Rise2Shine Childcare is a non-profit preschool in Haiti for which I consult. I’m excited and optimistic about their work because they’ve done their homework and are building their school the “right” way: starting small, building slowly, doing due-diligence to investigate where community needs lie, and, importantly, overseeing the ongoing implementation of this little project.
The model of providing high-quality preschool for children from materially impoverished homes shows promising results for helping kids learn more, stay out of trouble, obtain and hold jobs, and delay parenthood. President Obama is on-board with the concept, as evidenced by his recent State of the Union speech. For one successful, long-running preschool experiment, you can read about the Abecedarian Project, and for an overview of findings about preschooling, see this RAND report. Even in the absence of other interventions, the positive effects of preschool on former students endure for decades.
In addition to its curriculum, Rise2Shine provides complete nutrition to students, feeding them three meals a day. A study of the children’s health when they enrolled showed that 60% were malnourished. Four months later, this number had been reduced by half.
You can see the children and the school in the short film below.