International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security

Cooperative for Education

  • Cincinnati, OH
  • www.cooperativeforeducation.org

Mission Statement

To help Guatemalan schoolchildren break the cycle of poverty through education.

Main Programs

  1. Textbooks
  2. Computer Centers
  3. Culture of Reading Program
  4. Scholarship & Youth Development
  5. Bridges
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Cooperative for Education serves the Central and Western Highlands of Guatemala including the departments of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, El Progreso, El Quiché, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Quetzalteanango, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Sololá, and Totonicapán.

ruling year

1997

Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mr. Joe Berninger

Co Principal Officer

Self-reported

Mr. Jeff Berninger

Keywords

Self-reported

education, Guatemala, Central America, Latin America, international development, international, third world, literacy, illiteracy, children, kids, school

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EIN

31-1545464

 Number

7553064124

Also Known As

CoEd

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

International Economic Development (Q32)

Education N.E.C. (B99)

International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security N.E.C. (Q99)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

We imagine a future in which every Guatemalan child:
Stays in school.
Receives a high-quality elementary and middle school education.
Has access to higher levels of education and better jobs, outside of the declining agricultural sector.
Raises his/her standard of living.
Finds permanent pathways out of poverty.

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

Textbooks

More than 90% of middle schools in rural Guatemala don't have access to textbooks. Without them, students spend most classroom time copying the teacher's notes from the blackboard. They often fail to develop proper study skills, lose motivation, and then drop out.

CoEd's Textbook Program provides vital books (in the core areas of math, science, social studies, and Spanish) to middle school students in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

http://www.coeduc.org/programs/textbooks.html

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 2

Computer Centers

In Guatemala, nearly 60% of higher-wage, non-farm jobs require computer skills, yet young people in rural communities lack access to quality computer instruction.

The Computer Centers Program gives youth the opportunity to use technology to address practical problems facing their communities, while developing the computer skills needed to secure better jobs after graduation. Students learn from an internationally recognized curriculum using a project-based methodology that encourages critical thinking and working cooperatively.

http://www.coeduc.org/programs/computers.html

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 3

Culture of Reading Program

Four out of five fifth-graders in Guatemala show “unsatisfactory” achievement on reading tests (as reported by the World Bank). Poorly-trained teachers use classroom techniques that emphasize rote memorization instead of comprehension and critical thinking.

CORP delivers high-quality children's books and training in effective reading instruction to primary school educators, transforming rural Guatemalan schoolchildren into enthusiastic, competent, and lifelong readers.

http://www.coeduc.org/programs/CORP.html

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Adults

Budget

Program 4

Scholarship & Youth Development

In Guatemala, It takes 12 years of education to support a two-person family above the poverty line, but poor educational quality and extreme familial poverty lead the majority of students to drop out before the sixth grade.

CoEd's Scholarship Program removes economic barriers to education and involves young people in youth development workshops, visits to local businesses and universities, and community service projects. Scholarship students become leaders who will help guide their communities to a better life, beyond poverty.

http://www.coeduc.org/programs/scholarships.html

Category

Population(s) Served

Children and Youth (infants - 19 years.)

Budget

Program 5

Bridges

We live in a global world. What happens in other countries affects us at home. As such, we must continue to increase awareness, build relationships, and strengthen bonds with our neighbors, including those who lives on the margins of society.

The Bridges Program increases understanding and knowledge of global challenges and connects people in the U.S. and beyond with friends in Guatemala.

Bridges has five program areas, including:
Guatemala Service Learning Trips
Educational Presentations
School to School Partnerships
Educational Resources
Global Partnerships

http://www.coeduc.org/programs/bridges.html

Category

Population(s) Served

General Public/Unspecified

Adults

Budget

Results

Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

1. First and second graders in Culture of Reading Program (CORP) classrooms will score 10% better on at least 6 of the 9 sub-tests than students in their schools did before receiving CORP.

Target Population
K-12 (5-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Purpose: To foster positive reading habits in primary-school students through the development of an active interest in reading.

2. Eighty percent of students will achieve basic computer competency.

Target Population
K-12 (5-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Purpose: To provide Guatemalan school children with badly-needed technical training that positions them with necessary skills for future employment or further education.

3. Ninety-five percent of students enrolled in our Textbook Program schools are effectively using the textbooks.

Target Population
K-12 (5-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
Textbooks
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
Purpose: Contribute to improving the quality of education for middle school students in rural areas, through the provision of Spanish, social studies, math, and science textbooks.

4. Ninety percent of scholarship students who enter our diversificado scholarship program graduate from diversificado.

Target Population
K-12 (5-19 years)

Connected to a Program?
n/a
TOTALS BY YEAR
Context notes for this metric
To ensure that middle and high school students can overcome the socio-economic barriers to their education through scholarships. The program has a strong focus on low-income indigenous women.

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    Cooperative for Education's mission is to help indigenous Guatemalan schoolchildren break the cycle of poverty through education. CoEd accomplishes this mission by providing sustainable educational tools (like books and computers), training, and scholarships.

    Guatemala's Central and Western Highlands exhibit one of the most extreme combinations of systemic poverty, illiteracy, and inequality in the Western Hemisphere. The indigenous people who inhabit these regions suffer from malnutrition (rates of which rank among the worst in the world), poor health outcomes, racism, high rates of illiteracy, and low levels of educational attainment. Together, these factors virtually guarantee that the next generation will be no better off than the last.

    The illiteracy rate among indigenous adults reaches as high as 40%. Indigenous women in Guatemala typically complete fewer than two years of schooling. Currently, experts estimate that for every 100 children in Guatemala, fewer than 40 will continue on to seventh grade, and only 18 will complete high school.

    But Cooperative for Education imagines a future in which every Guatemalan child:
    -stays in school,
    -receives a high-quality primary and secondary school education,
    -has access to higher levels of education and better jobs outside of the declining agricultural sector,
    -raises his or her standard of living, and
    -finds permanent pathways out of poverty.

    CoEd provides educational resources and opportunities to indigenous Mayan schoolchildren in
    Guatemala's Central and Western Highlands, empowering them to build a bright future for
    themselves, their families, and their communities.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    CoEd offers sustainable programs that work together within Guatemala's schools to help children break the cycle of poverty. Our programs are layered, which maximizes our impact. The programs keep indigenous youth in school, increase their literacy and critical thinking abilities, provide marketable skills, and prepare them for better paying jobs that allow them to permanently rise out of poverty.
    The Scholarship and Youth Development Program removes economic barriers to education and involves young people in community service and leadership development. CoEd will provide 596 additional one-year scholarships in 2016-2017. The program will expand from three communities to 21, serving 1,200 students each year by 2022.
    Our Culture of Reading Program (CORP) delivers children's books and training in effective reading instruction to primary-school teachers, most of whom have little more than a high school education. CORP's training, coaching, and materials equip teachers in rural Guatemala to transform their students into enthusiastic, competent, and lifelong readers. CORP will expand to about 19 new schools, serving up to 2,000 additional youth in 2016-2017.
    CoEd's Textbook Program provides much-needed textbooks to impoverished middle schools (grades 7-9), improving the quality of teaching and learning. Nine out of ten schools in rural Guatemala lack textbooks, and teachers rely on rote memorization and copying from the blackboard. CoEd provides textbooks in four core subjects—Spanish, Math, Science, and Social Studies—and the training teachers need to engage students in the learning process. In 2016-2017, CoEd will establish 27 additional Textbook Programs, serving more than 3,300 additional youth.
    Finally, CoEd Computer Centers deliver computer equipment and high-quality technical training to middle school students, providing marketable skills that enable students to break the cycle of poverty. Although 60% of entry-level jobs in Guatemala require computer skills, in some communities, up to 100% of CoEd computer students had never touched a computer before the program arrives. We will establish 4 new centers in 2016-2017, serving approximately 750 additional youth.
    Sustainability is key to each of our programs. In both the Computer Center and Textbook Programs, students pay a small user fee, allowing the school to replenish their computers or books. In CORP, sustainability lies with the teachers themselves—they learn strategies to positively impact students year after year and are empowered with the knowledge to find low-cost or free reading materials to use with their students. Students in the Scholarship and Youth Development Program learn to give back to their communities, and ensure that younger siblings and their future children go on to receive an education as well. With just a six-year investment from a scholarship sponsor, we have a 60-year return in the form of that student's entire lifetime spent out of poverty. Future generations
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    Roughly two decades ago, brothers Jeff and Joe Berninger left successful private-sector careers to address the dire poverty they witnessed in Guatemala as volunteers in the early 1990s. While Jeff was volunteering at a school in Guatemala City, he noticed that teachers lacked access to the most basic resources, including textbooks, maps, reference materials, and technology. Jeff enlisted his brother Joe's help and got a small grant to set up the first textbook rental program atLa Labor School. They went on to found Cooperative for Education as a Cincinnati, Ohio- and Guatemala City-based 501(c)3 organization in 1996.

    Since then, CoEd has grown to serve schools in 14 of Guatemala's 22 departments. We have formed lasting relationships with several partners, including Guatemala's Ministry of Education, principals, teachers, parents, businesses, universities, and other nonprofits. Our work has been recognized by Microsoft, the United Nations, and the Center for Sustainable Development; and has won awards from the World Bank, the Juan Bautista Gutierrez Foundation, Better World Books, and the Research Triangle Institute.

    One of CoEd's strengths is its committed and experienced staff, both in the U.S. and Guatemala. Our team is comprised of seasoned educators and development professionals, several coming from the very communities we serve. The Guatemala staff is more than twice the size of the U.S. team.

    Volunteers are also important to carrying out Cooperative for Education's mission. Over the past decade, nearly 800 volunteers have participated in our Guatemala Service Learning Trips. The five- to ten-day tours take travelers to Mayan communities in rural Guatemala to visit CoEd programs and meet the students who benefit from them. Each trip incorporates volunteer activities, cultural enrichment programs, and personal interaction with students at program schools. On one recent tour, after seeing CoEd's programs in action, 89% of the adult volunteers made a financial commitment to support our programs and ensure that even more students will be able to benefit from them in the future.

    Cooperative for Education also has 11 volunteers serving on our Board of Directors, a 16-member U.S. Advisory Board, and an eight-member Guatemalan Advisory Board composed entirely of volunteers. Volunteers further assist CoEd with administrative and translation services in our Cincinnati office, in the planning and implementation of our annual fundraiser, Fall Fiesta, and by performing professional services, such as database programming and statistical research.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    We have built a robust measurement and evaluation process into each program. Each November, program teams use collected data and case studies to assess impact, make programmatic adjustments, and form their evaluation plan for the coming year. Below is a summary of the milestones for each program in the coming years, with the measurement method summarized in parentheses.

    Scholarships:
    -Scholarship students graduate from middle school, continue to high school, and graduate from high school. (enrollment/graduation lists)
    - Scholarship students say the youth development workshops have helped them improve their knowledge and qualities as a student and person. (student survey)

    Culture of Reading Program:
    -Children become competent and enthusiastic readers, scoring higher in at least 6 out of 9 specific reading skills than students at the same schools scored before CORP was introduced. (end-of-year scores on the Evaluación de Lectura en Grados Iniciales, a Guatemalan adaptation of the widely-used Early Grade Reading Assessment, compared to baseline scores)
    -Teachers sustain the use of the new techniques over time. (training participation rates and classroom observation)

    Computer Centers:
    -Students achieve a basic level of computer competency in Windows, Office, and Email/Internet, based on grade-level benchmarks. (unit tests in the Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) GS4 curriculum)
    -Teachers are competent users of the technology in the school computer labs. (Microsoft Digital Literacy Test, IC3 exam)

    Textbook Program:
    -Teachers who receive intensive training will apply the methodology in their classrooms. (training attendance)
    -Textbooks are available to students and are being used effectively. (textbook distribution records)

    We are also able to track our programs' effectiveness at achieving the desired outcomes through the testimony of Guatemalan teachers and youths whose lives have been affected:
    -Teachers like Maria, who witnessed the transformation of her first-graders into more mature, confident students thanks to the new teaching strategies she learned through CORP.
    -Graduates like Manuel, who had never touched a computer before the CoEd Computer Center arrived at his school, but is now studying computers at the university level and planning to one day become a computer teacher.
    -Teachers like Eladi, who told us that with textbooks, his science class “becomes more student-oriented…now my students can verify what I say and challenge me."
    -Graduates like Ancelma, who is now a successful professional capable of supporting her parents and younger siblings, thanks to the CoEd scholarship, textbook, and computer programs that enabled her to successfully complete school and obtain a higher-paying job utilizing her computer skills.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    CoEd has made great strides in addressing the root causes of poverty in Guatemala, rather than merely treating its symptoms. Thanks to the sustainable nature of our programs, we have reached a cumulative total of more than 162,000 Guatemalan students since 1996 through textbook, computer center, reading, scholarship, and library programs. But out of a country of almost 15 million, there is still a long way to go.

    Studies show that Guatemalans need to complete 12 years of education in order to support a family above the poverty line. However, only 18% of Guatemalans actually graduate from high school, leaving the vast majority of youth facing a difficult choice: a life of desperate poverty, or a dangerous journey north in hope of finding work in the U.S. We need to reach these children and create opportunities for young Guatemalans in their home country. That's why we're expanding our scholarship program six-fold and also continuing to grow our other programs at a steady rate.

    We're not there yet. And until every Guatemalan child receives the education he or she needs to break out of poverty, Cooperative for Education will continue to deliver vital educational development programs—and hope for a brighter future, beyond poverty—to communities in rural Guatemala.
Service Areas

Self-reported

International

Cooperative for Education serves the Central and Western Highlands of Guatemala including the departments of Alta Verapaz, Baja Verapaz, Chimaltenango, El Progreso, El Quiché, Guatemala, Huehuetenango, Izabal, Quetzalteanango, Sacatepéquez, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, Sololá, and Totonicapán.

Social Media

Blog

Funding Needs

Our Thousand Girls Initiative aims to keep 1,000 girls from dropping out of school by placing them in our Scholarship & Youth Development Program by 2020. You can sponsor a girl for as little as $35 or $70 per month. http://www.thousandgirlsinitiative.org/sponsor/

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

Cooperative For Education
Fiscal year: Jan 01-Dec 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Cooperative for Education

Leadership

NEED MORE INFO ON THIS NONPROFIT?

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Principal Officer

Mr. Joe Berninger

Co Principal Officer

Mr. Jeff Berninger

BIO

Executive Director and  Co-founder of Cooperative for Education
Former marketing representative for IBM Corporation
Graduate of the University of Colorado (MA, Religious Studies, 1997)
Graduate of Xavier University (BA, History, 1989)
Has implemented development projects in Guatemala since 1997

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Heidi Jark

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization

No

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Yes

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Yes

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

Yes

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?