Christian education finds solid footing in Haiti.

By April 9, 2007

Haiti (MNN) — Roughly 48% of Haitians are illiterate. That's despite a glut of religious schools all over the island nation. 

The poor education standards do not do much to help the country out of decades of poverty and social upheaval. In fact, just last year Haiti's president, Renee Preval, made an appeal to the UN Security Council asking for one and a half billion dollars to get things back on track. 

Included in his rebuilding plan was an education model, but unrest in the days since then have made it impossible to unite. Educators were frustrated because after 200 years of Christian education in Haiti, schools continued to produce a disproportionate number of illiterate graduates.

Worldwide Christian Schools' Steve Geurink says they made a strategic decision to focus on an initiative that would make the existing schools stronger. Enter: a partnership with CRECH, the Christian Curriculum Consortium. "Worldwide Christian Schools has decided not to help them build schools, which is what we're well-known for. We decided the best thing we could do for Haiti was to actually develop a curriculum that would unite all these independent Christian schools under one common plan of education."   

It's been well-received, too. The curriculum was first presented to educators in October of 2005. Educators realized the niche these six books filled and knew they held years of long-term worldview impact for children from first grade through sixth.

Geurink says they have the funding for a first run. "The initial run is 27,000 copies. But to service all the schools that are in Haiti, we would have to publish well into the hundreds of thousands of copies of this material just to be able to get it to the schools." 

Each book can be produced for around three dollars. But three dollars in Haiti's economy is a couple months' wages for the average parent. Although these materials will help an estimated 60,000 children, there are few who can afford them. 

That's where sponsors and donors can help. Not only do future printings rely on support, but so do the families who will benefit most by this curriculum. Click here if you can help.

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