On a dirt road tucked away in Pica Piedra, a neighborhood in the northwest corner of La Romana, you can find a little school called Colegio Piedra del Angulo (Cornerstone School). Less than a year ago you would have found a humble building with four classrooms made of wood and tin with students running joyfully around the makeshift playground. With a closer look you would see that the classrooms are small and overcrowded. And you would sense the love of Christ in the school director and teachers, but you would not find Christian curriculum or extensive planning dedicated towards Biblical instruction.
Edify, in partnership with Esperanza, began our relationship with Piedra del Angulo in 2011 when the director, Dilenia Felix Luis, attended the AMO teacher training. Dilenia was introduced to the loan program as well, however she wisely declined, knowing at that point in time she was not ready for such a financial commitment. Nonetheless Edify and Esperanza walked alongside Dilenia as she integrated the AMO curriculum into her school. Dilenia proved to be one of the most ambitious AMO implementers in La Romana, despite all odds. With several follow-up visits and frequent communication with Esperanza staff, Dilenia can now say with pride that her schools offers students comprehensive, Christ-centered Biblical instruction. “I learned so much at the AMO training,” Dilenia shares, “It was such an incredible learning experience. When we started teaching AMO the children loved it and the parents started asking ‘what is happening in your school?’” Dilenia says AMO is different from other programs because it is complete; it teaches holistic spiritual transformation rather than simply adding a Bible lesson to an otherwise secular curriculum.
A year later and after much prayer, and conversation with fellow community members, Dilenia decided she was ready to take a leap of faith and apply for a loan. She was approved in August of this year and within a month her school was dramatically different. Now students and teachers enjoy more spacious classrooms made of cement instead of wood, which is stronger and safer. More students now have access to receive the education being provided and Dilenia takes even more pride in the school that she runs. Colegio Piedra del Angulo has been transformed inside and out but transformation is an ongoing process. Dilenia’s school still has plenty of room to grow, and still more ways it can improve. We look forward to continuing to offer her the resources she’ll need to make Colegio Piedra del Angulo thrive.