Project Update

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM : The 2010-2011 school year scholarship program to provide 50% of the cost to send 15 Barron kids to preparatory school (high school) in Mazatlan began in August, 2010. Each scholarship is worth $10,000 MX payable in five successive installments throughout the school year. Each successive payment requires students and parents to present grades and attendance records to the parent-teacher committee. We are now half-way through the school year and of the 15 students that started the program in August, 13 remain and are producing good grades and attendance. Two students were dropped from the program in October 2010 because they failed to present grades and attendance records. The parent-teacher committee will evaluate final grades and attendance records at school year end to decide which students are eligible to continue on the program for the next school year. The success of our fund raising efforts will determine whether we will be able to fund the students already in the program and accept new applications from this years’ secondary school graduating class.
CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS; Secondary School: Last year, FOB helped the Barron secondary school raise $25,000 MX to build a new computer classroom. The Mexican Government matched the $25,000 pesos for a total of $50,000 MX. Work began in July, 2010. Foundations and walls were completed before the funds ran out. FOB is again helping the secondary school raise another $25,000 MX by March 15, 2011 with the hope of getting another government match. With the next $50,000 MX, we hope to see the roof and floor completed so that the space, although not ready to be a computer classroom, will at least be usable as an instruction classroom in 2012. If fundraising goes as planned, the computer labs will be fully equipped and operational in 2013.
Kindergarten School: The Barron Kindergarten is overcrowded to the point that the principal had to give up her tiny office as a classroom. The principal now conducts her business under a tree in the schoolyard. The parents of the kindergartners raised $22,000 MX in cash and materials to begin construction of a new classroom. This was enough to lay the foundations and put up the walls, but not enough to finish the project to the point where a classroom is usable. The parent-teacher committee appealed to FOB for assistance to finish the project and we agreed to commit $20,000 pesos to the effort. This amount will get them a roof and a floor and make the classroom usable (if it doesn’t rain). Meanwhile, they are looking at ways to raise more money for doors, windows and electrical wiring.
FUNDRAISING: During the period January 2010 – January 2011, FOB raised $322,000 MX from the following sources:
Individual donations : 56%
Charity Golf Tournament: 22%
Dinner & Silent Auction: 17%
50/50 Super Bowl Draw: 5%
Fundraising this year is off to a much slower start with individual donations standing at about $15,000 MX. No commitment yet from the Charity Golf Tournament (we are hopeful that this will surpass last years’ generous donation), $8000 MX from the 50/50 Draw and hopes for a successful Fiesta Dinner and Silent Auction on March 5th, 2011. As always, your generous support of Barron’s kids is greatly appreciated.

Fall Progress Report

Scholarship Program
With the recent generous donation of $9600 pesos by Sonny Wong, we have now raised almost $97,000 pesos towards our goal of $150,000 pesos to fund the 2010-2011 scholarship program to send 15 Barron students to preparatory school in Mazatlan. Thanks so much for your generosity.

Each of 15 student parents received scholarship payments of $2,000 pesos in August and October of 2010. Parents are required to present grades and proof of attendance for their students before payments are made. The next payments will be distributed 15 Jan 2011.

Computer Classroom
Friends of Barron donated nearly $24,000 pesos toward construction of a new computer classroom at the secondary school. The total budget for this project is estimated to be around $250,000 pesos. The Barron community (including the FOB contribution) and the Mexican Government match amounted to about $100,000 pesos in funding for this project for 2010. The money was used to complete foundations and walls for the new classroom. Fundraising will continue for this project in 2011.

Library
The library, located in the Barron primary school, opened to the public in March, 2010. FOB funded a 6 month position for a librarian to maintain a regular schedule to keep the library open outside of school hours. In December, we will review the usage and public interest in the library.

Scholarship Program Update

The Friends of Barron Scholarship Committee, in cooperation with the Barron Secondary School, is currently putting the finishing touches on the application form. The baseline survey to establish the degree of need within the community has been completed by Barron parents and scholarship applications will go out on April 12, as soon and the kids return from Easter Break. Completed applications are due April 19 and after that time, the Parent/Teacher Selection Committee will begin to evaluate the applicants. So far, we have four entities willing to either contribute directly to the scholarship fund or to Adopt-A-Student: The Drury College Golf Team, Dave & Lindy Marvin, Marty & Cathie Sattler and Dick & Kris McGuire. We have not yet finalized the numbers, but it looks like the total cost to send a kid from Barron to prep school in Mazatlan is about $1600 USD per year. We plan to offer scholarships for about 70% of this cost. If you would like to participate in this program, please contact Friends of Barron. Details will be posted on the Adopt-A-Student/Scholarship page in the very near future.

Scholarship Program Update

The effort to provide scholarships to deserving Barron secondary school graduates wishing to continue their education at preparatory schools in Maztalan has begun in earnest. Presently, a survey is underway to determine how many students have passed the entrance exam and how many would like to attend. The survey will also attempt to identify those who are eligible to attend but cannot due to financial constraints. Laura Zambada Aguirre, the secondary school principal and her staff will conduct the survey and results should be available next week. Friends of Barron is currently working with the secondary school principal and teachers to develop an application form for students to use so they may be evaluated and chosen to receive a scholarship. Friends of Barron has lined up three American/Canadian families willing to Adopt-a-Student of Barron to help defray the cost of education but more are needed. FOB has already committed $20,000 pesos of funds raised at the Silent Auction to support scholarships. More information about the Adopt-a-Student Program will be published as details are finalized.