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  • Writer's pictureJuntao Ren

Bridge to Literacy - A Testament to Education

Note: This blog is written by Bridge to Literacy, an organization dedicated to expanding quality education to underserved communities worldwide.

“A classroom can be as simple as desks, chairs, and a blackboard. But education cannot be just textbooks, memorization, and recitations.” (Spring Sprouts Webpage) I couldn’t have said it better myself.

In rural areas it’s hard to get a proper education. For the people who can, they have to travel miles to reach their school, only to receive an unsatisfactory education. Bridge to Literacy has partnered up with Spring Sprouts to help improve education for people from poverty-stricken areas, focusing on rural Honduras and China. Our program is focused on giving an individualized curriculum for each student based on their skill level.

It starts by coordinating a meeting with the student and appointed teacher. There the teacher asks them questions to assess their skill levels while trying to bond with the student. We don’t want students to have a strict teacher-student relationship, but a nice experience that encourages learning.

After receiving information about the student’s skill levels, a team of our volunteers works on creating specific lesson plans using material from online workbooks and “official” videos (fact-checked). The teacher makes final edits before presenting the lesson to their student the following week.

To show you an example of the process, I’m going to talk about a personal friend of mine that I help in English. For some background information, I’m a writer and teacher here. Anyways, this young boy, my cousin, lives in Gaza, and I was telling him about Bridge to Literacy, when he agreed to join. Due to the pandemic, schools were shut down in his area, so he thought learning a second language can help kill time. So I gave his information to the admin, and began talking to him in English to assess his skills-which turned out to be really good. Just to be sure, I began by giving him basic lessons, which he quickly zoomed by- so now I create customized lessons similar to his level.

Before concluding, I just wanted to add that this experience is just as rewarding to the contributors as it is to the students. I speak for all of us when I say that being the reason these kids are excelling against the odds, is exhilarating. The pride you feel as a teacher when your student succeeds, or as a writer when someone uses your line, or as a publicist getting their ads noticed- it’s awesome. And we’re ecstatic to be a part of it.

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