Fifteen years ago, School-to-School International was created to realize a dream:
If we provided kids with support in education, health, and community engagement simultaneously, they could thrive in their early years and thus have a greater chance at success in life.
We started in Guinea, West Africa in 2002, in schools most of us would barely recognize: dilapidated buildings, overcrowded classrooms, broken furniture, few books, and no electricity, water, toilets, or food. Teachers came and went, many holding second jobs to make ends meet. Students struggled to access and engage in their education.
A unique aspect of School-to-School International’s work in Morocco is the use of officials from the Moroccan Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (MOE) as enumerators, or data collectors, for the Early Grade Reading Assessment (EGRA). Good enumerators are vital to the success of an assessment because they assure students that they are not being graded on their responses and create a relaxed atmosphere for the students when conducting an oral assessment of their literacy skills. This positive environment prepares the students to perform to their best ability while being tested. Using Ministry officials as enumerators builds their capacity and enables them to continue to conduct assessments after the project ends. This model had even farther reaching effects in Morocco because, through continuous participation and involvement, the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training took greater ownership of the project.
Since School-to-School International was founded in 2002, one big question has driven our work: What does a child need in order to thrive in the classroom? There are many answers. No single “magic bullet” will lead to success.
This belief inspired our integrated Whole Child Model. This holistic program includes an array of activities in three areas — education, health, and engagement. Just like a car, a school is composed of a complex set of parts. All of them must function properly to ensure students are on the road to a quality education.