On January 22, 2020, the Community Action for Reading and Security (CARS) activity held a one-day Forum in Managua entitled “Best practices and lessons learned on classroom observation and reading performance assessment on the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.” Ninety-six participants attended including USAID representatives, CARS grantees, beneficiaries and education experts. Distinguished guests in attendance included Nora Pinzon, USAID Program Office Director; Alicia Slate, CARS Contract Officer Representative; Dr. Randy Hatfield, Director of DevTech’s Education, Gender and Youth Practice and representatives from the World Bank, Save the Children, World Vision, UNICEF and Project Concern International.

USAID’s Nora Pinzon commented that: “The CARS activity has contributed to improving the quality of education of more than 26,000 students of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. It has provided around 139,000 reading materials and trained more than 1,200 teachers creating awareness in remote rural communities about the importance of literacy, safety, and security for their children”.

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During the Forum, participants had the opportunity to hear from Dr. Vanessa Castro Cardenal, Early Grade Reading Specialist and Inter-American Development Bank Researcher on the difficulties of teaching literacy in a multicultural context, and from Miguel Núñez, CARS DCOP, on the results obtained by the CARS activity. Stands were set-up to showcase the work on Spaces for Growth (Espacios para Crecer) and the formal reading program, where participants were able to ask questions, review materials and interact with CARS staff involved in the implementation of those activities.

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The Forum also engaged panels on topics such as intercultural and bilingual education and best practices and lessons learned from grantees in the implementation of the project. Alicia Slate, USAID Education Specialist and CARS COR participated as an expert on the panel “Importance of Intercultural Bilingual Education for the Early Grade Reading in the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.”

The event culminated with recognition of organizations that were instrumental to the implementation of the CARS project, including Fundación Hermanamiento RaMa, Fundación MARIJN, Fundación Zamora Terán and the two local universities URACCAN and BICU. Solange Casanova, Chief of Party for CARS, provided the closing remarks.

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Click here to see the photos and brief that the US Embassy in Nicaragua posted to their Facebook Page

Click here to see USAID/Nicaragua’s tweets about the event