet, directionality, etc. This data demonstrates the potential gains in student outcomes at all levels with ConTextos’ methods: based on these results, if all kindergarten teachers were given the opportunity to begin literacy studies according to ConTextos’ model in kindergarten rather than 1st grade, we can anticipate significant improvements in student literacy abilities even before first grade, when obligatory schooling begins.

All three schools had completed kindergarten evaluations at the time of this report; only two schools had completed first and second grades. Evaluation techniques evolved from March to September based on lessons-­learned. In late 2012 and throughout 2013, we will continue to iterate evaluation techniques working with consultants and organizations throughout the Americas to best capture results and expand to 3-­6th grades.

1st and 2nd Grades

Graphic 4 (following page) shows significant improvements in all assessment areas for 1st grades. On average, first-­grade students improved 53% in reading comprehension and 85% in writing conventions.

Graphic 3: Kindergarten Literacy Gains Assessment Results

ConTextos’ utilizes rubrics to measure comprehension from students who can read text and not just isolated words (as might be appropriate for their development level). The reading gains scores for 1st-­‐2nd grades are based on comprehension of verbal (not graphic) text.

90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

25%

20%

10%

Zapote

54%

50%

47%

0%

80%

76%

75%

0%

Corinto

0%

San Jorge

Writing conventions

Zapote

Corinto

San Jorge

Emergent Literacy Concepts

Area of Assessment March

September

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Issue | Date Graphic 4: 1st Grade Literacy Gains Assessment Results

Also noteworthy is the March 2012 results in attitudes at Zapote and Corinto. In 2011 the Corinto teacher participated in ConTextos’ trainings but not the Zapote teacher, thus there is reason to believe that those students entered first grade at an advantage. However, 2011 trainings for kindergarten did not focus on reading comprehension and writing conventions, explaining why advantages are not demonstrated in these areas.

120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

100%

20%

10% Zapote

94% 56%

Corinto

Zapote

0%

0%

0%

Corinto

Zapote

Corinto

Positive Attitude and Writing Conventions Connidence toward Reading

It is important to note that ConTextos’ methods do not utilize rote evaluation; rather students must authentically demonstrate abilities to write conventionally without copying or dictation, and comprehend in addition to reading for fluency.

Fluency Fluency exams are ubiquitous and used throughout the world, giving ConTextos a measure of how students relate to kids in other developing or non-­‐ developing nations. These exams can prove controversial as some argue that they measure only mechanical ability to sound out words. However, as a general convention, they are relatively easy to perform consistently and meeting fluency standards implies understanding.

Reading Comprehension

Areas of Assessment March

September

Graphic 5: 2nd Grade Comprehension Gains Assessment Results

“We have learned a lot through the assessment process,” explains ConTextos’ Director Debra Gittler. “We have taken on an ambitious challenge to go beyond outputs like number of hours of training in order to measure outcomes and impact such as real evidence in student achievements. We will continue to improve our methods throughout 2012 and 2013 to show that it is possible to capture nuanced data about student results that go beyond traditional standardized exams. ”

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96%

50%

Graphic 5 shows change to 2nd-­‐ grade student reading comprehension abilities from March to September with both schools demonstrating a 31% increase in comprehension abilities.

The World Bank2 adjusts developing world grade-­‐

100% 83%

100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

87%

71%

56%

40%

Zapote

Corinto Schools

Marzo

Septiembre

Writing results are not relevant for 2nd grade as nearly or 100% of students demonstrated Writing Conventions at the beginning of the school year.

level reading expectations compared to OECD and international standards. Even with such adjustments, UNESCO3 estimates that 75% of third-­‐graders in El Salvador read far below grade level. As can be seen in Graphic 6 (following page), the average fluency as measured in words per minute by ConTextos’ students who are reading authentic text and not just isolated words is consistently higher than developing world standards. First graders read nearly 50% faster than developing world standards and second graders are reading just above developing world standards. In other words, ConTextos’ students exceed the reading standards set by the World Bank. (Continued)

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See Partnership for Growth: http://sansalvador.usembassy.gov/news/2011/11/4.html 2Llece. (2006). Laboratorio latinoamericano de evaluación de la calidad de la educación. Tomado de http://llece.unesco.cl. 3UNESCO Student Achievement in Latin America and the Carribbean (SERCE), 2nd Regional Comparative and Explanatory Study: 2nd Report. (Santiago, Chile: June, 2008), 28-­‐29,38-­‐39 1

Graphic 6: Reading Fluency

ConTextos' Avg Developing World Standards Int'l Standards

Words Per Minute

Comparing graphics 5 and 6, more 2nd-­‐graders demonstrate comprehension than fluency meaning that some students read slower than expected but still demonstrate comprehension, which, according to ConTextos, is a more important measure of ability than speed.

100

85

80 60 40

60 43

61 60

90 74

30

20 0 1st

2nd

3rd

Grade Level

Parent and Community Outreach “One of the biggest changes through training with ConTextos—before I didn’t reach out to parents but now, the library is the bridge that unites the classroom to the home,” explained teacher Blanca Elena Alfaro, El Zapote School. A key component of ConTextos’ intervention is supporting schools as they integrate parents into students’ learning processes. Rural areas of El Salvador have no tradition of literacy. Many parents are only functionally literate or illiterate. Through library support and workshops, parents learn how to make reading and books meaningful at home.

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Independent Library Activities (Not Classroom or School Time) Number Bene`itted

“The kids are readers and they take those skills with them everywhere. I can’t keep up with all the stories and books my kids want to share with me!” Abigail Quijada, mother of three students at Corinto School. ConTextos provides on-­‐going support so that communities can develop their own library programming, creating sustainable change in communities with no tradition of literacy. School and student leaders take ownership of the library space and functioning so that kids don’t just read in class, but are engaged in more dynamic learning environments at school and home. Since February 2012, ConTextos’ three school libraries have provided services to over 600 parents and held 29 events that engage parents in their own learning and strengthen their ability to engage their kids as learners.

500 400 300 200 100 0

411 124

Literacy Activites

Read Aloud and Story Time by Community Members

119

Parent Reading Circles

Type of Activity

The data from this graphic is based on the 17 literacy activities, 5 community -­led, and 7 parent reading circles from March-­August 2012.

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A Story of Success:

Kindergarten Teacher Laura Velis Trains Hundreds of Additional Teachers “Now my kindergarten students read and write daily,” explained ConTextos-­‐ trained kindergarten teacher Laura Velis at San Jorge School. “Before ConTextos, we didn’t think students knew anything when they came to kindergarten, but now I see how much they know and build on that. Now teachers come to see my classroom and watch me teach. I model how to encourage kids as young as four to read books and write independently, and get their parents involved. That’s why we planned the statewide kindergarten teacher conference—so every teacher in the state of Ahuachapán can learn more about how kids learn to read, write and communicate orally.” Over 300 kindergarten teachers attended the Kindergarten Teacher Conference in Ahuachapán, keynoted by ConTextos’ Director Debra Gittler and Lead Teacher Trainer Zoila Recinos. Laura regularly hosts teachers in her classroom and gives workshops throughout the state, sharing ConTextos’ methods and demonstrating the program’s potential for sustainability and replication. Her students participate in project-­‐based learning using books and producing their own writings. This is especially significant in El Salvador where kindergarten traditionally focuses on socialization, not literacy, leaving students from impoverished communities at a disadvantage when they begin obligatory schooling in 1st grade. When ConTextos first started working with Laura and her

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colleagues at San Jorge School, the idea of kindergartners using books seemed counterintuitive. Students had never touched books before, and adults feared they’d be ruined. Laura laughs, “Things have changed a lot. Now we have a classroom reading area and they can choose their own books. They love Eric Carle and big books. Anything with repetitive text and funny characters quickly becomes a class favorite. They all take books home regularly.” “Thanks to ConTextos,” said Laura, “I feel like a real professional. I hope every teacher in El Salvador—and every student—can benefit like we have.”

An example of a 5-­‐year-­‐old’s work produced in Laura’s class during a unit of study about plants. Kevin’s parents are “colonos” working for about $1/day in manual labor.

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The Santa Tecla Public Children’s Library

first

The public children’s library in El Salvador.

7,123

brand new books in the founding collection.

“There is nothing like this in El Salvador… We hope to create a model that can be replicated throughout Central America…”

In collaboration with the US Embassy and the Santa Cecilia Gutierrez Tecla Municipality, the Santa Tecla Children’s Library is Director of Education, Santa Tecla the first public library for children in El Salvador, boasting 7,123 brand new children’s books, including lending libraries for teachers. Books are for ages 0-­‐18, In El Salvador—like much of the developing world— fiction and non-­‐fiction. There are also hundreds of books are often kept out of children’s reach. Libraries novels for adults. are “closed-­‐shelves,” meaning users must request a book from the librarian. They cannot peruse on their Since April 2012, ConTextos and the US Embassy have own or pick books on a whim. Yet research shows that collaborated to provide events free to teachers, kids and the act of choosing books builds a sense of reading families. Already, over 100 teachers have attended identity, which is key to developing readership and life-­‐ training workshops during their free time, about 20% long learning for kids. with repeat attendance. (Continued)

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Lorem Ipsum ConTextos provides free read-­‐aloud and literacy activities for kids each month. Since April, ConTextos has provided over 32 hours of activities free to the public. This initiative will be maintained by the Santa Tecla Department of Education, with on-­‐going support and training by ConTextos. Located in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the library begins construction in September 2012 based on the innovative design donated by local architect Jose Roberto Paredes and his firm Cinco Patas al Gato. The Care to Help Foundation in NJ, USA has also collaborated directly with ConTextos to support the renovation of the library. “There is nothing like this in El

Issue | Date Salvador,” explained Santa Tecla Director of Education Dora Cecilia Gutierrez. “This library will bring reading and literacy to hundreds of children and connect to the 126 schools that are based in Santa Tecla. With ConTextos, we hope to create a model that can be replicated throughout El Salvador and Central America.” The library will serve as a hub for teacher development and book lending for schools and students. In addition to teacher training and literacy development for kids and their families, the library also aims to revitalize school libraries throughout the 126 schools in Santa Tecla, converting them to open-­‐ shelved, lending libraries with relevant materials.

Computers Return to School

A student at Corinto navigates the internet using laptops with modems from the Computers Return to Schools program.

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What Teachers Say about ConTextos’ Trainings:

“I loved this workshop and can’t wait to put in place in my classroom what we’ve been doing here. I just wish the trainings were more frequent.” “Thanks to these trainings, I’ve learned all about the national curriculum and new ways of teaching. I’m going to practice these strategies and use the books as a resource in my classroom.” “Thank you to the organizations who have made these books and these trainings available. It’s been amazing to have a space to learn and share with other teachers.”

This year we have been fortunate to count on the support of various pro-­‐bono consultants in addition to dozens of volunteers. Volunteer Jaime Montoya met ConTextos via connections with the US Embassy’s State Department scholarship program. As an Information Technology specialist at the Escuela Superior de Economia y Negocio (ESEN), Jaime has developed platforms to facilitate data collection from ConTextos’ work in schools, book circulation at school libraries and the Santa Tecla Library. So inspired by his work with ConTextos, Jaime applied for funding to expand Corinto School’s limited computer access… and won! In collaboration with Jaime and World Learning, Corinto School now counts on five new laptops, with a scanner-­‐printer, which are integrated into teacher training efforts and student work. Jaime works with teachers and ConTextos’ trainers to integrate technological literacy into our global literacy program. See more about progress at Corinto on their new blog: http://cecaseriocorinto.blogspot.com or at the project blog: http://computersreturntoschool.blogspot.com/

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Kids at Corinto School Read 150 books in 6 months

The following is a condensed translation of an article published by El Diario de Hoy on October 1, 2011. Teachers at Corinto School have transformed how they teach. Here, teaching reading and writing via rote memorization and repeated copying is history. Today teachers have learned that children can get to read and communicate orally by using books to think deeply and form their own stories. In fact, the first graders have already read over 150 books in the course of six months. This transformation has taken place under the technical guidance of the NGO ConTextos. The school has implemented changes in instruction, making learning more meaningful for students. The model develops reading comprehension in children, so they develop critical-­‐analytical thinking skills that deepen understanding of and provide solutions to the world around them. "It's a new vision of using books, to promote a more comprehensive and universal understanding. This way children build deeper meaning about the world far away, and directly around them," explained Science Teacher Fabio

Reading at Grade Level Corinto School through the eyes of a NY educator

Lue. Under this model, students have the opportunity to take home the books. During recess, they visit the small library built by parents and teachers that was previously an abandoned school kitchen. Within months children have become regular readers. Among them seven-­‐year-­‐ old Gerson Vladimir Beltran has read 55 books this year including Harry Potter, and 3rd-­‐grader Alexis Palacios Torres has read 56 books. "They're very motivated by reading," said Math Teacher Carlos Garcia.

view of the ocean below— was unlike anything he had yet experienced. There was no school that day, but the students came into the road and invited us into their homes. We walked across their dirt floors, inhaling the smoky air of constant-­‐burning wood stoves. And then the neighborhood children started showing us their books, titles they had lent from the school library.

Earlier this year, Nick Siewert, who completed Harvard Graduate School of Education with ConTextos’ Founder and Director, and currently consultants with the New York Department of Education, came to El Salvador as a consultant to ConTextos. Nick is well-­‐versed in issues of education reform, but our visit to Corinto Glenda, a 4th-­‐grader, showed Nick what School—high in the mountains with a she was reading: The Indian in the

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The enthusiasm is not only from teachers and students. Parents are also stakeholders. Abigail Quijada, 26, who has three children in volunteers, is one of many parents who care for the library and encourage students to be responsible and active readers. For Abigail it has been very positive. The young mother, who only studied until the seventh grade, has already read 20 books. This process has awakened in her the desire to continue the cycle and finish high school.

Cupboard. A title that 4th graders in New York City also read. A book that Nick had read when he was in 4th grade. Getting Glenda to read at grade level wasn’t as easy as dropping off books or creating a library. Intense teacher development, parent-­‐outreach, and collaboration with the Ministry of Education has helped turn Glenda’s school into an oasis that 25 teachers from other rural public schools visit monthly to receive professional development from ConTextos.

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The Book Report Books Donated ConTextos always provides resources accompanied by training and support to ensure that recipients learn how to integrate new materials into learning and their lives. In 2011-­‐12, we collaborated with organizations in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama and the United States to get the highest-­‐quality books to kids and communities in need throughout Central America, with appropriate training and development to build human capacity.

Year

Books Donated

2011-­‐12

9,204

In Collaboration with the US Embassy and Sabre Foundation

20,000

2010-­‐11

4,006

TOTAL TO DATE

July 2011 – August 2012 July-­ Program implementation at ConTextos schools August continues. September ConTextos partners with US Embassy and Sabre Foundation to bring 20,000 new books to El Salvador. Founder Debra Gittler keynotes Salvadoran Women’s Chamber of Commerce: The Challenge of Entrepreneurship. October ConTextos partners with the Municipality Santa Tecla to establish the first public library for children in the Palacio de Cultura y Bellas Artes.

November End of school year. Architecture firm Cinco Patas al Gato completes the design for the Santa Tecla Library.

December ConTextos hires three new staff, doubling our founding team size. Symbolic donation of first collection of books to the Santa Tecla Libraries: over 7,000 brand new books for ages 0-­‐18, and the space is officially announced.

January The school year commences. Year two of intervention begins.

February ConTextos board meets in El Salvador for first

33,210

annual visit. Monthly literacy activities for teachers and children begin at the Santa Tecla Children’s Library.

March ConTextos partners with Care to Help Association

Lending Libraries

3540 books have been checked out from school libraries from March-­‐August 2012 (not including Santa Tecla Children’s Library). That’s more than 5 books per kid, or about 1 book a month for every kid we serve.

to distribute hundreds of computers and plan for long term partnerships around literacy development.

April Founder Debra Gittler serves as a mentor for the Northwestern Global Engagement Summit to support college-­‐age social entrepreneurs.

May British School El Salvador partners as fundraisers and ambassadors for ConTextos’ programming.

June Ahuachapán hosts statewide Kindergarten Teacher Conference for 300 teachers, all of whom participate voluntarily for a fee, to spread ConTextos’ methods.

July ConTextos partners with Apple El Salvador and the Escuela Superior de Negocio y Economia to initiate the first iPad literacy program for at-­‐ risk youth in Central America.

August Establish partnerhips with the Salvadoran consulate, and Washington DC Bilingual Public Schools to implement teacher-­‐development and student collaboration across borders.

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Preparing for 2013 With funding from the US government program Central American Risk and Security Initiative (CARSI), ConTextos has partnered with the Escuela Superior de Economia y Negocio (ESEN) and Apple iStore, El Salvador to launch the program we refer to as “iPAZ”. A literacy program for at-­‐risk youth that utilizes iPads to promote authentic expression and collaboration, this program will reach over 400 10-­‐18 year-­‐olds from October 2012 through August 2013. The program integrates traditional books with technology to promote 21st century literacy skills.

participating students, who will have the opportunity to volunteer in the Apple Store.

Volunteers and faculty from ESEN, the leading business university in El Salvador, will help facilitate the courses to at-­‐risk students in the urban and rural areas of Santa Tecla. These students only have access to schooling for half a day in neighborhoods plagued by gang activity, poverty, and few safe spaces for children and youth. This program will keep kids engaged in after-­school hours, developing authentic reading, writing, and technology skills while receiving mentorship from college students.

Students in El Salvador will also have the opportunity to collaborate with students in Washington DC, New York City and Concord, New Hampshire public schools in an on-­‐going effort between ConTextos and educators at these institutions to create relevant, meaningful activities in which students practice 21st century skills to broaden their skill sets as they deepen their understanding of the world around them.

Apple iStore, El Salvador will provide on-­‐ going support and mentorship to

The program consists of two iPad labs each consisting of 20 iPads (40 in total) with supporting technologies that will travel to schools and central locations for instructional and work time. All collaborating partners provide support to develop and enrich relevant on-­‐line platforms for students to document and share their progress.

The program launches a summer-­‐school in November-­‐December 2012 (based on Salvadoran “summer” vacation) and engages in full program implementation beginning in January 2013.

An example of potential student work. After reading selected texts to “read as an author” students practice their writing skills. Then, using photo and video technologies, students will capture and edit image to create multi-­‐media digital storybooks about their lives, sharing process and product on-­‐line with professionals and other students as far away as the USA.

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Financials July 2011-­‐August 2012 compared to 2010-­‐11* SUPPORT AND REVENUE

2011-­‐12

Donations Grants and Foundations

$76,391.23

In-­Kind

$34,550.00

$26,769.55

Other

$2,831.73

TOTAL OPERATING EXPENSES

$140,542.51 2011-­‐12

Salaries

$69,572.20

In-­Country Travel

$9,397.08

International Travel Legal and Professional Fees

$4,087.05

Office Expenses

$3,477.75

$7,407.22

Books and Supplies

$14,715.15

Other

$2,960.35

TOTAL ASSETS

$111,616.80

2011-­‐12

Total Current Assets

$11,422.45

Total Fixed Assets

$11,925.05

2010-­‐11 $43,642.39 $10,000 $37,154.69 -­‐ $90,797.18 2010-­‐11 $21,588.00 $1,628.62 $3,283.80 $3,124.00 $1,099.70 $4,188.67 $3889.42 $75,956.40 2010-­‐11 $14,840.78 -­‐ $14,840.78

TOTAL ASSETS $23,347.50 *Year 1 Annual Report based on 8 months of operation, Year 2 based on 13 months of operation.

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Donors and Partners

Issue | Date

ConTextos is grateful to the on-­‐going support of individual donors, foundations, educational institutions, corporations and organizations throughout the Americas. Strategic partnerships help raise the quality of services, ensure program sustainability, and lower costs. To everyone who helped make 2011-­‐2012 a successful year for ConTextos: Thank You! Gracias!

Individual Donors

Asociacion Cuscatleca Ian MacKinnon Laurent Adamowicz Tom Meites Herminio Alicea Bill and Teresa Mlawer Jonathan Arnold and the Roberto Miranda Academia Británica Cuscatleca Patrick Mohr and Bruce-­‐Monroe Anthony and Terri Barash School Renato Barrera Jane Morgan Brian O’Donnell Patricia Belfato Edward H. O’Donnell Mark and Amy Blumenthal Eleanor O'Donnell Richard Boles Steve and Kathy Palmer James Boone Alex Penwill Ms. Bryce Rogers Patricia Penwill Care to Help Foundation Ms. Peña Michelle Choy Anne Marie Principe Dario Collado Tara Purnell H. Stuart Cunningham Doug Rauch Allen Dammann Mary Frances Reilly Julyne Derrick Aaron Richey Gloria, Peter and Mia Athena Bryce-­‐Rogers Dusenberry Purba Rudra Teri Edelstein Scott Ruescher Omar Egan Salud Bar and Lounge Kelly Epstein Alenna M Sandy Paul and Mimi Francis The Saphir Family Nora Gibson Salvadoran Consulate, Mario Giron Elizabeth NJ Josephine Gittler Sheila Ashby Schultz Mandy and Kelema Gittler Amy Shearer Marvin and Carol Gittler Nick Siewert The Gittler-­‐Francis Family Kyle Sledge Dan Grant Lori and William Shoening Jo-­‐Anne Greenblatt Barbara Sitrin Ican Harlow Deborah Sitrin Elizabeth Joynes Kyle Sledge Bridget Kelly The Spear-­‐Isakoff Family Barbara Kershner The Spear-­‐Wagner Family James Lay The Strachan Foundation Joe Levy Linda Swift Lima Limon Restaurant The Sushi Lounge Angel Ling Sara Tartof Gina Macchiaroli Gabriela Poma Traynor Indra Makhija Alexis Weill Pavan Makhija Jo Anne Yamaka Mr. Mann Sara Yamaka Ignacio F Martinez Wesley and Rose Yamaka * And over 40 additional donors of $10 or less. \

Alliances, Foundations and In-­‐Kind Donors

Care to Help Charitable Association

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Issue | Date

Mission ConTextos transforms the educational experience so students go beyond mechanical reading skills, to develop true literacy that incorporates: critical-­‐analytical thinking, analysis and interpretation, problem-­‐solving, curiosity and questioning. We do this through the creation of child-­‐ friendly libraries, community outreach and an innovative model of teacher development.

Board of Directors

Renato Barrera

Anthony Barash Anabella Daglio

Staff

Guillermo Franco

Debra Gittler

Teresa Mlawer

Blanca Guadron Yamileth Hernandez Alejandra Mejia Zoila Recinos Nestor Roque

ConTextos Avenida Manuel Gallardo 2-­‐8 Santa Tecla, La Libertad, El Salvador 1243 N. Leavitt #2 Chicago, IL 60622, USA

info@con-­‐textos.org

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