Charmont Bilingual Academy
Opened on February 1, 2015, Charmont Bilingual Academy is a private school located in Coxen Hole on the island of Roatan, Honduras. The school provides a K-11 bilingual school to children who are affected by AIDS, or who are bright students living in poverty. Featuring an expanded library, quality teachers and breakfast and lunch programs, students follow a Canadian curriculum in English as well as a Honduran curriculum for Spanish to allow them to qualify for better paying jobs in Roatan’s burgeoning tourism industry and beyond.
Students are actively involved in recycling projects, community projects and animal welfare projects as volunteers. Students use laptops and desktops to do some of their work on and develop usable computer skills.
Nutrition Program + Wellness
Many students come from impoverished, and often very stressful, backgrounds so the school addresses this with a free breakfast and lunch program that all students (and teachers) are given every day. Every morning starts with 15 minutes “centering” time, which includes yoga and/or meditation. The students are also taught nutrition and the school is proudly “junk food” free. All school supplies are provided for the students, as well as two T-shirts they wear with jeans and sneakers. All parents or caregivers must donate six hours a month to the school volunteering to help with the nutrition programs, assisting teachers, supervising the playground etc. Parent involvement and parent/teacher meetings are held monthly and the school boasts an active PTA.
Sponsoring a Child
The children at Charmont Bilingual Academy all need to be sponsored for the cost of $65 USD or $75 CDN a month for 12 months or $780 USD a year. This pays for their education, their food and their school supplies. Fees are payable monthly, bi-yearly or yearly, whatever the sponsor’s preference is. Sponsoring a child is a chance to change not only the student’s life, but that of the whole community.
Teacher resource corner
Singing the Honduran and Canadian anthem in Hampton Hall
Who was John Charmont
John was an energetic, funny and kind little boy with a passion for helping others. He loved to be outdoors and play sports, especially hockey. He loved school and had many friends. The Charmont family supported The Morgan Jayne Children’s Foundation fundraisers. Funds raised were used to purchase formula for Familias Saludables to save babies from contracting HIV via breast milk. John would always dump his piggy bank and give all he had. On his 9th birthday he asked for donations to this project instead of gifts. A few weeks later, on November 14, 2010, John and his dad Chris Charmont were killed in an explosion in Mexico. His heartbroken family wanted to remember him in a meaningful way.
Remembering John Through Giving
Upon connecting with Familias Saludables coordinator Valerie Nelson, they discovered over 800 babies had been saved and were getting older. Many did not have the means to attend school. The school that was available had no library or books. Family and friends of Chris and John spent thousands of hours looking for books, collecting donations, reviewing curriculum for quality / validity and packing the best quality books to send. Strangers learned about the project and were eager to help. A moving van filled with books was sent in November 2011 and a library was born!
Filled with easy readers, fun graphic novels, popular titles and lots of teacher resources in bright, engaging and modern formats. Volunteers built shelves and furniture to finish it off. Eventually the quest for a better education resulted in Val taking 50 kids and finding sponsors for them.
Val’s team renovated a house into Charmont Bilingual Academy and eventually Hampton Hall was included beside it to house seniors and school events. The school keeps growing, along with the waiting list! It has gained a great reputation on the island. CBA students exemplify kindness, integrity and joy. They are learning to be good citizens and make the most of the opportunities a good education can provide. CBA is a very special place and continues to enrich the lives of it’s students, sponsors and volunteers. Thank you for your continued support, this miracle could not be maintained without your help!