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Community Action for Reading and Security (CARS) Activity in Nicaragua

Latin America and the Caribbean USAID 2013 2019

DevTech is currently implementing the six-year USAID-funded Community Action for Reading and Security (CARS) Activity in Nicaragua. The purpose of CARS is to improve early grade reading outcomes and contribute to reducing citizen insecurity in five municipalities in the Northern Autonomous Caribbean Coast Region (RACCN) and Southern Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region (RACCS) in Nicaragua, where both education and crime statistics lag behind the national averages. DevTech is working in close partnership with local organizations to implement an evidence-based approach to conduct activities at the municipal, community, and school level to transition to a local-led model to educational development and citizen security.

DevTech has designed, developed, and managed the CARS activity to improve the quality of education for at-risk children and improve citizen security, working in partnership with local organizations that deliver services within a framework of effective monitoring, evaluation, and evidence-based decision making. Additionally, CARS results support the achievement of goals one and three of USAID’s education strategy by implementing a series of interventions under four mutually reinforcing components:

  1. formal and non-formal reading programs;
  2. community engagement;
  3. local capacity development; and
  4. knowledge generation and management.

Under CARS, DevTech has developed RACCS/RACCN specific education materials for teachers in English, Miskitu, and Spanish including teacher guides, student lesson books, and supplementary reading materials to improve the material that teachers have in the participating schools. Additionally, we worked closely to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate reading materials (50 titles per grade) in Spanish, Miskitu, and Creole. All materials are aligned with the SEAR and the national curriculum, and include stories written by youth about resilience to drugs and violence, stories written by children about pride in their culture and dreams for the future of their community.

The CARS activity also offers a weekend diploma program which provides teachers the opportunity to earn a diploma in improved active teaching-learning methodologies. Our approach integrates experiential learning by enabling educators to practice the new techniques with the children each week.

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