What We Do

The Ethiopian School Readiness Initiative is a comprehensive pre-school program with three major components:
  • Education- The children are exposed to basics such as letters, numbers, the Amharic and English alphabets and psycho-social skills. The teaching method is interactive rather than didactic.
  • Health- Children are assessed twice annually for physical, cognitive and behavioral status.  Issues which are discovered are managed either on site or with appropriate referrals.  Every child in the program is dewormed annually. 
  • Monthly parent education sessions- Menelik Desta, M.D., Ph.D., one of Ethiopia’s most prominent psychiatrists, and our partner and Executive Director of SRI in Ethiopia leads monthly sessions with care givers and teachers explaining modern parenting skill and methods of communication with their children.
  • Our original group of 80 children were tested with standardized tests both before entering the program and at the end of the school year. The results were compared with children of a similar socio-economic background who did not attend a pre-school program and with children from a higher socio-economic background who attended  a private pre-school program. The ESRI group tested better at the end of the school year in auditory comprehension, expressive speech, receptive speech and total language score than their peers who did not attend school.

  • More significantly, the children from the higher socio-economic backgrounds scored significantly higher than the ESRI group at the start of testing. By the end of the first school year,  the ESRI children had caught up completely in every category!  

  • Over 80% of the six year old children exposed to ESRI's three  year pre-school curriculum have learned to read prior to entering the first grade! 

  • 100 women are given financial and vocational training annually.

  • Mothers of our children have received training in food preparation, poultry raising, sewing and basic business practices. ESRI has provided these women with sewing machines,  cooking equipment and egg laying chickens. They are now operating licensed businesses in their chosen fields.

  • 25 women who are presently working in the pottery co-op have more than doubled their income. The weavers have had an equally successful outcome.

  • Corporal punishment as a disciplinary tool has decreased dramatically as a result of the parenting education sessions.

Subpages (2): Our Results Our Story