NOE Vida West is the first center where NOE is sharing the installations with a church. Mas Vida is a large evangelical church with several branches throughout central Mexico. The pastor at Mas Vida Madero, a branch in Morelia located on the other side of town from the current NOE Centers, was a NOE student when he was in high school. His name is Aaron Jurado and through his insistence and the corroboration of head pastor Andres Spyker, NOE Vida West became a reality in the fall of 2018 with over 130 students. The Director is former NOE student Erick García.
Here's what's happening at NOE Vida West:
The biggest draw at NOE Vida West is the English program. Employees in Mexico who speak English make an average of 30% - 50% more in wages, providing stable jobs for families. Fortunately, English takes years to learn which helps us form relationships with our students, who range in age from elementary students through older adults.
Elementary students work hard on their English studies
Our program is accredited by the Secretary of Public Education in Mexico to award diplomas to students who satisfactorily complete the four-year junior high/high school English program. This diploma certifies that recipients have achieved a level of English adequate to use in the workplace as a teacher or translator. We are an approved “Centro de Formación de Trabajo” which literally means a “Center for Development of Workers.” Our accreditation code with the State Department of Education is 16PBT0514M.
English students who excel in the program can apply for the "Dream Team" and spend a month in the USA.
NOE students often come from families with limited education, so they sometimes can't get help from parents with their schoolwork. At Homework Help, patient and caring teachers help students with their homework from public school, as well as NOE classes. This focused tutoring is also not widely available in the schools, and we're happy to help students in this way.
Andrea helps NOE students with their math homework
Music is an essential part of NOE so it's wonderful to hear guitars strummed at Vida West.
Teachers share their faith in all programs at NOE - we have a weekly Bible verse in English classes, for example. We also offer more direct opportunities for students to learn about, worship, and serve God. Youth Group is more evangelistic in nature: fun games attract neighborhood youth and a message is shared about the hope of the Gospel.
Many of our students come from broken families, which can negatively impact their ability to succeed in their education. At Escuela Para Padres, or Parenting School, we give parents the tools and encouragement they need to succeed in their challenging role as parents.
Students enjoy dinner before a recent Parenting School session
The NOE Reading Club is a growing library system created to encourage students to read. Children simply aren't reading enough, and often when they do, it's on screens and not in books. Teachers help students increase their reading levels, or even help them read for the first time. Students who read 10 books win a t-shirt that they wear with pride.
The Run NOE Club
Run NOE is both a running class and club, offering training for people of all ages and all ability levels. Participants train to complete their first 5K, as well as the many other races in Morelia, including Run NOE's own Flat Fifty, a 50K race! Some of the runners travel to Portland in October to run the Portland Marathon in support of NOE International.
The Run NOE Club after the
Flat Fifty Race
We desire for our students not to be served, but to serve others. As part of programs at NOE, students have many opportunities to go and help others with food, clothing, encouragement, and prayer. One example:
NOE partners with La Casa Hogar in Morelia, a home for orphaned children and teens. On a weekly basis, we have 15 to 20 elementary, junior high, and high school students from La Casa Hogar participating in NOE programs. NOE students provide a community and family for these children by attending important life events like quinceñeras (fifteenth birthday parties). At Christmas time, the NOE youth group provides a party for the children with games and gifts. As they do this, they remember Jesus' words,
"It is better to give than to receive . . . "
Angel lives at La Casa Hogar and attends every NOE function, often volunteering to help with program for the elementary-age children
Music classes are also often unavailable in the public schools and NOE is proud to offer this program to children and youth. They learn technique, traditional folks songs, and Christian worship songs from their teacher Manuel, a virtuosic guitarist who plays 10 instruments. Advanced students team up with our worship leaders to practice leading worship on guitar, electric guitar, and drums at youth group or Bible study.