Angela lives in a working class neighborhood in San Miguelito, Panama that is unfortunately plagued by gang violence, drug activity, teen pregnancy, and an increasing rate of school drop-outs.
She attends a free local preschool that’s part of a national network of informal preschool centers from the Ministry of Education. Though Angela’s teacher is an innate community leader, she didn’t have the necessary tools or knowledge to teach her and her peers.
That’s where United Way Panama came into the picture.
Through Nacer Aprendiendo (Born Learning), an early education initiative, Angela’s teacher, Deizabeth Caldas, attended an intensive 80-hour workshop to give her the necessary tools to teach her pre-schoolers. At this workshop teachers are trained on different teaching methodologies, gathering insight into the age-appropriate math and language skills students need to have, and receiving three Born Learning boxes which include every material and tool they need — plus a fourth box with preschool books to build their school library. To date, Born Learning has provided training to teachers in about 110 preschools (as well as supervisors and admin staff from the Ministry of Education). The program benefited approximately 6,000 students so far.
When teachers receive the guidance, resources, and support through Born Learning, students reap the benefits of the foundational skills they need to flourish and stay on track in school. We know students like Angela were born to learn, they just need a few tools on their path.