Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child part of $23 million award for education in Haiti in partnership with Catholic Relief Services

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The University of Notre Dame’s Global Center for the Development of the Whole Child (GC-DWC) will play a key role in implementing a $23 million program funded by USAID designed to improve Haitian students’ foundational skills in reading, literacy and social emotional learning by building and strengthening the capacity of teachers, schools and communities.

The GC-DWC is partnering with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and the Episcopal Commission for Catholic Education (CEEC) to implement Continuity of Learning, a four-year program in 170 schools. The consortium is uniquely poised both programmatically and operationally to leverage Notre Dame’s long history in Haiti, including the GC-DWC’s early-grade reading project Read Haiti (2016-20), its recent reading and social and emotional learning intervention Strong Beginnings (2020-24) and a strong relationship with the Haitian Ministry of Education at all levels made possible by partnering with CEEC.

“The GC-DWC’s partnership with the CEEC and CRS over the last eight years has resulted in the strongest education network in Haiti. These funds help us to meet the needs of learners and parents that were always there but have been exacerbated by national disasters and political uprisings,” said Neil Boothby, the center’s director. “We are grateful to be able to continue to support education in Haiti through these awards.”

Through this program, children in first through fourth grades will benefit from a resilient education system that delivers uninterrupted access to a safe, quality education. The program will achieve the overarching goal through a four-pronged approach: 

  1. Building students' social, emotional, reading and literacy skills. 
  2. Enabling a safe learning environment for students, teachers and school administrators.
  3. Bolstering coordination among key local education stakeholders at the national, community and household levels to increase support and advocate for improved learning.
  4. Strengthening delivery modalities and actors’ coordination for improvement and sustainability for learners’ continuity of learning.

“We are excited to partner with Haitian educators and administrators to collect and leverage data to create sustainable and impactful opportunities for students,” said Kate Schuenke-Lucien, GC-DWC’s director for Haiti and senior associate director for strategic planning.