Quality education starts with highly qualified, caring teachers working with students in a supportive, nurturing environment. Our school serves 240 students in kindergarten through 9th grade. Students have access to school supplies, textbooks, a small computer lab and a school library - the only one in the community.
Staying focused on an empty stomach is hard. Our meal program provides all students with healthy meals and a multi-vitamin everyday to ensure adequate nutrition and healthy cognitive development. Our students suffer from high rates of malnourishment, stunted growth and food insecurity, so these meals make all the difference. Over 45,000 hot lunches are served throughout the school year.
Our partner organization, Kids Health for Haiti, oversees the primary care of our students. Twice a year physicians, nurses and residents visit the school to conduct physical exams, administer deworming medication, follow-up with children who have chronic conditions, coordinate care for children needing additional services, and test for illnesses such as tuberculosis and HIV. Several students have been able to get life saving surgeries outside of Haiti thanks coordinated efforts of the medical teams.
Social and Advocacy Programs
PEF partners with mental health providers and trains school staff to help meet the emotional needs of the students. High-risk students attend a Saturday program run by teachers who volunteer their time. Interventions by our school community have saved the lives of several students. We have also collaborated with a local organization called Beyond Borders to train teachers and community leaders on how to protect women and girls from gender-based violence.
Our Summer Enrichment Program bridges the gap during the summer months and provides extra academic, social-emotional and nutritional support for our students. Test scores rose considerably after implementing the program and although it is optional for students, attendance is routinely over 90%. In addition to the extra academic support, students enjoy art projects, theater class, field trips and guest speakers.
Partnering with the community and empowering local leaders leads to meaningful and sustainable change. We work with local leaders to develop and run programs. Over the years, we have supported several training sessions for teachers in the community. Local principals and teachers then formed a school collaborative, meeting to discuss common issues and create opportunities for community members to participate in school improvement planning. In late 2014, our partners formed a Haitian non-profit organization, La Puissance de L’Education Familial (PEFF). The board, made up of local community members, pursues Haitian funding to improve sustainability and encourage local solutions.