The Oaxaca Kids Can Program is located in the Vicente Guerrero community outside of Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca
Símbolos Patrios Primary School is home to Oaxaca Kids Can, a nutritious breakfast and computer education program modeled after a program called Kenya Kids Can in Africa (kenyakidscan.org). Friends of Pimpollo acts in collaboration with the entire community on this child focused project, involving the parent committee, school faculty and local families. The initial phase of the program is a daily nutritious meal served at the school.
The second phase of the program began in November 2014. It includes the addition of an on-site computer lab and computer courses at the school. In the future, we hope to see the program expand to include additional schools in the Vicente Guerrero community.
Prior to the introduction of Oaxaca Kids Can at the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year, our surveys showed that 80 percent of students were arriving at school having eaten nothing at all or only coffee and bread. Today, over 140 children receive a nutritious breakfast at Símbolos Patrios. Three school cooks, whose children attend the school or have attended in the past, ensure that students receive a variety of nutritious meals that include lentils, soy, milk and eggs. In addition, more than 90 students are receiving a nutritious breakfast three days a week at our second school, Adolfo Lopez Mateos School.
In this short period of time, the success of the program can be seen in improved attendance and more highly motivated students. Students do not only appear healthier, but also now have the energy needed to participate in class, which has resulted in academic improvement and an extension of the school day.
Now, families are confident that their children are receiving nutritious meals. For many students, this breakfast is their main meal of the day, and sadly, for others this may be their only meal. The second phase of the program is starting to provide students with the opportunity to learn computer related skills that will aid in all aspects of learning, provide them with the curiosity and drive to continue learning, and teach them technical skills beneficial for future education and employment, ultimately giving them the tools to prosper and break the cycle of poverty.
“The children often ask their parents on Saturday and Sunday if they can go to school. They love the school breakfast!” -Símbolos Patrios parent