Our Story

A notebook and pencil can make all the difference in the world.

‘Desperate to make a difference,’ that is how SchoolBOX founder, Tom Affleck describes his life in 2006. Overwhelmed with personal challenges Tom remembers feeling as though he had little to offer anyone or anything. Yet, as life seemed to collapse around him Tom found hope and strength in his Christian faith and his desire to serve those in need. ‘I returned to Central America in 2006 with one desire: to try and help someone. I tried a lot of things, but it was the notebook and the pencil that changed everything.’

A notebook and pencil. While in a tiny village in Northern Nicaragua, Tom Affleck, SchoolBOX founder gave two young girls a notebook and a pencil. One of their fathers, seeing this simple gift smiled broadly and said ‘Now that you have a notebook and a pencil you can go to school this year.’ This simple statement profoundly impacted Tom and eventually led to the creation of SchoolBOX.  [Watch the SchoolBOX Story Film here.]

The power of community.  Many individuals gave generously of their time and resources to make SchoolBOX a reality. Ronald Chavarria Arauz, a small entrepreneur in Nicaragua, gave the only room in his house with a proper floor to be SchoolBOX’s office, and offered his personal truck as our vehicle to deliver school supplies and build our first schools.  But it was the support of a small community called Almonte that became the incubator in which SchoolBOX would strengthen and eventually prosper.

Making Education Possible.  A handful of years later, SchoolBOX is ‘Making Education Possible’ by helping thousands and thousands of kids go to school. What began with one man’s quest to find healing and meaning has grown into a movement involving individuals, families and organizations across North America, Europe, and Central America. Dubbed the ‘little organization that could’, SchoolBOX is a wonderful testimony to what can be achieved through love, perseverance and community.

Tom Quote

Our Mission: Making Education Possible

SchoolBOX is a registered Nicaraguan and Canadian Charity (# 83870 1324 RR0001) with the simple, ambitious mission of ‘Making Education Possible’ for all children in Nicaragua and the world.

Our Vision: To see all children finish primary school

Globally, 57 million children are out of school.  Another 69 million young people have not finished their primary education.  In Nicaragua, only 51% of children make it to the 5th grade.  Our vision is to see all children in school and finishing their primary education.  We have four simple, cost effective programs to empower children to go to school and stay in school.  See What We Do for details or Donate Now.

Our Values: Education can defeat poverty.  Together we can make a difference.

Our community is united in love for the children we serve and the belief that education can defeat poverty. SchoolBOX is comprised of thousands of people from different faiths and socioeconomic backgrounds. We empower educators and students, and they in turn empower their communities and change our world. There is no greater service than to empower a child to reach their true potential.