The TEARS Schools go beyond their walls by nurturing relationships with the families of their students and by providing family counseling, along with regular visits to the homes of each child. In addition, students are being instructed in areas such as art, physical education, and health education. They provide each child with school supplies, vitamins, periodic medical and dental clinics, uniforms, and a daily nutritional meal. Students are being trained in social skills and exposed daily to a loving environment.
Canadian monthly donations currently cover 60% of the operating costs of the school, over and above Dominican government grants. Our goal is to increase monthly donations as this allows better planning and gives certainty to the school's operating budget for salaries and other school expenses.
The TEARS school was founded in 2000 for 60 impoverished primary-school children who had no birth certificates and couldn’t access the basic public education system. TEARS schools, which are staffed and led by locals, now provide quality schooling and meals for >500 children from Preschool through Grade 12. This quality education has resulted in students having a sense of effort optimism and hope for the future. Stories of changed lives speak of success within this impoverished community.
In 2015 TEARS completed the construction of a primary school, and in 2017 completed phases 1 and 2 of a new high school using used cargo containers, a first for the Dominican Republic. This expansion resulted in the high school students moving out of the existing building, and making room for increased enrollment of 120 children aged 4, 5 and 6 at the primary level, and 125 students in the new high school. Students now can complete their high school education rather than leave early due to the lack of family resources, the need to provide for their families and the general entropy that accompanies poverty.
Phases 3 of the new high school is planned for 2018 and a fundraising campaign in Canada and the USA is currently underway. This final phase is urgently needed to accommodate the growing student body and includes extra classrooms, lab and cafeteria spaces, sports field, proper landscaping, sewage and surface water drainage.
It is well accepted that education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty that leads to all manners of injustice.
Meet Ydekel Capellán: A TEARS School graduate who flourished against all odds
What is the T.E.A.R.S. School?
T.E.A.R.S. Schools seek additional (informal) partnerships with schools and universities to personalize and energize cross-cultural learning.
New regular monthly donors help cover teacher salaries, student materials and special student services.
Informal multi-year partnerships add immeasurably to the sense of being globally connected in new and exciting ways to communities abroad.
T.E.A.R.S. students, who do not otherwise have a chance to go to school, receive an excellent core education and are able to excel in future learning pursuits upon graduation.
Our partnership over the years has enabled the teachers to receive their accreditation. As a result, the school is now accredited by the state as a private school totally run by Dominicans.
Partnership Sponsors: Partners In Deed Society of Alberta, a Canadian registered charity, has partnered with T.E.A.R.S School to link individuals, Alberta schools, corporations, churches and other groups in support of long-term development plans in the Dominican Republic.
The Aim: To continue to provide quality elementary education for 332 students from K-Grade 12. The T.E.A.R.S. school's wholistic goals include addressing the educational, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children whose parents would not otherwise be able to afford to send them to school. By maintaining small classrooms of 20 or fewer students, teachers can better meet their students' individual needs and build supportive relationships with the students and their families.
The Location: Maria Auxiliadora, an extremely poor barrio in central Dominican Republic, near the city of La Vega.