Campaign for Cofradía 2020

As volunteer teachers at Cofradía’s Bilingual School, it is our mission to raise $12,626 to support the following initiatives. Through these initiatives, we will be taking an enormous leap forward in improving CBS for the children who have inspired us every day since 1997. Below are our seven initiatives.

Initiative 1: ($980)

This upcoming year, I we plan to purchase eight (8) sets of fiction books for grades 5 – 11. These books are all written by Latin@ authors and poets, in the English language, and shed light upon subjects such as: courage and love; the human costs of political oppression; coping with violence and loss; economic hardship, immigration, and above all, the importance of family and community.

The fiction novels we would like to purchase are:

• Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel by Xavier Garza $105 for 35 copies
• Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan $70 for 35 copies
• The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros $70 for 35 copies
• Drown by Junot Diaz $70 for 35 copies
• Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez $70 for 35 copies
• Caminar by Skila Brown $210 for 35 copies
• In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez $70 for 35 copies
• The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos $105 for 35 copies
• The Long Honduran Night: Resistance, Terror, and the United States in the                  Aftermath of the Coup by Dana Frank $210 for 35 copies

In total, we will be trying to raise $770 to purchase these book sets. In the words of Mr. Andy (which must be read aloud in a Scottish accent), “We’ve got to get books into the students’ hands!” These books must be age appropriate and culturally relevant, and I believe that these eight books will be powerful novels that will positively supplement our curriculum.

As you can see, there is a ninth book on my list. This book, called “The Long Honduran Night: Resistance, Terror, and the United States in the Aftermath of the Coup” by Dana Frank, details “the dramatic years in Honduras following the June 2009 military coup that deposed President Manuel Zelaya” by “[weaving] together two broad pictures: first, the repressive regime that was launched with the coup, and the ways in which U.S. policy has continued to support that regime; and second, the brave and evolving Honduran resistance movement, with aid from a new solidarity movement in the United States.”For this book, we will be trying to raise $210 to purchase it, for a grand total of $980.

Lastly, you’ll notice that not a single one of these authors is Honduran. I would love to support Honduran authors through this initiative, but I cannot find a single novel written in English by a Honduran author. If you have heard of / read any English novels by Honduran authors or poets, please reach out to me.

Maybe someday, I’ll look through a bookstore window and see a novel written by one of our students. Maybe that novel will lend a voice to Honduras, and show the world what this beautiful country can do.

Initiative 2: ($3,000)

This initiative would have us purchasing entirely new textbooks for Social Studies and Natural Sciences. While my estimates are rough, I believe we will need $3,000 to purchase these educational materials.

First, I found National Geographic Learning's series, LOOK.

With the funds raised, we will purchase one set of these five resources for each of the seven textbooks:

• Student’s Book
• Workbook
• Reading Anthology
• Teacher’s Book with Student’s Book Audio CD and DVD
• Flashcards

In addition to the aforementioned National Geographic Learning series, we will also purchase a set of Social Studies books geared towards our secondary school learners. Funds will also go towards purchasing these four textbooks – called Impact – which are published by National Geographic, as well.

Our plan is to purchase one set of these three resources for each of these four textbooks:

• Student’s Book
• Lesson Planner
• Workbook

Not surprisingly, appropriate Natural Science textbooks proved to be a bit more difficult to find. When I found the BIG! Science textbooks from Pearson English, I nearly jumped for joy. Here was a textbook that could improve both our students’ English and Natural Science abilities, without one sphere having a detrimental effect on the other. The English language presented is simple and concise enough to explain complicated scientific themes, while the textbook carefully introduces more complicated vocabulary in a controlled manner. Our students will be learning both subjects without even knowing it.

Funds will go towards buying these four BIG! Science resources/materials for each grade, 1 – 6:

• Student's Book
• Workbook
• Teacher’s Book
• Flashcards

In addition to these materials, we would also be purchasing Leveled Readers for our Grade 7 and Grade 8 Natural Science curriculum:

• Amazing Inventors (Level A2, B1)
• Amazing Medical People (Level B1)
• Amazing Scientists 1 (Level B1, Pre-B2)
• Amazing Scientists 2 (Level B2)

These short, nonfiction stories will be a perfect supplement to the Natural Science curriculum for Grades 7 and 8 because they highlight creativity and perseverance in the field of science. This can motivate students to become inventors and scientists in their own capacities.

In total, I estimate that we will need about $3,000 to provide our students with accessible, appropriate, and contemporary learning materials for their Natural Science and Social Studies classes.

Initiative 3: ($2,000)

This initiative hits closest to home. Two families of the school have fallen on desperately hard times.

The volunteer team at CBS is preparing to raise $1,000 for each of these families so that their brilliant  students can continue receiving an education at CBS. $800 will go to each family for the costs of matriculation and monthly payments to the school, and the other $200 would buy the children a pair of shoes, new uniform (if necessary), school supplies, food or transportation.

Initiative 4: ($4,000)

This year, we will be offering recent graduates of Cofradía’s Bilingual School the chance to gain teaching experience as English Teaching Assistants, working side by side with volunteer English language teachers from all over the world. 

The idea is to hire between two and four graduates this school year, and in the years to come. This will provide our students with an immense opportunity to gain experience and be able to financially support their families during their first few years post-high school. This is even more important now than it was before: many members of our students’ families have lost their jobs due to COVID-19 and the global economic depression that has followed.

Our program is capable of providing this invaluable experience to our graduates, and our graduates deserve the world and more. Our goal is to raise $4,000 dollars to support this English Teaching Assistant position in its pilot year.

Initiative 5: ($2,000)

COVID-19 has the world on the brink of famine. In developing countries like Honduras, the threat is much more imminent. Beginning this summer, we are breaking ground on an entirely new initiative for our program: the volunteer teachers at CBS are going to build a sustainable community garden in Cofradía.

This initiative is enormous. A quarter acre of land in our community was generously donated to us for the purpose of this community garden, and to the donor we are endlessly grateful.

Over the summer we plan to make all of the necessary infrastructural repairs and additions, including but not limited to: cutting grass, removing brush and small trees, removing old stumps, repairing the surrounding concrete wall, installing gates and doors, tilling the soil, resurfacing the walls with smooth stucco (for the purpose of painting murals), and the construction / installation of a large water basin for the property.

Once the land is prepared, we will install fencing and many small wooden structures and pens. We will  plant and harvest various vegetables for families in need. Part of our produce will go directly to scholarship families at our school, and another portion will go to support our school’s cafeteria with fresh greens.

This garden will also run community-based programs on sustainable agriculture, as well as basic English language learning for all ages, after-school activities, and more. The introduction of this community garden initiative, in partnership with our bilingual school, will open the door for more volunteers of varying backgrounds to come and do their part.

However, we have a long road ahead of us. Like a garden itself, this project will need patience and care in order to flourish. The most important thing for us to do in the moment is prepare the land, so that the rest can follow. I believe we will need no more than $2,000 for the costs of labor and infrastructural repairs.

Initiative 6: ($100)

As volunteer teachers we would like to be able to offer our graduates something special. We are planning to host a graduation / senior prom for the CBS Class of 2020. This is much less about how much we spend, and much more about the experience we can give to our graduated seniors. I believe we will need no more than $100 to fund our 2020 Graduation and Senior Prom.

Initiative 7: ($546)

This final initiative includes all of the “small things”. Listed below are the individual prices for each item we would like to purchase for our classrooms.

• Small dry erase boards $40 for 25 (9 x 12 inches)
• UNO card game; $10 per set of 112 cards  (we will purchase four sets)
• Large (30 ft diameter) children’s parachute $149
• First 100 Board Book Box Set (3 books) $14 (we will purchase three sets)
• Colorful counting bears $29 for 71 piece set
• Large wooden puzzles $37 for six (6) puzzles
• Large jigsaw puzzles $11 for four (4) puzzles
$11 for 16 toy horses
$15 for 12 toy dinosaurs
• Musical / percussion set $31 for 33 piece set
• Toy doctor equipment $11 for 11 piece set
• Toy food / groceries $24 for 115 piece set

From the bottom of my heart, thank you for reading through our initiatives. If you are not able to donate to our Campaign for Cofradía 2020, please share our cause with your friends and family. Our initiatives need all the support they can get.

Again, thank you for reading, sharing and donating!

  • Myles Blattmann 
    • $80 
    • 16 mos
  • Martin Daignault 
    • $10 
    • 16 mos
  • Sarah Pitoniak 
    • $70 
    • 17 mos
  • Albert Conlon 
    • $200 
    • 17 mos
  • Dana Bekk 
    • $100 
    • 17 mos
See all


Phoebe Howe 
Ipswich, MA
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