Please meet Maria Isabel Cabrera who achieved the highest academic average for the school year 2007 - just finished. She had 4.7 (5.0 is the higests). Her grade average is equal to 94. Maria Isabel is 8 and with her sister Sinilda 10 she just finished first grade reading and doing addition and subtraction. Sinilda has an average of 4.6.
The are Embera Indians and are the first girls in their family to ever go to school. Their 22 year old sister Doralinda has also taken this year some classes in reading in a program to wipe of illitriacy. When the girls joined us last February neither could draw a picture, write and they could count by rote to 5 and knew some of the colors. We gave them a crash course in pre-kinder and kinder - much of this thanks to one of our monitoras (child care worker) Judith.