photo credits to Visit Norway
At Pwoje Espwa Sud we believe that education is the key to breaking through the chains of poverty, therefore, we put a large focus on our education program at a variety of levels. With over 2,000 students to educate each year, Espwa meets the needs of all learners through innovative education programs. To ensure optimal learning and safety, Pwoje Espwa Sud houses all four schools from preschool through vocational training school.
Our teachers are provided professional development throughout the year by both Haitian and United States educational professionals. Trainings include curriculum development, child psychology, and child development. Teacher training and development is an important aspect to the educational beliefs of Pwoje Espwa Sud.
Espwa believes that early childhood education is the foundation for all future learning. We provide preschool opportunities for both resident and non-resident children of Espwa. Most students start preschool at the age of three and participate in our two year program teaching the fundamentals of core subject areas including: math, reading, writing, phonics, language, and movement. Children attend school from 8 am- 12 noon each day and are served a hot meal.
Primary school in Haiti starts at first grade and continues through sixth grade. Students attend school from 8 am – 1 pm. Primary school places a large focus on all core subject areas including English, French, and Creole. Because Creole is the language of the country, this is the language our students are taught in. They receive formal training in French beginning in primary school. Each primary school student, resident or non, receives a hot meal each school day. Students are given homework each night in order to reinforce the learning from the school day. Many of the school supplies the students use are donated by the generosity of our supporters in the United States.
Beginning at the seventh grade, students are considered to be Secondary School Students. The hours of learning are from 8 am- 2 pm. In order to enter the second grade, students must take and pass a country wide exam testing their knowledge of the curriculum of years prior. Pwoje Espwa Sud has a high success rate of students passing the exam. Those that do no pass are given additional tutoring and study time in order to ensure reinforcement of the curriculum misunderstood and passing the following term. In The students are taught all core subject areas with a larger emphasis on French and English than in years prior. All students receive a hot meal each school day. Students are given homework and additional tutoring time in order to ensure maximum comprehension of the curriculum.
Vocational and Professional:
Pwoje Espwa Sud strongly believes in formalized education for all students, but also believes it is pertinent for students to learn a trade that will assist them in a career once they are grown. Beginning at the age of 15, each student begins attending the vocational training school located on the property. Students can choose a vocation from agriculture, carpentry, tailoring, welding, or masonry. This is a two year program following the regular school hours from 3 pm-5 pm each day. Students work in buildings with materials that are used to support their learning. All students are taught by trained professionals in their field and are taught administrative training in order to ensure their success in their field after they graduate from the program.
Additional Education Programs:
In order to cultivate well rounded and educated children who will be successful in the future, Pwoje Espwa Sud provides additional learning opportunities for the children. Additional English classes are available to the students after school in an English Club. These classes are taught by both American volunteers as well as Espwa graduates who have been trained by American Education Professionals in teaching and the English Language.
Children can choose for various Arts activities including dance, singing, crafts, and drawing. Many of these materials are gifts from the generosity of our supporters. Children learning dance learn a variety of forms including folklore, hip hop, tap, and tumbling. The dance teachers are Espwa graduates who want to continue their involvement and support of Pwoje Espwa. This holds true for singing, and these students are taught a variety of genres ranging from traditional folklore to rap.
Crafts and drawing provide children with opportunities to explore their creative side through a variety of activities. They learn beadwork, metal work, pastels, drawing, and canvas painting. These classes are taught by both volunteers as well as Espwa graduates.
Along with Arts and English classes, children are provided with Health Education. These classes are taught through a developmentally appropriate formal curriculum that focuses on AIDS prevention and awareness, dental hygiene, and Cholera prevention. Beginning at the primary level, children are encouraged to learn and discuss the importance of health education in order to promote a preventative as opposed to reactive environment.
In order to accommodate for our highly respected employees who may not have had the opportunity for formal education growing up, Pwoje Espwa Sud provides classes in the evenings for them as well. House Mothers participate in weekly seminars to improve the care they provide the children. These classes include basic hygiene care, nutritional care, first aid, and child development and psychology. These classes are provided by volunteers from the United States as well as trained Haitian professionals.
Literacy classes are also available to employees. These classes provide basic phonemic awareness and comprehension in the Creole Language for those that were not provided with the opportunity to learn to read. Materials used for this program are from the generosity of our supporters.
Girls Empowerment Program
The older girls of Pwoje Espwa Sud participate in a program called Fi Ki Fo; which means “Girls Who Show Strength”. This program was designed to help empower young girls. The participants of this program are taught skills such as sewing, cooking, and language by positive women role models in their community. They also participate in leadership building activities and conversations that include, non-violent communication techniques, identifying goals and ambitions, and the power of being oneself. This program is helping to inspire and change the future of the girls in Haiti.
Camp Perrin School
Located about an hour north of Pwoje Espwa and Les Cayes is a small mountain town called Camp Perrin. This small city was the original home to Father Marc and the children of Pwoje Espwa. Here, we still house a school that provides kindergarten through eighth grade education for approximately 300 students. These students receive the same quality of education as the students on our main campus. They also receive a lunchtime meal each school day.
To read more about our Programs click here
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