Adopt-a-School is a program offered by a group of Rotary Clubs in northwest Washington State, in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Copán Ruinas, Honduras.
Service clubs, church groups and individuals can sponsor a Mayan village primary school in Copán. Sponsors provide the funding for school supplies, backpacks, uniforms and teaching materials for every student in the school. Sponsors receive letters, photos and reports from their school, and are welcome to visit.
Honduras is the poorest mainland nation in Central America. The Mayan people of Copán survive on $1 to $2 per capita per day, much of it earned during the coffee harvest. Few families can afford school uniforms and supplies. As a result, many children do not attend school, or they attend without notebooks and other basic tools for learning. The government only provides teachers and sometimes a daily snack.
Which schools are in the program?
We select schools based on need and the quality of teachers. Every school in the program is in a Mayan village in the mountains surrounding the town of Copán Ruinas.
How are the schools organized?
A small village will typically have a one-room primary school, with a single teacher responsible for 20 to 50 students in all six grades. Larger villages might have two or three classrooms, each with its own teacher. Most villages have a kindergarten in separate classroom. A few villages have a middle school, but none have a high school.
Providing school supplies means that more children attend school, and they attend more grades. Better educated people make more informed decisions, have better life skills, have smaller and healthier families, and contribute more to the development of their communities. Education is also an essential tool for breaking the cycle of poverty.
Many organizations have scholarship programs for individual students in Latin America. With our Adopt-a-School program, donating a similar amount effectively provides scholarships for an entire school. Your sponsorship will improve many lives.
Each year, we provide every student with the supplies they need, such as notebooks, pens, pencils, a backpack and a uniform. Schools can choose either standard uniforms (white shirt and blue skirt or pants) or a traditional embroidered outfit. Teachers receive materials such as whiteboard markers, dictionaries, paper and art supplies.
Why is it important to provide uniforms?
Officially, students are required to wear uniforms. Although this is not strictly enforced in the villages, a uniform is often the only decent clothing a child possesses. It will be worn at church and community events.
When are supplies delivered?
Supplies are delivered to students at the start and middle of the school year, in early February.
We welcome sponsors who would like to develop relationships with their adopted schools. At least once per year, you will receive a report about your school, letters or art from students, and photos of the school and students. When we visit schools, we deliver any letters and photos received from you. When needed, we provide a free translation service for correspondence.
If you come to Copán Ruinas, we will gladly arrange for you to visit your school, including a translator if needed. The best time to do this is when we make deliveries. You can also visit the world-famous Copán archaeological park, a major center of the ancient Mayan civilization.
For an entire year, the cost of supporting a student is just $12 in kindergarten and $20 in primary school. Most schools have between 25 and 70 students, and the cost of sponsorship is generally between $400 and $1,400 per year.
Can I choose the school I sponsor?
Yes, we will help you select a school whose size matches your budget.
Do I have to make a long-term commitment?
We ask that you pledge to sponsor your school for at least three years. Of course we understand that circumstances can change, and that you might need to end your involvement in the program.
Can I do more to support my school?
Let us know if you would like to learn about our other projects at your school that you might support. We will send you details as they arise.
Can I participate with a smaller donation?
We gladly welcome donations of any amount. These are used to purchase supplies for schools waiting for sponsors.
How many schools are in the program?
Our sponsors are currently supporting 2,000 students in 60 schools in 30 villages.