6-3-14 | Success Story
When we met Frendel, a Fabretto preschool student, she was busy working on a drawing of a flower and proudly pointed to where she had written her name. She told us her favorite parts of preschool: reading stories (especially “Little Red Riding Hood”), singing songs, and playing on the classroom’s mats with her friends.
Frendel’s experience may sound typical of any preschooler, but her world is far from typical. Each day, Frendel and her classmates (ages two to six) walk down a narrow dirt path to reach her Fabretto-sponsored community preschool. The one-room building is tucked in the mountains of Las Sabanas, one of the poorest regions of Nicaragua.
Children living in rural Nicaragua often have no access to preschool education, and if they do, their teachers deliver lessons in the traditional method—writing on a blackboard with the children copying words into notebooks. In contrast, teachers at Fabretto preschools are trained in Montessori methodology, which supports Frendel and over 1,800 other preschoolers in rural communities. They facilitate hands-on, age-appropriate activities that stimulate early child development and teach language, literacy, numeracy, and life skills.
The Montessori philosophy of education encourages children to work at their own pace and explore independently. Recognizing the potential of Frendel and her classmate, Francelly, their teacher began to give them extra challenges. Under her guidance, the girls have learned to add, count, recognize letters, sound out words, and even count to ten in English. Frendel’s mother commented that her daughter has always enjoyed preschool and enthusiastically practices her new skills with her father at home.
Frendel and Francelly
Frendel has also benefitted from Fabretto’s nutrition programs in Las Sabanas, where chronic malnourishment affects over half of children. Each day, volunteer parents prepare meals at Fabretto’s center and carry them down the dirt path to the preschool. The nutritious, fortified daily meals have helped Frendel achieve a normal height and weight for her age.
As we left, the teacher roused the entire class to sing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes,” with Frendel as a leader. She’s looking forward to joining the “big kids” in Fabretto’s primary enrichment classes. With quality education, we’re confident that Frendel will excel in first grade and beyond.