Disadvantaged Ethiopian children enter first grade at age 7, unprepared to learn. They fall behind, lose interest, and by the end of the first grade 25% have dropped out of school. Over 50% drop out by the end of 4th grade.
SRI, our affiliate in Ethiopia partners with the Bureau of Education in Addis Ababa to provide free access, comprehensive pre-school program to over 11,500 children in 52 public schools throughout the city. The program includes a 3 year curriculum, intensive teacher training and rigorous quality control. There is also behavioral and health screening and management with referrals as needed. A feeding program for undernourished children, a parenting education program, and a mothers' vocational training project.
One mother who was trained by SRI and works in the poultry co-op, can now feed and clothe her family. The children have shoes, backpacks and full tummies!! Her daughter told her mother "I will work very hard in school to repay you for this opportunity"
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The Bureau of Education of Addis Ababa performed a controlled study with a program run by the Bureau. The SRI children learned significantly more, teachers and parents were more satisfied and the parents were more engaged with the teachers and the children. The teachers report that 75%of the graduating SRI children are able to read. 1800 children are fed a nourishing lunch daily. 100 mothers annually are empowered by vocational and financial training.