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New ATA partnership creates summer PD opportunities in Nicaragua

October 25, 2016 Laura Harris, ATA News Staff Writer


The Alberta Teachers’ Association has recently partnered with Change for Children, which is working to help raise the professional standards of education in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua.

Though summer is a distant (if not obliterated) memory, you may want to start thinking about your plans for the next one. The Alberta Teachers’ Association is now accepting applications from teachers who are motivated to spend two weeks next summer in Nicaragua, assisting with the professional development of fellow teachers and enhancing the quality of education for girls.

This professional development opportunity is the product of a new partnership between the Association and Change for Children. Its goal is to help raise the professional standards of education in the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve, where literacy rates are the lowest in Nicaragua. The strategy is to fund four Alberta teachers to share their expertise with teachers and students of that region through hands-on activities. In addition to assisting with professional development, the selected teachers would aid in developing curriculum specifically targeting the indigenous female population.

“The Association is looking forward to working with the people from Change for Children on this pilot project,” said executive staff officer Robert Mazzotta, who is overseeing the Association’s International Cooperation file.

“They have 15 years’ experience hosting teaching tours and donor groups of dentists and doctors in Nicaragua. They bring a lot to the table in terms of acumen and experience.”

The deadline is Dec. 15 for teachers to apply to be a part of the ATA-Change for Children Teaching Tour. The exchange will take place from July 8 to 22 next year. The trip itinerary is in the process of being finalized and, once confirmed, will be posted on the ATA website and social media channels.


Change for Children is an Edmonton-based, non-governmental organization whose mission is to build civil society capacity in the global south and Canada to promote health, human rights and the eradication of poverty through sustainable development.

The Bosawás is a hilly tropical forest located in the northern part of Nicaragua. It was designated in 1997 as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. It is the second largest rainforest in the Western Hemisphere, after the Amazon in Brazil. A lack of resources, child malnutrition and child labour contributes to it having the lowest literacy rates in the country, especially among women and girls. ❚

Apply now — the deadline is Dec. 15. | Get the application form and more information on the 2017 ATA-Change for Children Teaching Tour on the ATA website at Look in the Announcements box on the home page and click on the link for ATA-Change for Children Teaching Tour. | Learn more about Change for Children at

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