FREDERICKSBURG, VIRGINIA, – February 19th was an historic day for Students Helping Honduras and Villa Soleada Bilingual School as they celebrated the ground breaking of a new high school. Villa Soleada Bilingual School is a top bilingual school in Honduras and is very proud to celebrate another milestone with the ground breaking of the Ken and Lynn Hall High School.
The community in El Progreso and the Students Helping Honduras (SHH) organization began the construction of the six classroom school building with an official ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration. The students and staff we’re thrilled to celebrate the ground breaking of the school with the community who has shown much patience, dedication, and hope for their students.
When SHH inaugurated the Villa Soleada Bilingual School in 2012 with a first grade class, they had big dreams. Since then, they’ve been adding a grade level to the school every year. They are contending to become the village with the highest bilingual graduation rate in Honduras. The high school ground breaking ceremony was one of the final steps in education for the students to complete the Villa Soleada Bilingual School. The high school building will be completed by local families, employees and American college students that have chosen to take an alternative spring break to assist with the construction. The school will be ready for the first students in the Fall of 2020.
The school is being named after Ken and Lynn Hall, the generous benefactors who made a $60,000 donation to cover half the costs of construction. Ken and Lynn Hall, residents of Carmichael, California are part of the Sacramento chapter of Students Helping Honduras. Ken Hall shared: “We are very excited to help build a high school that these students are going to be able to attend. It is so fun to see how excited all of the students are about the new high school. Every one of them said they are going to graduate. They are wonderful kids and they deserve that opportunity.”
Shin Fujiyama, founder of SHH shared his gratitude “We are very grateful for the Hall contribution that will allow us to build a high school at the Villa Soleada Bilingual School. Thank you for Ken and Lynn Hall for your dedicated support and strong belief that the bilingual students can achieve their dreams through the power of education!”
The mission of Villa Soleada Bilingual School is to provide an education that leads to lifelong employment and achievement. The VSBS is an ambitious pilot project that is serving Villa Soleada and nearly 10 surrounding villages. Inaugurated in 2012, its mission is to provide the poorest children in El Progreso with the quality of education to which normally only children from the wealthiest families would have access. VSBS was built in a village where the majority of adults never completed primary school, and none completed high school. The VSBS curriculum emphasizes English, technology, and critical thinking. The school has extended hours and an extended school year to maximize the time our students spend in class.
Families of students pay a small monthly tuition ($30) based on a sliding scale to send their kids to VSBS. This ensures community buy-in, helps with the operational costs of the school and allows the school to subsidize costs for the neediest families.
The school provides full scholarships to children who come from families that cannot even pay the minimum amount. In exchange, their parents volunteer their time at the school. Classes are taught by qualified teachers from the U.S volunteer teaching abroad, who create an immersive experience in English.
VOLUNTEER BUILT AND MAINTAINED
All of the initial funding and classroom buildings were funded by SHH international student volunteers. They continue to “adopt” classrooms each year and donate hundreds of books, supplies and soccer equipment for the VSBS Tigers.