NOE Loma Libre
Our Loma Libre NOE Center has an exciting origin story. After decades of successful programs at NOE Primero, Morelia city officials acknowledged our contribution to the city's residents by gifting NOE International with a parcel of land in a poorer neighborhood on the edge of town. The city even helped build a basketball court so our basketball program could start before any other classes. After a successful capital campaign by our generous partners in the States, NOE Loma Libre officially opened its first building with 5 classrooms and office space in September 2013. The phase II building was completed summer of 2015 and added 6 classrooms and a recreation multi-purpose room.
Our reputation and goodwill with the people of Morelia has resulted in the Loma Libre Center growing to serve 250 students in its first 3 years! Thanks to the generosity of those attending the 2016 NOE International Dinner & Auction, a roof has been built over the basketball court, providing shade in the heat and cover in the rain for the myriad activities held there.
NOE Loma Libre has the distinction of being the only center designed and built from scratch by NOE staff. We desire for this model of working with the city and designing the center specifically for our programming to become a standard for future NOE centers.
Here's what's happening at NOE Loma Libre:
The biggest draw at NOE Loma Libre 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.
Adriana is working hard at earning her English diploma
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.
Starting a small business is a proven way for people to escape poverty, but people often need basic job skills to get started. NOE offers beautician classes to help students learn the art of cutting hair, in order for them to be able to start their own salon. This is often done in their own home, giving them maximum flexibility to continue to care for their family as well.
One of our students practices her skills by giving free haircuts to a NOE Center neighbor
Patient and caring teachers help students with their homework from public school, as well as NOE classes. This focused tutoring is not widely available in the schools, especially to the children we serve.
Daniela helps her students with their math homework
Explorers is a program for elementary-age children where they play fun games and learn about the Bible. Many children who aren't even old enough for NOE classes come weekly to make friends and hear the truth of the Gospel.
NOE students enjoy a special Explorers meeting on Children's Day
Basketball was the first program offered at NOE Loma Libre, even before any buildings were built! We're excited to soon start construction on a roof over the basketball court.
To learn more about basketball at NOE:
Practice at Loma Libre
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, husband and wife team Isaías and Bety give parents the tools and encouragement they need to succeed in their challenging role as parents.
Isaías and Bety enjoy dinner with students before Parenting School
Lupita prays for a woman at the children's hospital
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 youth go to the local children's hospital each month to help the families there. The families come from all over the state, and since there is no affordable temporary housing near the hospital, they camp in a park nearby. NOE students bring a message of hope, a time of worship music, gently used clothing, lunch, and they offer to pray with families. As they do this, they remember Jesus' words,
"It is better to give than to receive . . . "
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.
NOE students practice their new skills for the neighborhood
Computer skills are key to a bright employment future. We offer computer classes to adults who may not have had the opportunity in school. Students love learning skills that will help them in the office, keep up on world news, and stay connected with friends and family.
NOE students learn key skills and make new friends
Youth Group and Bible Study
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 evangelistic in nature; games that attract neighborhood youth and a message shared about he hope of the Gospel. At youth group, students build relationships with NOE staff and volunteers who intentionally speak about the hope they have in Jesus.
The Youth Group on a recent outing
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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.