Calle Guzman, Granada, NI
About Students of Granada
An impromptu visit to Granada's largest public school, Escolar Carlos A. Bravo, in December 2009 has evolved into an organization of family, friends and colleagues that regularly provides school supplies and funds for many infrastructure projects.
Escolar Carlos A. Bravo in Granada serves more than 1,100 students from PreSchool through Grade 8 – providing an education as well as meals and uniforms to students who could not otherwise afford them. In an area where the basic necessities (clean water, food, shelter) are difficult to obtain, education has a huge impact on the future of these students and that of their families. The directors of the school are also responsible for supporting several rural schools in the surrounding area - so many of our projects benefit more than one community. In many countries in Central America, education is available only to those who can pay for it – so the opportunity to attend this school has even more significance as a transformational experience.
We meet with the school directors, Milena Zeledon and Javier Mendoza on a regular basis to identify the schools most pressing needs and to develop a project plan for each visit. Past projects have included constructing a library addition, building a water system for 4 bathrooms and installing 12 water fountains, replacing the open wood firepit with a propane-fueled stove, constructing 8 tree-islands to provide more shade on the playground, and a PreK classroom. Our goal for 2017 is to build a free air-conditioned dental clinic and with NYU Dental Brigade, implementation of a 3 year preventative dental program in 4 Granada public schools.
We carry in school supplies, computers, and books instead of personal luggage on each visit and regularly ship in partial containers of paper, books and other supplies.
In 2013, our work expanded to 11 schools with more than 700 students situated on Las Isletas in Lake Nicaragua. These schools are particularly isolated and many students travel by foot through the lakeside jungles for more than an hour to reach school. We tested and installed 8 water filtration systems to help provide contaminant free drinking water to students and teachers.
We have been personally funding most of our projects - with the help of family, friends and colleagues. Efforts include reguarly raiding corporate garbage bins in New York City, visiting the used book stores in public libraries and churches, and persistent advocacy efforts. We have also been fortunate to receive donations of food from Feed the Children of Nicaragua and shoes from Tom's Shoes and Share Your Soles in Chicago. We are a New Jersey Non-Profit Corp. and were granted our 5013c status in October 2013 and our status as an international NGO in 2017. This has enabled us to expand our efforts - specifically to explore donations of funds, computers and school supplies from corporate foundations. We remain committed to the principle that 100% of donations go directly to supporting our efforts in the schools. We will not be in the business of "being a non-profit".
Please join us in helping these phenomenal educators bring quality education to thousands of children and their families. Kati Davis and Hector Perez
Interested in learning more?
Javier Mendoza Lopez is Sub Director of Escolar Carlos Bravo. Javier has taught for 10 years. He was the Primary Docent at the Cedric Marti School (Las Isletas) and was a Technician at the Ministry of Education for 2 years. He also teaches linguistic pedagogy at the University of Managua.
Kati Davis is President of the Board and was Executive Director in the Office of Strategic Management at the College Board in NYC and is lead founder/board president of Jersey City Global Charter School in NJ. She has a background in educational and consumer publishing - and led teams developing innovative instructional programs for AP, McGraw Hill and KIPP Schools. Kathy received a M.S. at Rensselaer Polytech.
Milena Auxiliadora Zeledon Varela is Senior Director of Escolar Carlos Bravo (1,000 students) and surrounding rural schools. She has a BS and Masters in Primary Education from Normal Ricardo Morales Aviles and a diploma in Administrative Management. Milena has been a docent in primary schools for the past 32 years where she has been a director as well as a teacher.
Hector Pérez is Treasurer of the Board and the principal director of Tecnologia Global, Inc. in Chicago - supplying water treatment systems and equipment to Latin America and also acts as a consultant to several major U.S. water bottling companies. Hector has taught children with special needs in New York City in conjunction with programs run by Bank Street and holds a B.S. from NYU.
Escolar Carlos A. Bravo in the heart of Granada educates more than 1,000 students each year.
Tom Peña is Secretary of the Board and a well-regarded journalist and broadcaster covering the Latin and Latin Jazz music scene in New York City. He is on the advisory council for New Jersey Performing Arts Center,has a BA in Latin America Studies and Journal from Empire State College and is certified to teach ESL.
Jamal Stockton is VP Strategy and Planning in the Legal Division of Fidelity Investments' Enterprise Legal and IT divisions in Boston. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northeastern University and is a serious amateur photographer.
Jennifer Rafferty directs development for Online Learning Consortium’s Institute for Professional Development and was responsible for instructional design and Spanish Instructor for the School of Nursing at Quinnipiac College. She served as translator for Albert Schweitzer Institute for medical programs held in Guatemala and Nicaragua. She holds an M. Ed. in Instructional Design from the University of Mass., M.A. in Spanish from the Univ. of Wisconsin,
Réne David is a Spanish Instructor at New York University and has taught Spanish at SUNY, Marymount College and many high schools and hospitals in the NYC area. He is a certified medical interpreter and also has extensive experience as a legal and court interpreter. He holds a B.S. in Maritime Engineering (Havana, Cuba). As a fiber artist and dancer, he has presented at the American Museum of Natural History, El Museo del Barrio, City College and Columbia University.
NJ NonProfit 2060364 Nicaraguan ONG 6522