Laurel is a community of around 1,000 people in the southeastern part of Costa Rica, located on the border of Panama. The town’s economy is almost solely based on the farming and processing of palm oil, and job opportunities outside of this industry here are rare. Parents and students alike here see earning a high school diploma as the best way to succeed and find work. To graduate high school, students must pass a strenuous country wide exam that tests their knowledge in English.
2015 would be the first year of Jumpstart Laurel, but the teachers, parents, and students all are extremely enthusiastic about this opportunity to improve and to give themselves a better chance to succeed. The participating schools include 1 more “urban” school and 3 rural schools in which the students have never had exposure to learning English. Many students here struggle once they go to high school because of their lack of knowledge in English and never really catch up and many drop out.
With a little outside help, these kids in Laurel can stay on track in this crucial junction of their lives. Jumpstart Laurel will make sure that they are prepared for high school English and allow these motivated young students a fun and effective way of learning a new language.