Forget all my dancing – The video below is the thank you that matters – shout out to all the great supporters of this cause from 3:15 to 4:15.
I hope you enjoy this look into the work Room to Read is doing with their Girls’ Education program in Vietnam. I am proud to be a part of it, and very excited to be visiting Room to Read’s Ho Chi Minh City office and a project site on no other day than Thanksgiving Thursday.
There are lots of organizations out there to choose from when donating money. I choose Room to Read as my partner in this project for several reasons:
— RtR focuses on girls entering or in secondary school, which is the population at highest risk for dropping out.
— RtR uses a community co-investment model, working with communities that are also willing to contribute labor, materials, or some amount of financing into the projects.This increases “buy-in” and thus improves the sustainability and success level of projects.
— RtR acknowledges and addresses the complex nature of providing education. It’s not as simple as giving books or supplies. It also requires emotional support, academic support, and other material support.
— RtR uses local authors and artists to publish children’s books in local languages.
— RtR consistently and openly evaluates the efficacy of its programs.
We work toward our goal—a girl’s completion of secondary school with the skills needed to negotiate key life
decisions—through a multifaceted approach, combining life skills education, parental engagement activities
and targeted academic, material and mentoring support.
We recognize that each girl has her own challenges to education and we tailor the support we provide to her needs.
We assess each girl for material, academic and mentoring needs that place her at risk of dropping out of school and target both our support and level of support as appropriate. For example, a girl whose family has few resources but is performing well academically may receive material support but not academic support.
Of a sample of 785 graduates, 73 percent have continued on to university or other tertiary education.
94% retention rates in the girls’ education program, and a 94% advancement rate – girls passing to the next grade level.
A continued increase in girls’ participation in life skills education, from 35 percent in 2008 to 86 percent in 2012
Continued high engagement with parents and guardians, with 88 percent of girls’ parents and/or guardians attending program meetings.
Continued Work Towards Improving their Efficacy:
One step toward continually improving the quality of our monitoring is designing and evaluating new indicators.
In 2012, we began to build more sophisticated indicators that go beyond measuring outputs.
We experimented with three new indicators to examine the outcomes of our targeted support for girls who joined our Girls’ Education program since 2011:
Percentage of girls receiving academic support who advanced in school
Percentage of girls receiving material support who stayed in school
Percentage of girls receiving mentoring who stayed in school
Academic, material and mentoring supports are targeted to girls who have been assessed and found to be at risk of dropping out due to academic failure, material need or other challenges.
We found that:
Among those targeted for academic support, 96 percent advanced one or more grades.
Among those targeted for material support, 100 percent stayed in school.
Among those targeted for mentoring, 100 percent stayed in school.
Given that the girls targeted for need-based support are at highest risk for dropout, these early results appear promising. We recognize, however, that these indicators present an incomplete picture of the success of our targeted support. First, these girls joined the program at the beginning of secondary school. These statistics may decrease as girls advance in their academic careers and encounter more challenges to staying in school. Second, it is unclear whether our support led to these high results or whether we targeted our support toward girls who were likely to advance or stay in school. For these reasons, we will continue to monitor the information provided by these indicators in future years.