Ruthie's Fund -- Nicaragua Teacher Development Project

What is Ruthie's Fund?

Ruthie's Fund was initiated in 2007 to honor Ruth Raife McKellar and to emulate her lifelong generosity towards children and teachers.

The Fund selects non-profit partner organizations that provide teachers, who might not otherwise have the opportunity, the chance to become better at what they do. Better teachers mean improved education for children. And better-educated children have more options to improve thier own lives and the lives of their communities.

When you make a tax-deductible donation to one of our project partners and designate it as being for "Ruthie's Fund," we match your contribution.

Here's how the fund works:

    1. Each year we choose deserving education-related organizations to be the recipient of our matching-fund support.
    2. By providing matching funds, donations are leveraged so that there is "more bang for the buck."
    3. Donors contribute directly to a parnter organization. which qualifies for tax-deductible status. When making a donation, donors should specify that they wish their contribution to qualify for matching Ruthie's Fund support. DO NOT send your donation to Ruthie's Fund; our purpose is to select deserving organizations and leverage the dollars that support what they do.

Our connection to Namlo International: the Nicaragua Teacher Development Project

One of the Ruthie's Fund programs is the Nicaragua Teacher Develpoment Project in partnership with Namlo International.

Namlo International builds and supports schools in both Nepal and Nicaragua. After visiting one of the Namlo schools in Los Pinares, Nicaragua, in 2005 we saw the need to help Namlo start an annual teacher development program, something that teachers could look forward to every year. Teachers in Namlo's Nicaragua schools work in remote rural villages, isolated from training and support, so these workshops provide badly needed skills, information, and the chance to network with other teachers.

With help from Namlo International co-founders, Magda and Hugh King, we have been able to arrange for teachers from the Namlo schools to attend a professional development workshop in the town of Estili in 2008 and 2009. The annual workshop, designed especially for them by an American-trained teacher educator, Bertha Sanabria, has brought together all of the teachers from Namlo's schools for 3-5 days of professional learning.

The workshops focus on teamwork, project-based learning, making use of local materials, and reflective teaching practices. Subject areas covered include Spanish (reading and writing), social studies, science, and mathematics. Everything the teachers learn they are be able to take home to their village schools and share with the children there.

Teachers comments from previous workshops express their appreciation:

"We received some great information that we will be able to put into practice next school year." (Francis Vilchez)

"The workshop leaders were experts in the information they taught; I hope this won't be the last instruction we receive." (Fatima Ibarra)

Of course, the real beneficiaries of this instruction are the village children. Since their teachers arrive better prepared, students learn more and are better prepared themselves to continue their education beyond the primary level. And because their teachers now feel connected to resources beyond their isolated classrooms, children and parents, too, are beginning to see beyond the limited opportunities that have characterized their lives to this point.

How you can support the Nicaragua Teacher Development Project

You can help with a tax-deductible gift to Namlo International in support of the Nicaragua Teacher Development Project that Ruthie's Fund will match dollar for dollar.

Click on the Network for Good logo and donate online.
In the "Designation" box, please write "Ruthie's Fund"

Or you can send a check to: Namlo International, 1420 Ogden St. Suite 105, Denver, CO 80218. Be sure to specify "Ruthie's Fund" so that your contribution will be doubled.