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We began in 2000 helping kids from the soccer leagues who were having difficulties with their studies. Thelma Vallejo, a teacher at a local school held afternoon classes at out company offices. Of the 9 below, 6 graduated from high school and Luis (left top) is in the University.
In 2001, we started an afternoon primary school at facilities in the community.
In 2002, we had 29 students. They were now no longer just from the league but the very needy from the community.
We grew a bit more in 2003 but it was still a one room school house. I helped out when I could but needed to spend most of my time running the business that paid all the expenses.
Here's the 2004 student body, still with one teacher plus me teaching several times a week, allowing Doña Thelm to work with kids who needed special help.
In 2006, one of our students, in the chair beside his father, our watchman and maintenance man, was shot when an assasin used a submachine gun to kill another in front of his house. A ten hour operation by contacts of one of our doctors saved his life. here he is three months lter.
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In 2006, one of our students was shot in the door of his house when a killer, ignoring Brian's presence, used a submachine gun to kill his target. The bullet nearly destroyed Brian's liver, badly damaged his intestines and destroyed two valves in a leg vein. A ten hour operation by two doctor friends of a doctor friend saved his life. Here he is, with his father, our watchman and maintenance man, four months later, still weak but back in school.
In 2007, we were finally able to add a second teacher, Gladys (right end) who took on the criticl first grade. I now had a partner in the business and was teaching 3rd and 4th math and Spanish and 5th and 6th science and social studies though still in the same large classroom with Doña Thelma. And, we had uniforms!
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In 2008, with the business growing thats to my partner's greater adeptness at administration we added another teacher, Nery Roberto, who took over 5th nd 6th grade in new classroom we fixed up and equipped. It took uniforms out of the budget but was well worth it. It also allowed us to take in more students.
In 2009, we were up to sixty kids. Getting a picture of all was a challenge. I carried a camer every day waiting for 100% attendance, a very rare occurence. Remember that the families out kids come from are generally very disorganied. And, some must work so they can eat. We did manage to again afford uniforms.
In 2010, we were over 70 kids, a strain on our company so uniforms were not a possibility. Plus medical and dental cossts plus a couple of kids with a psychologist drained the coffers even more. But the program was graduating more kids and keeping a higher percentage in secondary school.
nd here we are today. This is the bunch who just finished the school year which runs from mid January to mid October. I had to be in El Salvador on business (We have a store there.) during the final week when they took exams. Amaingly enough, we had 1005 attentendance for three of the four exam days. Starting November 3, we'll have a four week vacation school for kids who failed exams or graduates going on to Junior High. At the end of that is graduation for six 6th graders. A few weeks later is our Christmas party at the end of which we give gifts, cnew clothes and shoes to all. Then, I get a couple of weeks off!