SchoolBOX turns 10 years old this fall, and celebrates 10 years ‘Making Education Possible’ for children in Nicaragua.
Supporters, friends and community members in the Almonte and the Ottawa Valley are invited to help mark this milestone for SchoolBOX, and get their groove on at the Latin Fiesta on November 12th, 2016 at the Almonte Civitan Hall.
In 2006, SchoolBOX Founder Tom Affleck gave two little girls notebooks and pencils and watched their father’s face light up as he exclaimed, “Now my daughters can go to school”. Affleck saw the impact that these simple educational supplies could make on the lives of impoverished children in Nicaragua. It was in that moment that the dream to begin SchoolBOX was born.
Ten years later in 2016, that dream is a reality. SchoolBOX inaugurated its 80th classroom last month at the Gilberto Siles School in Masaya, Nicaragua. It has built 49 washrooms and 38 mini libraries, and has supplied 113,498 educational packages to over 17,000 students and teachers in its 96 partner communities. Just this fall, SchoolBOX will deliver 16 new libraries, complete with picture books, atlases, games, and teaching resources, to its partner schools.
In Nicaragua, this hemisphere’s poorest country after Haiti, the elementary school graduation rate has risen over the past decade from 48% to 56% of children. Access to education is slowly improving but children still face enormous barriers to attend school. “There is still a lot of work to be done”, said Sarah Kerr, SchoolBOX’s Executive Director, “but what keeps us going is the knowledge that SchoolBOX is on the front lines of making change”.
Sarah Kerr, who was 19 years old when she became involved in SchoolBOX’s first classroom build, and just 25 years old when she became Executive Director, is grateful for all the heroes that have given time and resources to SchoolBOX over the years. Now with almost a decade invested in this change-making work, she firmly believes it is the strength of community that transforms the world.
SchoolBOX relies on the donations of generous supporters, volunteers and community members that share its vision of educational empowerment in Nicaragua. “That is why the Latin Fiesta is such an important event for us”, says Kerr. “It is a night when our local community of families, artists, teachers, students, retirees, craftspeople, entrepreneurs, and friends, comes together for SchoolBOX”. This year’s annual Fiesta-turned-birthday party will have a silent auction with proceeds going towards SchoolBOX programs, a live Latin Rock band and salsa demonstrations to spice up the evening, and naturally – birthday cake!
Tickets can be purchased at Baker Bob’s and Equator Coffee Roasters, or online at www.schoolbox.ca/fiesta.
SchoolBOX is committed to ‘Making Education Possible’ for the children of Nicaragua. SchoolBOX implements cost effective programming by building schools, providing school supplies, libraries, and teacher training. SchoolBOX has built 80 classrooms, and 46 washrooms in Nicaragua and serves over 17,487 students and teachers in 96 communities on an annual basis.
Our community is united in love for the children we serve and the belief that education can defeat poverty. SchoolBOX is comprised of thousands of people from different faiths and socioeconomic backgrounds. We empower educators and students, and they in turn empower their communities and change our world.
Stephanie Rudyk Toepfer
Marketing & Community Outreach Manager