KKIS, (Keeping Kids in School), envisions a future where education in Mexico is affordable for the majority, and where the completion of high school & university becomes more common. KKIS provides financial assistance, educational support & community connections to public school students, parents and teachers in order to help improve graduation rates in the public schools of Playa del Carmen, Q. Roo Mexico.
– 25% increase in donations 2016 to 2017
– Non-event donations doubled
– Maintained a reserve fund
– Pre-ordered 15% of 2018 school supplies
– Invested in marketing related assets
2018 focus is on maintaining all programs and strengthening our staying power through selective hiring.
School supplies are basic tools required for learning. They cost the equivalent of a weeks work here in Mexico and for many families, they are a luxury rather than a necessity. KKIS is helping to address this short-term financial need that facilitates long-term life goals. Through the Supplies for Success program this year, KKIS gave 2,917 students a full year worth of school supplies.
Scholarships are very tangible ways to keep kids in school. Because public high school in Mexico is not free, slightly less than half of the students starting primary school actually get to high school and then only 30% graduate. Scholarships ensure that children have an opportunity to finish their education. A high school or university diploma is life changing. The KKIS Scholarship program afforded 43 high school and 3 university students an opportunity to achieve their dreams.
Connection to a supportive community makes a world of difference to students, teachers, and administrators. KKIS facilitates connections for all grade levels from primary through university. This year KKIS facilitated three school exchanges with private primary school students, brought inspirational speakers to two junior high schools, connected 31 volunteer mentors with KKIS Scholars, hosted a photography class and negotiated contracts with two universities granting students deep discounts on tuition.
KKIS supports English programs in two public high schools by organizing Conversation Clubs where students are provided an opportunity to hear and practice their newly acquired skills with foreigners. Four days a week KKIS volunteers meet with small groups of students for an hour each day. This program is well attended by both students and volunteers with students reporting that they feel more confident in speaking English. A confident bi-lingual graduate will no doubt have a leg up in the job market or when applying to university.
Public schools in Mexico operate on a double shift system to maximize use of the limited school buildings. Teachers often work two six-hour shifts per day giving them little time to do all the extra activities that make schools vibrant. In 2017, KKIS helped ‘build’ a library, sponsored three field trips to the Association of Engineers and Architects, two spelling bees and a math contest.