Scholarship Program to Enhance Literacy and Learning (SPELL)

SPELL is an education scholarship program designed to prevent disadvantaged students from dropping out of school. The program targets students from the poorest 10% of families and provides them with funding for school expenses, and also requires and finances after-school tutoring.

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SPELL is an education financing program that provides funding for disadvantaged students beginning in 3rd grade through the end of high school. SPELL provides scholarships to students to cover the costs of tuition, books, uniforms, and other school expenses. Scholarships are guaranteed for each student through the completion of high school, provided that a certain academic level of achievement and school attendance is maintained.  

A key component of this model in addition to the scholarships, is the required after-school tutoring. At the lower-secondary school level, East Meets West (EMW) arranges and finances tutoring classes in the schools. At the high school level, students are provided with stipends to seek their own private tutoring, given that the subjects that students study at this level are more specialized and individualized. 

Scholarships are merit-based, and students' academic performance and attendance are factored into the degree of support they receive, ranging at the high school level from a general spending allowance to cover tuition, to tutoring, boarding, and transportation to and from school. 

The SPELL program works in conjunction with local partner organizations known as Study Promotion Associations (SPAs). These help to select students for the program, as well as to monitor students' performance and progress once a part of SPELL. SPELL staff conduct household visits twice: once prior to students' acceptance into the program to determine their eligibility based on socio-economic background, and once again in ninth grade as a follow-up on their families' socio-economic status to ensure that the program continues to reach those most in need. 


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