As educators at Las Terrenas International School it is our job to create the reality inside of our classrooms and to determine the community of students we will educate, ensuring that it is a true representation of the Las Terrenas Community as a whole. Students learn from each other just as much as they learn from teachers and studies show that children from different cultural and economic backgrounds bring different skill sets to the classroom. The responsibility to expose our students to this reality, especially in a community as diverse as Las Terrenas, is not one we take lightly, and it is for this reason that scholarships and the money to fund scholarships for potential students are a necessity.
Aside from benefiting the school and community as a whole and education at our school would benefit each child and their family, providing them with tools and language experience to succeed in all areas and in the future. This gift is life changing, not just for each child, but for their family and future generations.
Our close proximity to the library projects has further reaffirmed our mission to be an economically and culturally diverse school. The disparity between many of our students and students who attend free library programs is a driving force for us in wishing to collect enough money to provide scholarships for students. We have witnessed the collaboration and mutual learning that takes place when all of the children work together and we are blessed to be a part of our community and be able to work together to identify and select students who would most benefit from the scholarships. We have an in depth democratic selection process involving all staff where we consider a child’s potential, family involvement and how the child would fit into each class community as we want to ensure that scholarship donations are investments that benefit first the child, and then the school, community, country and world.
This question has been put to us as educators and humans involved in creating a school and educating future generations. What do we want our school to be? What do we want reality to be for our students? Do we wish to create an institution that reinforces the oppressive and divisive systems and institutions of class and race in our community or do we wish to create a culture that deconstructs race and class, attempting to place all people on equal footing? We wish to educate all children, to teach our students to learn from and collaborate with people from all backgrounds, laying the foundation for a future where the whole community can work together across lines of race and class to determine from the inside what is best for the community.
Our goal is to provide high quality education and English language instruction to children from all backgrounds and financial situation and therefore to holistically make an impact on the community from the inside by inspiring students to critically think, learn, collaborate and problem solve for themselves as well as be economically self reliant.