The Latest PIER Newsletter

Dear Friend of PIER, We are happy to share with you our November newsletter, it contains the summary of our most important  educational activities.

The Modelo School, a public school located in Sandy Bay, has one of the highest enrolment numbers on the Bay Islands (1,130 students) and as a result, has high educational needs.  This made it the best place to start our pilot reading program, enhancing their learning skills through our “Story in a Bag'' lessons, and through different oral and written fun-packed activities. Our reading program aims to embed reading practice as an essential means of learning. At the same time, it will help raise the low academic level of speaking, reading, writing and comprehension skills that hampers the majority of students from being successful professionals. We thank The Nobelity Project and American Tank & Vessel for supporting this program!

To aid students in achieving a better comprehension of the topics, it is critical that teachers connect abstract information with concrete concepts. This is the goal of our current Math Teacher's Training program.

The pilot program was initiated at the Modelo School, with thirteen first to third-grade teachers. During the initial workshop, teachers gained knowledge, including strategies on the continuous use of manipulatives to teach basic mathematics. PIER provided sets of manipulatives and conducted in-class visits with teachers and students where we could see the increased level of enthusiasm with which students learned.

Next year, we will continue doing assessments and in-class activities with students with the aim of motivating them to continue improving their numeracy skills. This program is being conducted with the support of the DeRidder International Rotary Club.

Meet our newest staff member, Bonnie Jackson Wood, from the island of Roatan, Honduras. She began her teaching career as an assistant in La Ceiba while attending college, and then returned home and has dedicated the last twenty years to working in the field of education. 

 As a native Bay Islander, she has been always observant of the way education impacts the lives of the local families and hopes to one day see future generations educated and better prepared; a shared responsibility of all the Bay Islands communities.

"Teachers are fundamental to societies because through their skills they mold attitudes, lives, communities, therefore, impacting the entire humanity.” - Bonnie Jackson, Programs Associate

Recently, the national project of Education Curricula Revision and Prioritization took place country-wide. During the implementation of this project in the Bay Islands, PIER was asked to collaborate and locally coordinate an event, with a group of approximately seventy teachers, together with representatives from the Department of Education and the Ministry of Education in Tegucigalpa. The three-day workshop focused on revising the national curricula as well as proposing some changes relevant to the Bay Islands students.  

This year, PIER has been leading an ocean literacy initiative funded by the Sustainable Ocean Alliance and with the support of the Roatan Marine Park.  As a result of this project, a formal Proposal has been developed which includes Ocean Literacy topics in the kinder through grade 9  curricula. We thank Paradise Beach Hotel, Mayan Princess, Grand Roatan, and Hyde Tours for making this event possible.

The Bay Islands department, as ranked against other departments in Honduras, still ranks 17th out of 18 in the national assessments and educational indicator reports generated by the Honduran Ministry of Education. The pandemic has given PIER the opportunity to embrace changes and consider the newest approaches to education. Transformation of educational spaces, student cooperation, flexibility, and empowering educators were some of the key topics relevant to our work this year. After two years of remote learning, our children have faced gaps in their knowledge, skills, and competencies, making the role of teachers way more challenging. If you become a partner of PIER, you support our innovation in education, and efforts to strengthen teachers’ skills and to build a solid foundation in lifelong learning. As a result, our children from the Bay Islands will be students eager to stay in school. They will be able to attain proficient numeracy and literacy skills. And this will enable them to pursue a rewarding career. 

If you would like to support our efforts, please consider a donation of  $100, $200, $500 to help us continue our educational programs through PIER FOUNDATION INTERNATIONAL (PFI), our 501c3 established in the US for your tax deductible donations!