Ongoing School Construction Projects

Elementary School – The next time you drive by the Barron Primary School, take a look… the exterior has received a much needed paint job. In keeping with the FOB’s rules of Community Development, after parents of the students volunteered to paint the school exterior, Friends of Barron agreed to buy the paint. Some fathers have also volunteered to re-roof two of the classrooms and we are currently evaluating a request to buy roofing material. We also have a request from the teaching staff to refurnish one of the classrooms. The existing desks are in such disrepair and so many have collapsed, they are forced to borrow furniture from the library in order to hold classes. We are not currently funded to address this request and although it is important, it is not among our highest priorities. FOB has spent $10,000 pesos on this project and we expect to spend another $8,000 pesos on the roofing project.

School for Adults – Barron has a program supported and sanctioned by the Mexican Government to provide elementary, middle and high school curricula to adult members of the community. There are also basic literacy classes for approximately 15 students associated with this adult school. In total, 65 adults are receiving equivalent education through the efforts of three local teachers who volunteer their time and effort to this program. The Mexican Government support consists of classroom materials, planned curricula and formal testing that leads to certification of the students as graduates. The problem facing the school is a lack of adequate classroom space and furnishings that allow classes to held during the evening hours. The town has provided a vacant two room building in need of much repair for these volunteer teachers to use as their classrooms. The teachers have approached FOB with a request to repair, paint and furnish these classrooms. From among the 65 adult students, cement masons, plumbers, electricians and groundskeepers have volunteered their time and skills to provide the labor necessary to bring this school up to a point where it is useable. Given the impressive rate of volunteerism on the part of both the teachers and students to improve the educational experience for the adult school, FOB has decided to assist them with the necessary materials and furnishings to compete the classroom renovation project. FOB will probably spend upwards of $20,000 pesos on this project.

Update on School Construction Projects

Friends of Barron just donated $9500 MX to match kindergarten parents’ work and donations to complete the new classroom at the Barron kindergarten. Funds were used to buy bookshelves, coat racks, teacher’s desk, a whiteboard and a wall-mounted television. The parents painted the classroom, leveled and graveled the ground outside the classroom and donated miscellaneous furniture to finish the job.

The project to build a new computer classroom for the secondary school started in 2010 with FOB helping the school to raise $25,000 MX to obtain a government match of $25,000 MX to begin the project. By August of 2010, foundation and walls were up. The 2011 fund raising effort to complete the computer classroom with roof, doors and windows raised another $25,000 MX ($15,000 MX raised by student families in Barron and $10,000 MX contributed by FOB). The money was deposited with the Mexican government with the expectation of winning another $25,000 MX match. With these $50,000 new construction pesos, the families of Barron hope to see the computer classroom finished before the next school year begins in August 2011. Once the building is complete, the Mexican Government is offering to outfit the classroom with 30 new computers.

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.

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.

Secondary School Project Update

The effort to plan and build a computer classroom at the secondary school passed its first milestone last week when the Sinaloa School System’s Quality Schools Program matched the $25,000 pesos raised by Barron Schools and Friends of Barron. This was a joint effort between the FOB Program and the Community of Barron. Barron hosted a Valentine’s Day Dance and a raffle to raise $11,000 pesos and FOB used the funds raised at the Super Bowl Sunday 50/50 Draw as well as a portion of the Silent Auction proceeds to push them over the goal line. Plans for the new classroom have already been provided and efforts to secure a construction bid are underway. The next round of funding for the project will begin in the fall of 2010.

Kindergarten Project Update

The Friends of Barron 2010 project to improve the kindergarten water and electrical systems has been completed. Last week, the “Fathers of the Families” completed the project by clearing away the construction debris, leveling the site and spreading the pea gravel hauled in using Friends of Barron funds. Thank you to the Fathers who contributed their time and effort and thank you to our donors.

"Padres de las Escuelas" Raise Money for School

The school fathers in Barron recently raised over $2700 pesos in support of the Friends of Barron initiative to air condition the secondary school. The committee went door to door soliciting donations and were able to collect the sum. Thank you Padres de las Escuelas!

…… Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!!

Big Winners!!! Dave and Elaine Greinier in Phase II have very generously donated 40,000 pesos – their winnings from the Estrella del Mar Golf Tournament! The two golfers, along with their six friends – Kelly Dunn, Bob Blanscett, John and Katerine Portz, Aaron Bunker and Tom Newton agreed before the tournament that whatever winnings the group had at the tournament would be combined and given to the Friends of Barron Library Project. Their total winnings equaled 40,000 pesos (Dave won closest to the hole). This fabulous gift will help us purchase windows, a door and the electrical wiring for the elementary/community library.

Thank you to Tim, Nancy, Brent and William Muzyka from Phase III for their donation of 12,000 pesos which allowed us to fix the roof and walls in the library.

Kids in SchoolThank you to Christina, daughter of Jim and Frances Barnes, Phase I) for her donation of school supplies to the Kindergarten.

(From left to right, Barnes
Jim Barnes,
Kindergarten Principal,
Christina and Ana Luis, our parent interpreter.)

Christina’s son enjoyed spending time in the Kindergarten class.

A special thank you to Dick McGuire, Phase I, for his major contribution as a Spanish/English interpreter and his generous financial support.

What did we buy in 2009?

The Annual Estrella del Mar Golf Tournament donated $6,000 US to Friends of Barron. The following items were purchased for the schools:

1 computer
Bookshelves in each of the 3 classrooms
2 TV’s donated by Simon and Lauri StriblingComputer Classroom
3 Flip Charts
Retiled one roof because of leaks
1 computer
6 tables and 36 chairs (hired local carpenter)
Rewiring to bring in 220v electricity to school
1 computerGreen Computers
Cistern and pump for the bathrooms
Town of Barron
In March, 2009, Estrella del Mar sponsored a winning Little League Baseball Team by providing team uniforms.