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Academic Program
Health Services
Secondary Retention
Nutrition
Athletics
Job Training
IMA Microfinance
Music
Language - English
Computer Training
Womens Community School
Scholarship
 



IMA PROGRAMS

  • Academic Program (pre-K – 9th grade)
  • Health Services Program
  • Secondary Retention Program
  • Nutrition Program
  • Athletic Program
  • Job Training Program
  • IMA Microfinance Program
  • Music Program
  • Language Program – English
  • Computer Training Program
  • Women’s Community School Program
  • Scholarship Program


Academic Program
Developed by education experts in the U.S. and Guatemala, IMA’s curriculum is designed to provide a rigorous and contemporary education.  All students must complete and pass the Guatemalan State test for each grade level before matriculation but the educational standards set forth by IMA are far more demanding than its public school counterparts and is manifest in the inability for transfer students to integrate when coming from public schools.  While IMA offers courses in English, computer training, and arts and music that public schools don’t offer, there is always room for improvement.  We would like to provide improvements such as student books for each subject, a science lab, math lab, problem solving lab, and library improvements including novels, research books, teacher supports, bar-coding system and computer.


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Health Services Program
IMA recognizes the need to ensure proper health among its students and offers essential health care to each.  IMA staffs personnel who can provide simple help when needed, but also brings in medical professionals such as pediatricians, optometrists, and dentists to provide care for IMA girls.  With our roots in establishing medical clinics to help the women of third-world countries, IMA has the ability but not yet the capacity to do so much more.  We would like to expand the tangential health service education and treatments we provide beyond our doors through our students in to practical services for the communities our students live in.  Our program expansion direction would include things such as home-based health checkups and medical treatment, reducing infant mortality through specialized feeding programs and mother care group education, and distribution of de-worming medicine to rid children and families of intestinal parasites.


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Secondary Retention Program
IMA has been sustained through private donations and student sponsorships, but as the economy has slowed so have donations. IMA is in jeopardy of not being financially able to continue its secondary school. The Secondary Retention Program is a development program aimed at finding the resources to continue this important aspect of our girls’ educations. Secondary School is a vulnerable and important age for young women and to lose their educational opportunities would put them in peril of succumbing to the exploitation and poverty so many girls in Guatemala face.


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Nutrition Program
IMA's girls are provided a well-balanced meal and a late afternoon snack each day. A typical diet at home includes family-affordable black beans and corn tortillas, but many students would not eat if not for the meals they receive at IMA. Meals provided by the school offer optimal nutrition and are supplemented by vitamins.  It is the consistency that makes meal times important at IMA. The girls know they will be cared for each day and never need worry where they will get their next meal.  IMA hopes to begin training both parents and students in improved nutritional practices teaching them how to clean, cook, and prepare healthy food specifically on their budget.


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Athletic Program
IMA knows that athletics, and team sports in specific, are important for building confidence, leadership and communication skills. In 2005 IMA students participated in a competitive soccer league for the first time and they have  a continued need for support to provide equipment and uniforms to further develop their team and community involvement.  It is through these organized, competitive endeavors that IMA girls get to experience their roles as leaders in their community and assert themselves as valuable participants in a society that has historically diminished them.


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Job Training Program
The challenges that face the girls of Guatemala are so severe that they often must help sustain themselves and their family at an early age. IMA not only provides a fine education but also prepares its pupils for life by teaching them baking skills, where their goods are sold in the IMA Store along with other hand-crafts.  This formal baking program certifies the girls to work in local patisseries but it is the life lessons in money management and the rudiments of running a business that will improve their futures most.  Microfinance opportunities are being developed to expand their business minds and IMA is looking forward to adding a sewing program to their job training opportunities.


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IMA Microfinance Program
IMA is currently pursuing an aggressive campaign to attract microfinance institutions to help make small loans to IMA graduates and relatives who wish to start or expand a business. As IMA graduates posses a rare education, this is one step toward empowering girls and women to becoming self reliant and the community leaders they have been taught to be.


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Music Program
Studies have shown that music instruction helps develop the brain in reasoning, language, and spatial intelligence. Studies have also shown that students who receive music instruction perform better on standardized tests. The IMA orchestra was a successful venture and was very popular with the students, yet it was suspended due to funding issues. IMA is currently seeking funding to restart the IMA orchestra.


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Language Program – English
According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language, learning a second language has a positive effect on intellectual growth and enhances a child’s mental development.  It leaves students with more flexibility in thinking and a better ear for listening.  For IMA students, learning English opens a door to a world of opportunity and the profound realization that the world they live in is much bigger than the circumstances they were born into.  In 2007 the English program was improved with half of instructional minutes in English and 3 – 4 bilingual teachers on staff.  IMA hopes to continue to improve the program by offering separate instruction divided by level and ability.


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 Computer Training Program
We live in an information age, with national borders transcended by technological means for communication.  One advantage IMA pupils receive that their public school contemporaries do not is computer training.  IMA offered its first computer classes in 1998.  Today, IMA would like to offer Microsoft computer training and provide internet access to all school computers with supervisory controls.


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Women’s Community School Program
In 2000 an accelerated program for the mothers and sisters of IMA students was introduced to teach basic math and reading. This allowed relatives and other members of the community to get an elementary education equivalent and to study job-specific skills. In 2001 the women's community school became the junior-high program educating nearly 120 women. From this program graduates can apply for high-school or job-training schools.  The power of this program can be summated by the fact that in September 2008 two students graduated; Karla graduated from 6th grade and her mother, Ethel graduated from high school.  Whereas Ethel was once a maid because she could not read or write she now wants to study to become a lawyer.


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Scholarship Program
Surprisingly, most young professionals who take jobs as teachers, secretaries or other medium income professions in Guatemala require only a twelfth grade education to be certified.  IMA’s current capacity to teach beyond the 9th grade is currently limited but we do offer scholarships through sponsorship for students to continue to pursue their education.  It is our goal to establish an endowment to make it possible for IMA students to continue their education be it vocational training or formal college.

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