Our primary school in the rural community of Lamardelle provides a high-quality education for 500 children each year. From preschool through 6th grade, our students receive an education that will give them the foundation to build better lives for themselves, their families and their community.
FEJ believes that high-quality educational programs for children and their families are achievable on a national scale. We strive to be a model of excellence in childcare and education. Our guiding philosophy is that we view all people, children and families, as engaged in their own developmental process and deserving of our respect and care.
Founded 30 years ago, the Enfant Jesus School was designed to serve the growing needs for education and childcare in the Lamardelle region and the surrounding areas. Our goal is to facilitate the development of children and strengthen and support their families. Enfant Jesus School is community-based and serves as an extension of the family’s child rearing. Fulfillment of this role necessitates that we exceed the minimum criteria mandated by the government.
Integrated Services in Child Care, Family Support, and Community Development
Enfant Jesus School is as a model of quality and innovation in childcare services. It is also one of the oldest existing schools in the region. As a result, the school is visited every year by dozens of interested parties, including national organizations working to establish child care programs and international groups and individuals interested in learning more about childcare.
FEJ is committed to developing a model program and community service center that uses the school facility to strengthen and support families. Enfant Jesus School currently hosts parent meetings and conferences. It also supports ongoing parent-teacher communication and the dissemination of critical information to the community. For example, a key focus of the school program is the severe malnutrition of our students. Malnutrition often stems from a lack of knowledge, not a lack of food. Thus, nutritional education – teaching people the best foods to use from readily available sources – remains a major component of our nutrition program. By educating parents and the community on the importance of good nutrition - and also exploring ways to increase food availability - FEJ ensures that children not only survive, but that they lead healthy and vibrant lives.
The school also serves as a training center for community members, women business owners, and soon, vocational education. FEJ is committed to serving, training, and employing diverse members of the local community. Our guiding philosophy on childcare determines the quality of the staff to be hired and the ways in which staff interact with the children and their families.
Mission of Enfant Jesus School
The mission of Enfant Jesus School is to address and reduce the growing literacy gap of impoverished children and their families in Lamardelle. Our goal is to ensure that every child has access to basic education programs that emphasize learning, adapt to fit the student’s needs, and provide a structure of caring and support. Specific programming goals include:
- Improving literacy skills among a diversity of children and ages
- Encouraging the development of higher-order thinking skills
- Increasing parental knowledge and involvement in the development of their children's literacy
- Promoting tolerance and understanding by using multicultural literature designed to teach problem-solving and commonality of the human experience
- Improving children’s instructional skills as well as orienting them in practical skills such as sewing, embroidery, arts and crafts, and rural farming
- Supporting gender equality and addressing inequalities that remain between girls and boys
- Allowing each child to thrive to his/her optimum potential
Methodologies and Strategies
In keeping with our guiding philosophy, Enfant Jesus School utilizes the following educational approaches:
- Placing the child at the center of all learning
- Making learning an attractive and engaging experience
- Keeping pace with each child’s learning
- Promoting physical movement and learning through motion
- Using children’s life experiences as a support for learning
- Promoting independence, creativity, and imagination
- Using the environment and school setting to facilitate learning
Enfant Jesus School Program
The Enfant Jesus School Program is operated in accordance with the criteria required by the Haitian Ministry of Education. Operating the school has given FEJ years of experience and knowledge in overcoming multiple obstacles and learning to better evaluate the needs of the community.
Our current program is community-based and offers a holistic approach to students’ educational, health, socio-emotional, and life needs. Our holistic approach is in response to the many struggles the children and their families face in this very poor region of Haiti, where most of the parents are impoverished farmers. The infrastructure of our school includes:
- Day Care
- Elementary classes
- Remedial classes
- Distance learning (online/internet)
- Special educational classes such as athletic sports, music, art, theater, and dancing
- Vocational training
- Family programs
Program for Nutrition and Disease Prevention
Malnutrition often stems from a lack of knowledge, not a lack of food. Enfant Jesus School offers nutrition and health education, teaching children and families the best foods to consume from readily available sources. This is one of the major aims of our nutrition program. The Enfant Jesus School Canteen provides at least two hot meals a day and incorporates nutrition and health promotion into the educational program. Disease prevention is the primary focus and addresses the following:
- Deadly childhood diseases, some preventable by simple childhood immunizations, that continue to take away children’s lives and their hopes for future
- Access to clean drinking water and proper sanitation while children are at school
- Ways to protect children and communities from malaria, tuberculosis, and diarrhea
- Community-based approaches to help families and caregivers recognize Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) and where to seek treatment
- Systematic monitoring of the nutrition children receive at the school
- Nutritional health as an integral part of all primary health services, especially for infants, preschool, and school-age children
- FEJ is determined to find lasting solutions to reduce malnutrition and childhood disease. We want children to not only survive, but to lead long and healthy lives.
Enfant Jesus School Outreach Program
The goal of our school outreach program is to create unique opportunities for students to gain a multi-cultural understanding and develop friendships with other youth across the region and country. Designed for students in grades 4-6, the program includes interscholastic visits, academic competitions, artistic performances, and athletic championships as well as trips to historic sites, local excursions, and activities at the community clinic.
By promoting community connections and nurturing a championship spirit, our outreach program enables children to gain knowledge and exposure to other local schools and visiting schools as well. Our students are inspired to share their talents and skills with others.