Puerto Rico: Rocky Mountain Institute, Puerto Rico Department of Education, Save the Children team up to support resilience in island schools

Source(s): Save the Children International

Following the catastrophic devastation of Hurricane Maria, Save the Children is teaming up with Puerto Rico’s Department of Education and Rocky Mountain Institute of Boulder, Colorado to support 12 schools that were greatly impacted during last year’s historic hurricane season. Save the Children will focus efforts on helping the schools and their communities become more resilient in the event of a future natural disaster and strengthening social and emotional learning for the entire school populations.

“I appreciate the commitment of Save the Children to schools in Puerto Rico,” said Puerto Rico Secretary of Education Julia Keleher. “Since the day after the hurricane, they have been collaborating with our communities and now they will be supporting these twelve specific schools, which will be better prepared.”

Save the Children’s support is multi-faceted, from providing materials lost following the storm such as school books and sports equipment to growing afterschool education programs for kindergarten through eighth grade students. The nonprofit will also lead social and emotional support programs to help children and their caregivers understand and cope with emotions caused by traumatic experiences like hurricanes. Preparedness workshops will serve as support and preparation for future emergencies for the whole community – from schools, to families and beyond.

Through the support of the Rocky Mountain Institute, solar micro-grid systems will be installed at school campuses to ensure learning is not disrupted as it was following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2018. Solar micro-grid panels will enable children to return to learning as soon as possible.

“By partnering with Save the Children on this valuable project, Rocky Mountain Institute will support a learning environment for Puerto Rican public schools with more reliable and resilient power. We look forward to near-term solar micro-grid implementation and helping Puerto Rico demonstrate how micro-grids offer win-win energy solutions,” said Jules Kortenhorst, Chief Executive Officer of Rocky Mountain Institute.

As part of the agreement, the Department of Education will collaborate in the continued rehabilitation and maintenance of schools to ensure children have safe and wholesome learning environments.

“This agreement reflects Save the Children’s commitment to the island’s most vulnerable children, which has been in place since the earliest days of Hurricane Maria. We are incredibly proud to partner with the Department of Education to support these 12 schools. Over our nearly 100 years of working around the world to support children, we know the important role that schools play in the lives of children, families and communities. We are very grateful to the Rocky Mountain Institute for their leadership in ensuring lights stay on even in the darkest moments of disaster,” said Luis Soto, Save the Children’s Puerto Rico Director.

The 12 municipalities included in this partnership are:

  • Ciales
  • Orocovis
  • Morovis
  • Corozal
  • Naranjito
  • Comerío
  • Barranquitas
  • Aguas Buenas
  • Canóvanas
  • Yabucoa
  • Humacao

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