As a sub-contractor for DevTech Systems under a project funded by the United States Department of Labor, ENTRENA played the leadership role in the design and implementation of the EpC--or in English, Spaces to Grow-- model. EpC is an innovative transitional education program designed to keep or place children between the ages of 6 and 13 in the formal school system and away from the worst forms of child labor. Many of the participants of EpCs have either abandoned school or never attended school in the first place. EpCs give these children, as well as those who already attend school but who may be severely behind, the boost they need to not only catch up to their appropriate academic level, but to also become passionate and dedicated students, active members of the community, and role models for others.
EpCs are 10-month programs designed to follow the normal school year. During the 10 months, students participate in classes for 3-4 hours each day that focus on three areas: academics, recreation, and personal growth. The classes are mangaged by trained facilitators from the local community and employ Quantum Learning (QL), an accelerated learning methodology that makes both learning and teaching fun.
The impact of EPCs is stunning: participants attend regularly and 95% return to school and break the cycle of child labor. In addition, EPCs serve to engage parents and facilitators, enrich the community, and strengthen public schools through the QL methodology. Considered one of the most innovative educational models in the Dominican Republic during the past two decades, EpC has been recognized in national and international forums.