School-to-School International has pioneered this development
approach rooted in the understanding that for students to thrive,
their basic needs must be fulfilled.
I support my girls and…encourage them to study with the boys.
1 – Children are not learning. Many never attend school; others drop out due to poor learning conditions, insufficient access, or home obligations. Over 59 million children will not go to school this year—half of them live in sub-Saharan Africa. Of the nearly 30 million elementary-age children who are out-of-school, half have never stepped foot in a classroom. Girls are impacted far more than boys, accounting for 55% of out-of-school children. In Tanzania, girls are more likely to become child brides than they are to attend high school.
2 – School alone is not enough. In sub-Saharan Africa, where STS is concentrating its Whole Child Model efforts, only half of students are likely to meet international learning standards. The average class size is 42 and sometimes exceeds 200. Many teachers do not earn enough to bring their families out of poverty, and 40% of children are stunted from malnutrition in Tanzania. Additionally, less than 14% of the population has access to electricity, and only 3% has a flush toilet. In conditions like these, even the most gifted children struggle to do well in school.
For 17 years, School-to-School International (STS) has been developing the Whole Child Model—a holistic approach to education based on the understanding that for students to thrive, their basic needs must be fulfilled. Rooted in years of research and professional experience, the Model focuses on three areas of need—education, health, and community engagement—so that all children can learn more effectively.
Since 2002, STS has partnered with 36 schools in Guinea to support more than 8,000 students through active learning, local language instruction, teacher training, and girls’ empowerment. We have developed school health policies, provided medical supplies, and constructed wells and latrines. And we have trained school managers, deepened parental involvement, and hosted cross-cultural learning opportunities to increase community engagement in education. Now we’re expanding to Tanzania.
Our research in Guinea shows that when girls participate in our Whole Child Model girls’ scholarship program, they score significantly higher in reading and math than other students. Our efforts led to increased hand washing and use of toilets. Teachers and students showed improved knowledge of hygienic practices. Parents increasingly monitored the sanitation status of schools and established more equitable divisions of chores between their sons and daughters.
Our commitment to effective and healthy school environments and supportive communities has made STS a valued partner in the international development community.
Your commitment to STS’s Whole Child Model can help students learn and stay healthy with the support of their communities. With your donation, they can thrive.