Our private school scholarship recipients received their first quarter grades this past week. All 9 students did very well in their studies, and we are very proud of the hard work and the progress they have made.
Our first year scholarship recipients did incredibly well given the huge differences in academic standards between public an private schools.
Their biggest challenges were in English (since English is not taught in public primary schools) and in reading and composition. Until this year, none of the new scholarship recipients had ever read a book before, only small exerts from textbooks used in public schools.
Another new experience for all our scholarship recipients has been learning that they can buy inexpensive used books to read. Schoools and colegios here in Guatemala generally do not allow families to buy used textbooks or make photocopies of them. Thus, none of our children knew there existed used book stores where, for a few quetzales, they could purchase all kinds of books to read for pleasure.
Mentes is also excited to know that a new used book store just opened up in the Zona 3 of Xela, selling thousands of use books in Spanish. The older children are especially excited about visiting the new book store and looking at the wide array of books available to them.
Our more seasoned scholarship recipients (2nd and third year scholarship recipients) all received high marks on their report cards. One student, who only started private school last year in 7th grade (after years in public school), brought home a stunning report card, that had all the middle school teachers talking! What is most incredible is that this student´s parent cannot read or write, so all the work she did at home, she did without any help. Mentes did, however, provide this student with plenty of academic and emotional support, allowing her to learn new and creative ways to study and write.
We at Mentes are so proud of the hard work, dedication and achievements of all our students. We continue to hope that even more generous donors will step forward to allow other public school students we work with to receive a scholarship to private school.
Right now, we have four super motivated students who are waiting anxiously for scholarships to private schools. Even the smallest donation could help these children achieve their dreams!