Dishes Making a Difference
When Future Roots began working in the most impoverished schools, we found shortages of everything you would expect to find in school: water, electricity, working bathrooms, doors, and textbooks. However, there was one particular need that surprised and saddened us.
Every day, a simple lunch of rice and beans is provided by the government to classrooms across the country, but one very important detail is often overlooked: Each student is required to bring their own plate, cup, and fork from home, and if they do not, they don’t get to eat. As a result, we noticed older kids trying to eat quickly so they could give their plate to a younger sibling in a different class.
Future Roots understands that hungry students do not learn the same and struggle to retain information. It is crucial for their success that they are nourished and ready to learn. Thanks to our generous supporters who donated plates and spoons, we were able to make sure that all the first graders started the year with their own plate, fork, and cup.
Albertina became Future Roots Project’s first student when we met in October, as the school year was ending and her teacher asked for my help, saying, “She knows all her letters and sounds, but still can’t read and won’t be able to pass first grade.” After establishing some trust with Albertina, I taught her a few reading strategies that help the brain form words by blending sounds. Using a simple song about syllables, she came to understand the concept, and two weeks later was reading fluently enough to pass onto the second grade.
A Brighter Future
Future Roots Project met this eleven-year-old in our first weeks of working. She attended every class, workshop, and activity that we offered. Even when we were preparing the materials, she was there to help. That year, she didn’t start the school year with everyone else, because it was economically impossible for her mother to pay for all four kids to start together.
Her family values education above everything but had to decide which sibling would start late. She was chosen because she is the brightest and would easily be able to catch up. She graduated from high school at the top of her class in December of 2019, and we are extremely proud of her commitment to education. She continues to overcome obstacles and is excited about her bright future. This year she is studying nursing and English.