Howler Magazine - - Community - By Sylvia Monge

One of the main rea­sons many fam­i­lies come to the Ta­marindo area is be­cause of the va­ri­ety of school op­tions. Our lit­tle com­mu­nity is home to many schools, which each cre­ate a home for lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional chil­dren. Ed­u­carte was born in 2008 with a vi­sion of giv­ing im­mi­grant and lo­cal chil­dren a bilin­gual ed­u­ca­tion. Ten years later, Ed­u­carte has a new di­rec­tor, whose vi­sion comes from years of ed­u­ca­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence.

Mi­la­gros Gal­le­gos has ar­rived to Ed­u­carte af­ter 23 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the class­room, as an ad­min­is­tra­tor and as an ed­u­ca­tional pro­gram cre­ator. She started her ed­u­ca­tion ca­reer in San José, teach­ing el­e­men­tary school and act­ing as a sci­ence co­or­di­na­tor. She spent the fol­low­ing years study­ing and writ­ing ed­u­ca­tional ma­te­rial. She later moved to Nosara and cre­ated a home­school­ing pro­gram for lo­cal and ex­pat stu­dents. Fam­ily re­spon­si­bil­i­ties took her back to Peru, where she worked as a teacher, sci­ence co­or­di­na­tor and fi­nally a mid­dle school prin­ci­pal.

Mi­la­gros' core strength is ed­u­ca­tion for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment (ESD). She was the co­or­di­na­tor in Peru and is part of the ESD School Net­work, cur­rently work­ing with five par­tic­i­pat­ing pri­vate schools. The net­work was cre­ated for the shar­ing of ideas, knowl­edge and ac­tiv­i­ties in ar­eas such as car­bon neu­tral schools, and teach­ing chil­dren about re­cy­cling and en­ergy con­ser­va­tion and pro­duc­tion. Group mem­bers meet every month to work col­lab­o­ra­tively sup­port­ing ESD pro­gram de­vel­op­ment in both the pub­lic and pri­vate school sec­tors. Ed­u­carte would like to be able to ex­pand and hold meet­ings with other pub­lic schools to share an ac­tion plan. To this end they have al­ready had meet­ings with the coun­try's min­is­ter of ed­u­ca­tion.

Mi­la­gros has found in Ed­u­carte an ea­ger team of pas­sion­ate ad­min­is­tra­tors and teach­ers. She hit the ground run­ning in Jan­uary and hasn't stopped. She is putting into ef­fect an SSL/ESL bilin­gual lan­guage pro­gram that al­lows se­cond-lan­guage stu­dents to con­tinue learn­ing core ma­te­rial in their tar­get lan­guage while plac­ing them in in­ten­sive tar­geted learn­ing groups for English and Span­ish. She hopes this in­no­va­tive pro­gram will help the grow­ing num­ber of in­ter­na­tional stu­dents to learn Span­ish and English more quickly and with less stress.

This year's high school stu­dents at Ed­u­carte will be the first to re­ceive uni­ver­sity credit for the UCR (Univer­si­dad de Costa Rica). Cur­rent 10th-graders are tak­ing a pre-cal­cu­lus course that will give them col­lege credit in the fu­ture. Next year, Ed­u­carte will grad­u­ate its first gen­er­a­tion of stu­dents tak­ing the Bachiller­ato Na­cional, the na­tional diploma. Mi­la­gros' voy­age from teacher to leader will surely bring a holis­tic per­spec­tive to Ed­u­carte.

Mi­la­gros is ex­cited to help shape Ed­u­carte for the com­mu­nity's fu­ture. She hopes that the lo­cal fam­i­lies and chil­dren will en­joy the ben­e­fits of hav­ing yet an­other qual­ity pri­vate school in our area, in­flu­enc­ing even more ex­pat fam­i­lies to find a home in our com­mu­nity.

Ed­u­carte is hold­ing an open house for lo­cal and ex­pat fam­i­lies to visit the fa­cil­i­ties and meet with Mi­la­gros and her team on Tues­day, May 22 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. If you are in­ter­ested in vis­it­ing the school and learn­ing more about its fu­ture, con­tact Ed­u­carte at ad­min­is­tra­cion@ed­u­carte­costar­ica.com or visit www.ed­u­carte­costar­ica.com.

Mi­la­gros has found in Ed­u­carte an ea­ger team of pas­sion­ate ad­min­is­tra­tors and teach­ers.

Mi­la­gros Gal­le­gos with stu­dents in prepara­tory English class.

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