What’s New Over at the Barron Schools?

Recently, an electrical fire damaged one of the classrooms at the Barron kindergarten. The incident required the room to be completely rewired and repainted. The Parent-Teacher Committee, together with FOB, raised sufficient money to quickly put the classroom back in order. While the work was underway, a leaking roof and a faulty water pump were also repaired.

We have a request from the Parent-Teacher Committee to assist with the installation of five air conditioners for the four classrooms and the principal’s office. the Committee and FOB have obtained a bid for $34,000 pesos to complete the project. We will not take further action until we see significant financial participation from the community.

We have been told that a new principal has been appointed and started work last week. FOB plans to meet with the new principal next week and establish a working relationship. One of the issues we want to pursue is the status of the library that FOB helped build two years ago. Lately, the library has been closed to the public. Our aim is to see the library operate under its original concept, which was to serve the community in general as well as the primary school. We hope that the new principal will enable this process and welcome readers of every stripe.

FOB met with the Secondary school principal and teachers last week and toured the facility. It was exciting to see the computer class, consisting of about 40 students, in full session. The temporary classroom was wired with the help of FOB and has been equipped with 17 new computers provided by the school district. The computer server is connected to the Internet via a proprietary Mazatlan school district satellite system. When the new, more spacious computer classroom is complete and more computers added by the District, each student will have his/her own computer.

Construction of the new computer classroom, which is located behind the present facility and not visible from the main road, began in 2010. The community (with FOB help) raised sufficient funds to attract a Mexican government match that resulted in the completion of the foundation, floor and walls. In 2011, fundraising continued, and with FOB help, the community was able to complete the roof. Doors, windows, electrical and final finish are goals for the 2012 – 2013 school year. We have not yet seen a budget to complete this project, but we are hopeful that the community, with FOB help, and the Mexican government match will get this project completed once and for all. Typically, these community-initiated projects take three to four years to complete and this one is no exception.

We plan to produce a 2011 Annual Report, complete with project and scholarship program status, donations and current financial condition. This project will be completed by December 20. The report will be posted here and will also be available in hard copy for those without computer access.

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