At Amaro Tan, Developing Incentives for Grades and Attendance

At Amaro Tan, Developing Incentives for Grades and Attendance

Sep 13, 2021

Parents are children's first teachers, and their positive engagement is a key ingredient in children's success in school. Children are motivated knowing that their parents care that they are going to school, and that they are putting in an honest and conscientious effort in their classes.

So how do we encourage that dynamic in communities where parents have very little formal education, and see little benefit to themselves or their children from school?

Amaro Tan School, in Pogradec, Albania, is a safe place for 140 children ages 3-18 who come from at-risk and chronically unemployed households, many from the Roma community. Lack of education feeds unemployment in these communities. Parents who can’t read or write can't help their children with their homework, and they may not see a good reason for their children to work to gain those skills. Amaro Tan School staff have noticed that this parental lack of engagement translates directly into poor attendance and performance and school.

This year, Amaro Tan will try a pilot project that offers concrete incentives to parents for attendance and good performance in school. Following a model developed at Nehemia School, this project will offer points for good attendance and performance in class, which will be tabulated at the end of each trimester and converted into credit that can be spent at local grocery stores. Alcohol and tobacco will be excluded, but families will be able to choose what they do with the credit.

We are excited to support this project through our fundraising, and excited to see if this method will boost student attendance and success. We plan to share the school's findings as the year progresses, and invite you to join us.

Donate to this pilot project on Global Giving this week, September 13-17. This week only, donations of up to $50 will be matched at 50%-- so if you give $50, we get $75!