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News About Epilogos Charities, Inc.
Epilogos Charities, Inc. in San José Villanueva, El Salvador Issue 09
 
 
 

EPILOGOS LIFE-CHANGING EDUCATIONAL AID

Epilogos Charities Inc. is involved in so many activities in San José Villanueva, El Salvador, that help the local community and citizens there (who we dearly call Josefinos).

There is one program especially that not only helps NOW, but will have a lasting impact into the FUTURE — that is assisting young students to attend school through the Epilogos educational aid program.

Each year, Epilogos, through the help of many supporters, is able to send hundreds of children to the public and Catholic school systems. This issue of our newsletter walks you through that work.

Recent Epilogos mission trip

A group photo from a recent Epilogos mission trip, combining volunteers and the many students who receive educational aid at the Complejo Educativo Catolico schools in San José Villanueva, representing kindergarten through high school grades.

Epilogos Executive Director (Directora Ejecutiva) Graciela Martínez and Administrative Assistant Keily GonzalezFirst, back in the United States, this program is successfully run by Epilogos Board Member and Education/Scholarship Chair, Ms. Terry Phillips, shown far right. The El Salvador school year begins in January and ends mid-November, with a weeklong vacation in April and August. Fundraising for tax deductible donations goes on all year through website and newsletter requests and special appeals.

In San José Villanueva, all the work related to the educational program is handled by the team of Epilogos Executive Director (Directora Ejecutiva) Graciela Martínez and Administrative Assistant Keily Gonzalez.

San José Villanueva, has nine schools, and Epilogos Charities Inc. has supported all of them in different projects, such as the construction of gymnasiums (multipurpose areas), dining areas, classroom improvements, school implements and computers, donations of ecological stoves, etc.

  • Centro Escolar La Serena: Kindergarten to 6th Grade
  • Centro Escolar El Palomar: Kindergarten to 9th Grade
  • Centro Escolar El Espíritu: Kindergarten to 9th Grade
  • School Las Dispensas: 1st to 9th Grade
  • Santa Maria Elementary School: Kindergarten to 3rd Grade
  • Complejo Educativo Catolico San José Villanueva: Kindergarten to High School
  • Centro Escolar Santa Maria: Kindergarten to 3rd Grade
  • Centro Escolar Dr. Salvador Mendieta: 1st to 9th Grade
  • Escuela Nacional de Parvualria: Public Kindergarten

Those marked with bold red are where we have Epilogos educational aid students. These two schools are in the center of San José Villanueva and students come there each day from many different outlying communities, some walking for many miles.


Explaining the educational aid process is done through the following question and answer format.

Epilogos Student Scholarship StoryQ. How does Epilogos work with school administrators to decide which students will receive educational aid?

Graciela and Keily receive many visits from families requesting scholarship information and this is what they study:

  • We ask for a letter of application expressing the reason for a scholarship. (These reasons vary greatly and require careful study.) Most of these are excellent students who need a scholarship to go to school. There are also special needy students who have parents that are ill and cannot work, or who have lost their parents due to violence, or others with serious household problems that we try to help.
  • We also look for a commitment from the student, for ongoing good conduct and behavior.
  • We also look at the past history of the student and any notes we may have.

The next step is produce a list of possible students, and then meet with the school principal or scholarship manager to evaluate and see if they agree or have any suggestions with any students. This is a thorough vetting process.

Q. Do you meet personally with the student and their family to learn more about them, and to assist in getting their uniforms and school supplies? What are all the things you buy for them?

It would be beneficial to help tell this story here by following one student and explaining some of the steps involved (as shown on the sidebar story).

K-9: For children in kindergarten through ninth grade, we have meetings with parents at the beginning of the year so we can make an evaluation of the previous year’s results, with suggestions on how to improve or continue in the new year. At that meeting we explain to the parents and the student about how we help.

  • Epilogos will pay for 80% of the student’s school year. This encourages the parent/parents to work and join in the expenses, so they take ownership, pride and interest in their child’s success.
  • Epilogos also provides a pair of sports shoes (we always look for stores that give us the best price), and a sports uniform and books.
  • Epilogos asks for a meeting each month with the parents, coordinated by the school, to deliver support and caring themes for the home and family. These meetings help build the relationship of the parents and the child.

High School: For high school students we have direct meetings with the group of students four times per year. The first meeting is to evaluate their past year in school and to then inform them about the new educational aid and distribution of funds.

  • Epilogos pays for 80% of the student’s school year. This encourages the parent/parents to work and join in the expenses, so they take ownership, pride and interest in their child’s success.
  • Epilogos also provides a pair of sports shoes and sports uniform and 80% of the books needed.
  • Seniors are provided with a special fund to help with graduation expenses

College: Epilogos is not involved in providing college financial aid. However, we can advise El Salvador students on how to set up open an El Salvador bank account so any donors they may find can sends funds through an international bank, i.e. Bank of America, to financially support them. Usually they are able to then use an ATM to access these funds as needed to pay for tuition, etc.

Q. How do you take the donations/funding that Epilogos receives and use this to pay the schools (and possibly the student) for the materials and educational?

The students do not receive any money. All purchases and payments are made directly from the Epilogos office on behalf of the student needs.

Q. How does Epilogos monitor the results that student are achieving and then report this back to sponsors/donors? Do you take photos of each student? Do they write letters to sponsors?


Every three months, Graciela and/or Keily meet with the school principal or scholarship manager to review results and behaviors, and to evaluate and talk to students who are not posting good grades. We speak to each of them personally and we see what is happening, and try to help them improve and find solutions.

We take photos of all students and ask them to write letters to sponsors twice a year. These are forwarded to Terry Philips who then sends them to our valued donors and donor organizations, such as churches.

Q. Lastly, how does Epilogos help the student during the school year should they need anything else?

The case of each student is different; for example some decide not to use the money for shoes and save it for another need. They visit the Epilogos office and communicate their need such as a calculator or other school supplies, etc. We try to accommodate that kind of request, but will buy it for them.

We try to give the student confidence in their work and stay friends with them as that promotes better communication. At times, they have very difficult problems with family, violence and others. We listen carefully, and when needed, we seek help for them in other institutions, people or friends. Many times it is not an easy job, but we have to be brave with our words of encouragement.

We hope you enjoyed reading how your valued and considerate donations are making a major difference in the lives of so many needy students in San José Villanueva.

You can learn more about the Epilogos website education page here.

You can learn donate educational at the Epilogos donation page here.

How to Donate Now
Online Visit our web site,
Epilogos.org and look for the donation designation.
Or
Via Mail Clip this form and return with your check exactly made to:
Epilogos Charities Inc., PO BOX 22, Nashua, NH 03061 USA.

You will receive a donation letter to use as a receipt of your tax deduction to Epilogos.
THANK YOU for your generosity.

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Epilogos Charities Inc.
, PO BOX 22, Nashua, NH 03061 USA.
Epilogos.org
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