St. Martin De Porres School

St. Martin De Porres School in Belize City, Belize

Administered by the Jesuits, St. Martin’s serves 700 students in day care, pre-school and elementary school programs. The school is located in one of the more violent neighborhoods in the country (Belize as a nation has the third highest homicide rate in the world*) and has been serving that neighborhood for more than 40 years.

A multi-year plan at St. Martin’s will provide:

1.  Funding for a school counseling program to address high levels of trauma among students and families (more than 40% of the students have exhibited symptoms of PTSD).

2.  Funding and technical assistance for the operation of an extended-day academic program (focused on students who might fall behind academically, St. Martin’s standardized test scores are only slightly above average for the nation).

3.  Funding and technical assistance for a summer school program (high school placement rate is over 80% but almost 40% drop out of high school after freshman year).

4.  Funding for a fine arts and music program to further engage the students both in the extended day program and for all students in the school.

*Source: UN Office on Drugs and Crime, 2011