News Archives

December 2013 – SchoolBOX Milestone: 50th Classroom Completed

In the last few days of 2013, our construction team put the finishing touches on classroom #50. The completion of this classroom marks a milestone for SchoolBOX: the realization of SchooBOX founder Tom Affleck’s ambition.

The fourth classroom at the Jennette Affleck (Chague 2) School in Leon is painted and ready to go for the upcoming school year. This school empowers over 135 children to get a primary education. Our amazing team is slated to build a sports area at the school so kids will have a safe place to play.

This school would not be possible without the help of our ‘Calgary Friends of SchoolBOX’ supporters.

_2013_31_12_50th classroom 1
The recently completed 4th classroom at the Jennette Affleck School.

_2013_31_12_50th classtoom 2
SchoolBOX’s construction team pose with their latest success!

December 2013- Brett #2 School Inaugurated

On Monday December 2, 2013 the community of ‘15 de septiembre’ in Tipitapa gathered in celebration. The inauguration of the Brett Bentley Crawford #2 School brought together community members, students, teachers, the Ministry Education, local officials and SchoolBOX staff for speeches, presentations and the ribbon cutting ceremony.

This school is built in memory of Brett Bentley Crawford whose life was tragically cut short at the age of 19. Brett’s friends and family have kept her memory alive by helping hundreds of children in Nicaragua gain a basic education. Her passion for justice and tenacity for overcoming adversity is inspiring to the young students at the school.

This school will empower 120+ children to get a basic education. It includes four new classrooms, a sports area, a library and three washrooms. We are so thankful to the Crawford family and the CTV Amazing People Gala for the sponsorship of this school.

_2013_31_12_Brett Inaugurated 1
Community members and SchoolBOX staff celebrate the completion of the beautiful Brett #2 School.

_2013_31_12_Brett Inaugurated 2
From left to right: Leopoldo Bello of the city council, Teresa Gonzalez from the Ministry of Education, and SchoolBOX Operations Director Ronald Chavarria cutting the ribbon to celebrate the opening of the Brett #2 School.

December 2013 – Tracy’s Hope Legacy Kicks-off with a Library

The students at the Brett #2 School were all smiles for the unveiling of a new library. The library was made possible through donations to ‘Tracy’s Hope Legacy’. Funds were raised in various ways, including the sale of the infamous ‘Texting Mittens’ that were knit with love from local Ottawa residents. Tracy’s Hope Library represents SchoolBOX’s 17th ‘Books 4 Kids’ Library and will enhance the education of 120+ students in the rural community of ‘15 de septiembre’.

Tracy Nolan (Bell) was a young woman who lived a vibrant and compassionate life but sadly passed away from cancer in 2001. She spent much of her life dedicated to helping youth. Her friends and family now continue her work through Tracy’s Hope Legacy.

Tracy’s Hope Legacy began after Tracy’s sister, Dina, fundraised for SchoolBOX and then led a volunteer group to help build the Brett #2 School which would later house Tracy’s Hope Library.

_2013_31_12_Tracy's Library 1
Kids show off the new books in Tracy’s Hope Library.

_2013_31_12_Tracy's Library 2
Students also have great new learning materials like globes as a part of the library.

December 2013 – Christmas Newsletter

In case you missed it, the SchoolBOX Christmas Newsletter is online for your viewing pleasure. Click here to read about SchoolBOX highlights from 2013 and different ways to get involved in 2014!

The electronic Christmas newsleter is also available. Please click here to access.

November 2013- Jennette Affleck School Update

On November 18, SchoolBOX began construction of our 50th classroom to date. The SchoolBOX construction team was met with excitement, celebration and speeches at the Jennette Affleck School in Leon. Kids, community members and even the regional head of the Ministry of Education all came out to give thanks for the help, ‘Making Education Possible’ for hundreds of children.

The first phase of construction at the Jennette Affleck School included three classrooms, a library and two washrooms. This second phase includes a fourth classroom (our 50th) and a new sports area.

Huge thanks to our volunteers, ‘Ambassadors’, Bill Kennedy and Building Walls of Wisdom for helping us achieve this incredible milestone.

Students celebrate after the foundations stones have been laid.

Community leaders, SchoolBOX staff and a representative from the Ministry of Education lay the foundations stones.

October 2013- Brett #2 School Update

The Brett #2 School in Tipitapa, Nicaragua is finally complete! The community is working to finish painting the newly constructed 4 classroom school including a library, complete with a large soccer area, washrooms, and electrical system. This incredible new building replaced a dilapidated tin structure built by the community. It is now the best built structure in the entire community. The kids cannot be more excited to attend their new school!

This school was built in memory of Brett Bentley Crawford, a childhood friend of SchoolBOX founder, Tom Affleck who tragically passed away at the age of 19. We are so thankful to the incredible support of the Brett Bentley Crawford Foundation and the Amazing People Gala presented by CTV Ottawa for making this school possible. Together, we truly have ‘Made Education Possible’ in Tipitapa Nicaragua!

The Brett Bentley Crawford #2 School is now finished construction! All that is required is a coat of paint!

The Brett Bentley Crawford #2 School has four classrooms including one library, three washrooms and a sports area!

October 2013- 15 Mini Libraries Bring Hope to Students and Teachers

Books and basic learning materials are a necessity for a basic education. Yet for most of our partner schools in Nicaragua, teachers simply do not have access to these tools. Last year, SchoolBOX launched the Books 4 Kids program, which has really taken off! We have now delivered mini-libraries to 15 schools and trained 100 teachers in the art of creative teaching with books, silent reading as a tool, and book orgnisation and classification. The basic Books 4 Kids library includes text books, encyclopedias, story books by Nicaraguan authors, investigation books, globes and more.

We are so grateful to the Shirley Case School Build community for their incredible dedication to ‘Making Education Possible’ in Nicaragua. Shirley Case was a Canadian aid-worker, whose life was tragically cut short. Her legacy inspired the construction of two schools in Nicaragua, and is now providing hopes and dreams for hundreds of kids at 4 schools this year through ‘Books 4 Kids’ mini-libraries.

Students at the Jennette Affleck School enjoy their beautiful new ‘Mariposa Library’

Students at the Ruben Dario School in Leon show off their new library. The legacy of Shirley Case lives on at the Ruben Dario School and so many more!

October 2013- Soccer Dreams Program Inspires 200 Students in Nicaragua

In October 2013, SchoolBOX held three Soccer Dreams Tournaments in Nicaragua to finish off the 2013 season. The final three tournaments were held in El Sauce, Chichigalpa and Leon. All three tournaments were full of excitement and wonderful sportsmanship. In El Sauce the winner was the Ruben Dario (El Sauce). Santa Fe (Chichigalpa) and Ruben Dario (Leon) were crowned champions in their respective regions.

Soccer Dreams tournaments also encourage girls to get involved in sport, as they play alongside the boys in a bid for school bragging rights.

Soccer Dreams tournaments are carried out by SchoolBOX staff and local educators to encourage children to stay in school. SchoolBOX would like to thank the Amazing People Gala for empowering the West Ottawa Soccer Club trip to Nicaragua this year. The team definitely left a last impression on the children. SchoolBOX is so thankful to ‘Team Nicaragua Bound’ for fundraising enough to sponsor the Soccer Dreams program this year. Read about Team Nicaragua Bound’s adventure here.

Kids enjoy coming together for a day of fun and playing soccer for their school!

Every Soccer Dreams Tournament, four teams from the district have the opportunity to compete against other schools in their area!

September 2013- Celebration of SchoolBOX Benefit

We have so much to celebrate! So far this year, SchoolBOX has constructed four classrooms (with another four nearly finished), delivered 15,496 educational packages to kids and teachers, hosted 69 international volunteers, provided four schools with mini-libraries and hosted three soccer tournaments in Nicaragua.

We invite you to join us at the Almonte Old Town Hall (14 Bridge St, Almonte) oon October 4th to celebrate these achievements and raise funds to help ‘Make Education Possible’. The night will feature the new SchoolBOX documentary, amazing local musicians, auctions and more. The fantastic event is hosted by The Humm’s Krist and Rob Reindeau. It is going to be so much fun.

Tickets are $20 in advance and are being sold in Almonte from Equator Coffee and Baker Bob’s, and at Read’s Bookshop in Carleton Place. Doors open at 7:00 and events start at 7:30. See you there!

A Celebration of SchoolBOX is sponsored by Equator Coffee Roasters in Almonte.

This amazing event will feature the new SchoolBOX Documentary. Invite your friends!

September 2013- One Notebook Campaign

This year, the back-to-school routine at SchoolBOX got a whole lot more exciting. With the launch of our ONE Notebook campaign, SchoolBOX is making it easier for Canadians to ‘Make Education Possible’ for kids in Nicaragua. For every ONE Notebook sold, TWO are given to children in SchoolBOX partner schools.

This year SchoolBOX has delivered thousands of notebooks to students and teachers through the Supplies 4 Success program and is very excited that the same notebooks received by children in Nicaragua are now available in Canada. As the Canadian school year begins, the Nicaraguan school year nears an end. After breaking in December, Nicaraguan students return in February to begin a new year of classes and will need supplies.

ONE Notebook and the Supplies 4 Success program provides students with all they need for learning: pencils, an eraser, a sharpener, a ruler and of course notebooks.

ONE Notebooks come four delightful colours: Red, Blue, Green and Yellow. These fantastic notebooks are available in Almonte at Mill Street Books, Hello Yellow and Equator Coffee.

Students in Nicaragua receive the very same notebook that are now available in Almonte, ON at Equator Coffee Roasters, Mill Street Books and Hello Yellow.

Students are always very excited to have new school supplies to use.

September 2013- Ski 4 SchoolBOX with Olympian Perianne Jones

This winter SchoolBOX is thrilled to become a part of an incredible international journey with Perianne Jones. Perianne Jones, Canadian Olympian of the Vancouver 2010 games and for the Sochi 2014 games, will be an ambassador for SchoolBOX at the Sochi 2014 games and then she will go on to be a SchoolBOX volunteer in Nicaragua following the games. Perianne kicked off her journey with SchoolBOX at the Equator Block Party on September 14th meeting fans in Almonte, ON.

Inspired by Perianne, we are encouraging ski clubs across the country to organize events in support of the ‘Ski 4 SchoolBOX’ Campaign. Please contact Tara at for more information or to register an event.

Perianne will be competing in February at the 2014 Olympics Games in Sochi, Russia for Team Canada.

Inspired by Perianne and her sport, there will be Ski 4 SchoolBOX events this winter.

September 2013- Texting Mittens for Tracy’s Hope Library

The amazing Dina Bell-Laroche, who led the SchoolBOX Team Nicaragua Bound group was so touched by her experience that she is continuing to give back in Nicaragua. This fall, Dina has launched the Tracy’s Hope Library Legacy to honour her sister Tracy and keep her spirit alive.

Tracy Lee Nolan (nee Bell) was a vibrant and caring woman whose passion was to support children in need. She was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend to many when she passed away at the age of 29 from cancer. Tracy’s legacy is now captured in the SchoolBOX library program, with a goal of ensuring that all schools have the educational materials they need to help student reach their full potential.

Join us in helping make a difference by purchasing a pair of hand crafted texting mittens which are made with love by local Ottawa knitters who believe in the power of making education possible.

Order Form and Photos here

Donate to Tracy’s Hope Library Legacy

Contact Judy O’Riordan for more information 613-721-0014.

Call Judy O’Riordan at 613-721-0014 to order these amazing mittens!

Texting Mittens are a great way to keep your hands warm without compromising the accuracy of your text messages!

September 2013- Over 15,000 Supplies4Success Packages Delivered

As the new school year began in Canada this September, SchoolBOX completed its annual goal of delivering over 15,000 packages of school supplies. This year SchoolBOX proudly provided 15,496 students and teachers with the supplies they need to make the most out of school. Our team was met with genuine gratitude from so many students and teachers showing us that what we do truly makes a difference. Our teams delivered Supplies 4 Success packages in 77 communities across Nicaragua. Each package contains notebooks, pencils, an eraser, a pencil sharpener and a ruler which are necessities for any student.

The children could not contain their excitement as they received their educational packages. The teachers could also not stop smiling!

School supplies are essential for all students. Kids are staying in school thanks to your support..

August 2013- Four Books 4 Kids Mini-libraries Inaugurated

This month, four of our partner schools have received mini-libraries. Students and teachers were thrilled to receive a variety of materials including Nicaraguan literature, spanish-american novels and storybooks, along with essential teaching resources such as encyclopedias, atlases, dictionaries and textbooks. Books are essential learning resources that make lessons much more engaging and fun for students.

The libraries also help to inspire kids to read and learn more about their interests through their love of reading. At the delivery, teachers were also provided with training on how to store, transport and care for books so that they may be used for a long time to come. We are very excited about continuing our Books 4 Kids program and this year we plan to inaugurate our 15th Books 4 Kids library.

The teachers were so happy to receive the books, as they suffer from a lack of teaching materials.

Books foster the love of reading, and reading helps children develop creativity and decision making skills.

August 2013- Soccer Dreams Tournament in Telica Nicaragua

On Monday, August 19th La Union España school hosted the SchoolBOX Soccer Dreams Tournament in Telica, Nicaragua. Girls and boys from four school teams in the district came out for a day of fun and sport. Many community members were also there to cheer on their teams. After a traditional dance and some motivational words from SchoolBOX, the tournament was underway.

In the first match of the day, Los Maribios took on the Raffael Herrera school. In the second match the Union España school played the Nuevo Amanecer school.

The victorious teams Los Maribios and the Union España played for the trophy in the final game. At the end of the day, Los Maribios won the trophy but all the teams left as winners. Each team went home with new jerseys, soccer balls and pumps. Los Maribios and La Union España were also presented with medals to celebrate their achievements. Augustine Sergio Prado of Los Maribios and Betancourt Edison of La Union España were both awarded soccer balls for being the top scorers of the tournament with four goals each!

Our soccer tournaments are inclusive. An equal number of girls play soccer right alongside the boys!

The champions celebrate their tournament victory!

July 2013- Soccer Dreams Tournament on Ometepe Island

On Thursday, July 11 four schools on Ometepe Island came together to share an exciting day of soccer. Thanks to True Sport, the West Ottawa and Ottawa Royals Soccer clubs, the teams were outfitted in full uniforms to represent their schools. The day was hot and full of passion for players and spectators alike, many people from the community came out to cheer on their teams.

Members of the West Ottawa U14 Girls Soccer Team were on site to warm up before the games with the participants from the competing schools of Rigoberto Cabeza, La Flor Nicarao, San Jose del Sur and Los Angeles Esquipoulas. After the tournament the West Ottawa girls finished off the day with an exhibition game against the tournament winners Los Angeles Esquipoulas.

In the end all the teams won after having a fun filled day of soccer, each team left with soccer balls, jerseys and True Sport gear.

SchoolBOX wishes to thank West Ottawa and Ottawa Royals Soccer Clubs and True Sport for their support and participation in The Ometepe Island Soccer Dreams Tournament 2013 and ‘Making Education Possible.’

The students were all smiles during the Soccer Dreams tournament.

June 2013 – Spring is here! And we are planting the seeds of education.

Letter by Sarah Kerr – SchoolBOX Executive Director

Spring is an amazing time of year. The winter has finally gone, and new life is sprouting up all around. At home, we have started our vegetable garden. This is the first garden I’ve had since childhood (another benefit of having my husband – SchoolBOX Founder Tom Affleck – on sabbatical). While preparing our beds, I began thinking about two things; first, how much we have accomplished towards our mission of ‘Making Education Possible’ already in 2013, and secondly, how our little garden is a teacher, and metaphor, for our work at SchoolBOX.

I began to see our growing organization in a new light; the 15,000+ students we are supporting are just like seeds. They appear small and fragile, but within them lies amazing potential for growth and fruit that we cannot even imagine. Without good soil, however, a seed can never flourish. Adequate soil is essential – it provides the plant with vital nutrients, a depth to root into, and a secure foundation from which to reach for the sky. The soil in Nicaragua has been prepared by local heroes for many years. People like Ronald, our Director, who broke the cycle of poverty though education to show kids it was possible; teachers like Antonia who led their communities forward even when ‘school’ was only a teacher and students under a tree. The soil takes generations to prepare, but in Nicaragua, it is now fertile and ready for an amazing harvest.

These are the conditions that we work in – amazing soil cultivated by local experts and thousands of seeds ready for the opportunity to spring up. Just a few key ingredients are needed – and that’s where we come in.

Already this year, we have built 4 new classrooms, and have another 2 underway. We have provided 9,000+ educational packages to eager students, hosted 48 international volunteers and are preparing to distribute 10 mini-libraries. Like trusses and raised beds, these school buildings are the essential tools for the gardeners; the teachers. They provide the structure for classes, shelter the kids from the elements, and even encourage parents to take education seriously and send their children to school. Like water, the school supplies and library books are the life source of education – providing knowledge and a space to brainstorm and imagine new ideas, which transform young minds.

So as you are planting your annuals, tending your perennials, or just enjoying someone else’s garden this season, remember that your support is like the fertilizer for the 15,000+ sprouting seeds that are taking shape in our partner schools in Nicaragua. Thank you for ‘Making Education Possible’.

Enjoy your spring,

Sarah Kerr

June 2013 – Shirley Case Project Update!

The supporters, friends and family of Shirley Case have been involved with SchoolBOX since 2010. They were inspired by Shirley Case, a young Canadian aid-worker, whose life was tragically cut short.

The Shirley Case Project has raised funds for two schools in Nicaragua, and prompted legions of volunteers to travel to Nicaragua to help construct classrooms and inspire students, teachers, and parents.

In 2013, the Shirley Case Project has funded four Books 4 Kids mini libraries, educational packages at the two Shirley Case Schools, and desks at the Jennette Affleck School in Leon.

For a full glimpse of where on the status and details of each program, please click here to see the Donor Progress Report.

SchoolBOX wishes to thank all the friends, family, and supporters of Shirley Case for their efforts in ‘Making Education Possible’

The students at the Shirley Case #1 School receiving their education packages

June 2013 – Run & Support the West Ottawa Girls Soccer Club to get to Nicaragua

How can you combine exercise, fun, and empowering Ottawa Area youth? Join the West Ottawa Girls Soccer Club 5km run on Saturday, June 8, 2013.

Date: Saturday, June 8, 2013- 10am

Place: Stonemeadow Park in Bridlewood – Run will take place on the NCC trail.

What: Join the West Ottawa Girls Soccer Club in a 5km run or walk and help support our journey to make a difference! All funds raised will help offset the costs of the team going to Nicaragua to help build a classroom.

How:Participants can sign up on the day of or by emailing:

Details: Minimum of $10 donation per person and we encourage you to raise more.

Also, check out their Facebook page for the event for more details:

Help the West Ottawa Girls Soccer Club get to Nicaragua!

May 2013 – Equator San Antonio School in Jalapa Inaugurated

On Wednesday May 15, 2013, the community of San Antonio celebrated the inauguration of their new school. The Equator San Antonio School was proudly sponsored by Equator Coffee Roasters (, and also supported by funds from the Amazing People Gala presented by CTV.

A group of volunteers from Equator Coffee visited the school on the inauguration and were touched by the warmth, kindness, and generosity of the community. The community is located near the Nicaraguan border with Honduras, and is situated on top of a mountain at 1000m above sea level.

Equator Coffee Roasters owners, Amber & Craig Hall visited the community in 2012 and were amazed at their resiliency and drive. They were determined to build a school in San Antonio. One year later, they returned for the emotional inauguration.

The entire community was on hand, including all the students, teachers, parents, and even the local coffee cooperative that Equator buys from. SchoolBOX was even surprised that the coffee cooperative had organised educational packages for the children.

The community has so much potential, and sees the value in education. SchoolBOX could not be happier with the new school. The entire SchoolBOX family wishes to thank Equator Coffee Roasters, and the organisers and supporters of the Amazing People Gala presented by CTV.

Together, we are ‘Making Education Possible.’

The completed Equator San Antonio School

Amber, Craig, Joel, and Sammy Hall of Equator Coffee Roasters, in front of the school.

The Equator San Antonio School is located about 1000m above sea level in Northern Nicaragua near the Honduran border.

May 2013 – Amazing Progress on the Brett #2 School

Construction of the Brett #2 School started on April 29, 2013. The school has been made possibly by funds from the Brett Bentley Crawford Foundation, the Amazing People Gala presented by CTV, and many volunteers the participated first hand in the build.

The community has been very involved in the construction, and even put up a shelter for the volunteers in only one day. The students are all eagerly helping, and interacting with the volunteers.

The school is located in an impoverished area in Central Nicaragua. Their previous school was built by the parents and resembled two shacks of metal, wood, and cement. Over the years, the student population has grown steadily, and a new school will be a welcome addition to their community.

Their 4 classroom/3 washroom school with a soccer pitch will be completed in the Fall.

Check out the pictures below of the progress thus far:

Trucks clear and compact the land for the new school (April 29, 2013)

Foundation prepared, and rebar support structures are put into place (May 14, 2013)

The walls begin to rise (May 27, 2013)

The children loved interacting with all of the international volunteers.

May 2013 – Volunteer Program Coordinator Needed!

SchoolBOX is looking for an energetic, and organised “people person” for the role of Volunteer Program Coordinator. If you live in Toronto, speak Spanish, and would love to help SchoolBOX, ‘Make Education Possible’, please click below to access the job description.

Join the SchoolBOX Team today!

April 2013 – Jennette Affleck School Inaugurated

On April 23rd, 2013, the community of Talchacote celebrated the inaguration of the Jennette Affleck School. Jennette Affleck was one of the pioneers of SchoolBOX. She helped support SchoolBOX in the beginning and has watched the organisation mature and help over 15,000 children at present. She has been a volunteer 6 times with SchoolBOX in Nicaragua.

In February of 2013, Jennette Affleck was part of a group that volunteered to build the school. She made an amazing connection with the community, and they were impressed with her dedication to education in Nicaragua. The Ministry of Education and the community approached SchoolBOX to have the school named after her. SchoolBOX worked hard with government officials to switch the name of the school from Chague 2 to the Jennette Affleck School. Jennette was very touched by this gesture.

The first phase of the Jennette Affleck School has 3 classrooms, and 2 washrooms. SchoolBOX was so impressed with the community’s involvement, that the 4th classroom including a mini-library will be built in the Fall as planned.

SchoolBOX wishes to thank all of the volunteers who helped helped build the school, and who helped raise money. The volunteer groups’ impact will be felt in the community for many years to come.

SchoolBOX is very thankful for the generous contributions of Bill Kennedy, the SchoolBOX Ambassadors, and Building Walls of Wisdom.

Jaimie standing outside the new Jennette Affleck School. He is proud to be a part of the permanent sign in front of his school.

The entire SchoolBOX team, community members, students, and teachers in front of the completed Jennette Affleck School.

SchoolBOX Director of Operations, Ronald Chavarria, participating in the ceremonial ribbon cutting for the new school.

April 2013 – Ground Broken on Two Schools!

SchoolBOX had an exciting month of April. One school was completed and two construction projects were initiated.

It marked the first time in SchoolBOX history that two school build projects were initiated in the same month.

The Equator San Antonio School was initiated on April 17, 2013 in Northern Nicaragua. The community support has been through the roof on this project. Our team is excited with the progress of this one room schoolhouse, that will serve the children of the San Antonio community. Construction is slated to finish in May.

The Equator San Antonio School in Jalapa

The Brett 2 School was iniated on April 29, 2013 in Central Nicaragua. The community has been fighting for a school for many years, and were excited to see the land being prepared for construction. The four classroom school will include a playing field and a library and will serve the community of ’15 de septiembre’.

The site of the new Brett 2 School near Tipitapa

The SchoolBOX construction team is working hard to help ‘Make Education Possible’

April 2013 – Over 5000 Educational Packages Delivered

Thus far in 2013, SchoolBOX has delivered over 5000 educational packages to 33 communities across 4 zones in Nicaragua. Students and teachers in Leon, Chichigalpa, Telica, and Sauce have received education packages containing notebooks, pencils, an eraser, a ruler, and a pencil sharpener.

The students and teachers could not be happier that they have the tools to get a basic education.

$5 helps a student get a basic education. For more information, check out

Robinson is all smiles as he received his educational package. He attends the Shirley Case #1 School in Monte Olivo.

Students from the Union España school show off their educaitonal packages..

March 2013 – New Energy, Same Heart – SchoolBOX Leadership Transition

Letter from Tom:

Dear friends,

After seven of the most eventful, rewarding years of my life, I have decided to step back from the leadership of SchoolBOX. Reflecting on all that we have accomplished together, I have an incredible sense of personal fulfillment, and realize that it is time for new leadership in our organization. To strengthen the SchoolBOX mission moving forward, the organization will benefit from new energy and vision to build upon the wonderful work we have done.

I could not be more grateful for all that we have achieved together over the last 7 years. SchoolBOX has provided 50,000 packages of educational supplies, including 200,000+ notebooks, to students and teachers in some of the poorest communities in Nicaragua. Our community has built 40+ classrooms and six mini-libraries, developed a school soccer program, hosted nearly 300 international volunteers, and invested over a million dollars directly into the Nicaraguan economy. These numbers are quite miraculous when you consider that we started in 2006 with no money and little hope of survival. Our success is a true testament to the power of community and the fact that amazing things happen when we step out in faith together to make a difference for others.

The SchoolBOX Board of Directors has chosen Sarah Kerr as the best person to lead SchoolBOX for the future. I whole-heartedly agree, and I am pleased to report that she has accepted the challenge. I know she will find it as rewarding as I have.

Sarah is the right person to lead this great organization on the next leg of its journey. Since joining us in 2007, Sarah has helped build SchoolBOX from the ground up. She knows our organization inside and out, and has earned the sincere respect of our staff and community. Sarah is well versed in the realities of operating an international organization, having worked her way up from intern to International Operations Manager. She is also credited with creating some of our most successful programs (International Volunteer Program & I.Y.E.S.). Invest Ottawa recently recognized Sarah as one of Ottawa’s Top 100 Rising Stars for her work with SchoolBOX. In addition to her impressive experience and accomplishments, Sarah brings a tremendous amount of love and energy to our organization.

Personally, I could not be more thankful that Sarah has accepted the invitation to be SchoolBOX’s new Executive Director. By doing so, Sarah is helping to ensure that SchoolBOX remains the heart driven, love powered organization that it has always been. She believes in the grassroots, community approach that we have grown from, and is passionate to see all children access a basic education. I invite you to join me in supporting Sarah in her new position.

Speaking from experience, I know that Sarah’s principle concern in this new role will be fundraising. I hope that you will join me in being a monthly donor to SchoolBOX. For $20 a month you can provide 48 Nicaraguan children with packages of educational supplies each year. You can also help Sarah and her team, plan and budget for programs to support 15,000 students and teachers in Nicaragua.

More than anything else, my desire in writing this letter is to say thank you. I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to each of you for helping to make the SchoolBOX dream come true. We have been truly blessed and together we have made a wonderful difference. I am so excited to see how the SchoolBOX dream continues to unfold in the future. Of course, I will always be a dedicated and passionate supporter of SchoolBOX and our mission, and will be involved in a number of capacities going forward.

Thank you again for being part of SchoolBOX.

With thanks and love,

Tom Affleck

SchoolBOX Founder

Tom Affleck and Sarah Kerr pictured with the children of Jalapa.

Tom and Sarah with the Grade 6 graduating class at Brett’s School in Managua.

March 2013 – SchoolBOX Golf For Kids Charity Tournament – May 5th!

The SchoolBOX Golf For Kids Charity Tournament takes place on Sunday, May 5, 2013 at the Canadian Golf and Country Club. SchoolBOX is inviting all of their supporters to attend this great event.

The event is a best ball, 18 hole format. There will be a closest to the pin contest, a longest drive contest, and lots of prizes. The day will be capped off with a delicious dinner.

The schedule is as follows:

11:30am – Registration

1:00pm – Shot gun start

6:30pm – Dinner

SchoolBOX encourages you to bring your friends and family for a beautiful day of golf, while ‘Making Education Possible.’

Golf and Dinner tickets cost $125, while dinner only tickets cost $50. To register for the tournament, or for dinner only tickets, please click here.

For sponsorship opportunities, please click here

Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!.

March 2013 – Construction on Chague #2 School Well Underway

March has been an amazing month for the community of Talchacote. There has been an amazing amount of progress at the Chague #2 School. As per March 15, the entire outer structure of the school has been completed, and welders were working on the windows and doors of the school. Our construction team has started filling in the floors of each classroom.

With the help of two volunteer groups, the construction team, and community members the school structure is being built right on schedule.

SchoolBOX would like to thank all their volunteers, Bill Kennedy, the SchoolBOX Ambassadors, and Building Walls of Wisdom for making the Chague #2 School a reality.

For more information on the Chague #2 School, please click here

The progress of construction at the Chague #2 School on March 15, 2013.

Marian Mercedes Gonsales is a 53 year old mother of 6, and grandmother of 7. She is working hard to help her community build the Chague #2 School.

Volunteers present the teachers of Chague #2 with materials to use in their classrooms.

February 2013 – Volunteers are making an impact!

The first group of volunteers for 2013 descended upon the Chague #2 School in Talchocote near Leon in February. They dug holes, sifted sand, made rebar columns, and had an amazing time. The students, teachers, and community members came out to help construct alongside the volunteers, and to interact with our group of Canadian and American volunteers.

The volunteer group were so attached to the community when they left, and lots of tears were shed. The community will remember these amazing volunteers for many years to come.

If you are interested in volunteering with SchoolBOX for this year, check out the available dates on

Shayla, Bev, and Willie having a great time working on the Chague #2 School.

The volunteers handed out educational packages to all of the students at the Chague #2 School.

February 2013 – Georges Vanier School in Ottawa is ‘Making Education Possible’!

Georges Vanier School in Kanata is ‘Making Education Possible’. The Grade 3 and Grade 6 classes were inspired to raise money for the Supplies 4 Success Program after learning about educational situation in Nicaragua. The children knew that for every $5 they raised, it would supply an educational package for a student or teacher. Each educational package contains notebooks, pencils, an eraser, a ruler, and a pencil sharpener.

The Grade 3 class held an amazing movie night, where all the teachers, students and parents were invited. They sold snacks, and had a donation table for SchoolBOX. In total, $1055 was raised at the movie night. The Grade 6 class were empowered by the success of the Grade 3 movie night, and decided to donate 50% of the proceeds from their white elephant sale to SchoolBOX. In total, $880 was raised through their efforts.

In December, 2012, The Grade 3 and Grade 6 classes presented SchoolBOX with a cheque for $1935. They also learned that since a SchoolBOX representative presented to their school, their donation was matched, and a total of $3870 was raised.

In total, 774 students will receive educational packages because of the efforts of Georges Vanier School. SchoolBOX and the recipients of these packages are grateful for their efforts.

For more information on SchoolBOX presentations at your school, please go to

Pictured: The Grade 3 class at Georges Vanier Catholic School in Kanata with teachers Laurie DiLabio, Brooke Kelly and Ann Nielsen.

Throught the efforts of the students at Georges Vanier School, 774 students will receive educational packages in 2013.

January 2013 – Chague #2 School Construction Begins

On January 14, 2013, the ceremonial first blocks were laid at the site of the Chague #2 School in Leon. The community was overjoyed as SchoolBOX staff, members of the Ministry of Education, and teachers attended the great kickoff event.

The community is excited to welcome volunteers from abroad, who will help with the construction. The community of Talchocote is happy that their children will get a chance to get a basic education in a safe and learning-enabling environment.

The SchoolBOX Team proudly poses in front of the ceremonial first cement blocks at the site of the Chague #2 School in Leon

For more information on the Chague #2 School, and to learn how to donate, please visit

A proud mother speaks during a ceremony on the first day of construction at the Chague #2 School in Leon.

January 2013 – SchoolBOX article in The Globe and Mail

SchoolBOX was very fortunate to have their story featured in Canada’s National Newspaper, The Globe and Mail in December. The article chronicles how SchoolBOX founder, Tom Affleck was inspired to help after giving a little girl a pencil and a notebook. This event was the catalyst that has propelled SchoolBOX into an organisation that is helping thousands of children in Nicaragua to get a basic education.

Please click on the following link to read the story, and share with others:

The Globe and Mail – Dec 21, 2012 – Gift of a single pencil led to program that aids thousands

January 2013 – Spanish Language Media

SchoolBOX has been getting a lot of media attention lately. We have had a great 2012 full of wonderful stories that were covered in the Canadian media. Near the tail end of 2012, SchoolBOX started receiving coverage from Spanish language media outlets.

We have created a new section to highlight the attention SchoolBOX receives through newspaper and television outlets in the Spanish language.

Check out the new section here:

December 2012 – Brett’s School Complete!

Brett’s School is finally complete. On December 4, 2012, hundreds of students, teachers, community members, and SchoolBOX supporters poured into the new eight classroom school for its inauguration.

Many community members were very emotional, as they have waited ten long years for a school to call their own. The original school was started in 2002, under a tree. In 2007, SchoolBOX found the school in an alley. It did not have walls, floors, or teaching resources.

Since 2007, SchoolBOX has been helping the community of La Primavera, and fighting to build them a safe and secure school. In October of 2011, ground broke on Brett’s school. Just over one year later, the school is complete.

The school is named after Brett B. Crawford, a good friend of SchoolBOX President, Tom Affleck. Her life was tragically cut short by an accident at the age of 19. Her spirit will live on at this school.

SchoolBOX wishes to thank all of their supporters, including all of the volunteers that personally visited this community in the past.

Everyone was all smiles for the inauguration of Brett’s School

Children from La Primavera enjoying the new playground equipment at Brett’s School

December 2012 – SchoolBOX Christmas Newsletter – Fresh off the Presses

The SchoolBOX Christmas Newsletter and E-Newsletter were recently sent out! These two updates contained information and stories from 2012.

If you missed either of these newsletters, please click below:

1) SchoolBOX 2012 Christmas Paper Newsletter

2) SchoolBOX 2012 Christmas E-newsletter

If you wish to subscribe to our e-newsletter, please click here and fill out the form

November 2012 -Sarah Kerr named to Invest Ottawa’s Top 100 Rising Stars List

SchoolBOX is pleased to announce that Operations Manager, Sarah Kerr has been named to the Top 100 Rising Stars List by Invest Ottawa. We are all very grateful for Sarah’s work with SchoolBOX over the last few years.

This year, Sarah relaunched the Indigenous Youth Empowering Students (IYES) Program, and it was a great success with a group of young students helping to build the Shirley Case #2 School in Leon. Her work with the IYES Program is being recognized by Invest Ottawa.

SchoolBOX salutes Sarah for her hard work with the IYES Program. For more information on the IYES Program, please visit:

SchoolBOX congratulates Sarah Kerr for her work with the IYES Program

November 2012 -Amazing People Gala an Amazing Success!

The Amazing People gala took place on October 27th. It was a fantastic event full of laugher, inspiration, and some tears. Almost 500 people were in attendance to support SchoolBOX, and to learn about CTV Ottawa’s Amazing People.

A large amount of funds was raised to support the Tools 4 Schools Program, and a large amount of awareness was raised for SchoolBOX in the process.

SchoolBOX wishes to thank the entire organising committee of Kimothy Walker, Eric Collard, Michelle Kay, Lucie Vignola, Sue Wilson, and Marco Pagani.

For a great recap of the event, check out this news story:

A group shot of CTV Ottawa’s Amazing People who were in attendance at the event.

Thanks to everyone who made this amazing evening possible!

November 2012 -Brett’s School nearing completion

As we approach the end of November, the Brett School in Managua is getting closer and closer to completion. Construction started in October of 2011, and the entire construction crew has been working hard over the last year to finish the 8 classroom/1 office school for hundreds of children in the Primavera community.

The school is named after Brett Bentley Crawford, a close friend of SchoolBOX President, Tom Affleck. Her life was cut short tragically at a young age, but her light will continue to shine on for the students and teachers of this school.

The Brett School is slated to be completed at the beginning of December. Stay tuned for videos and pictures of the completed school.

The progress of the Brett School in November 2012.

The children of La Primavera will soon be able to study in a beautiful new school!

October 2012 -Toronto Event – Songs for SchoolBOX

Join us for an evening of fantastic cabaret music in support of SchoolBOX!

Performers include:

“Canada’s First Lady of Cabaret” Judith Lander

with Ghislain Aucoin, Jessica Chaikowsky, Devon Hubka, and MORE!

Great silent auction items, food, and a cash bar.

Date: Saturday, November 3, 2012.

Time: 7:30pm, show at 8:15pm

Place: East Common Room, Hart House – 7 Hart House Circle, Toronto, ON, on the University of Toronto Campus.

Tickets: $30 in advance, $35 at the door (cash only)

To buy tickets online, click here

Check out this event on Nov 3rd if you are in Toronto!

October 2012 – 2 more mini-libraries inaugurated

On Oct 1 and 2, 2012, SchoolBOX delivered a mini library to Union España School in Telica, and La Cenicera School in El Sauce. The teachers and students were overjoyed to receive the books. All of the teachers enjoyed the teacher training, and are now equipped to use the books as teaching materials within the classroom.

SchoolBOX has delivered 5 mini-libraries in 2012 to 5 deserving communities. The schools within these communities lacked basic learning materials, and these books will inspire students for many years to come.

To read more about the Books 4 Kids Mini Library program, click here

5 mini libraries have been inaugurated thus far in 2012.

October 2012 – AP Gala Tickets going fast

The ‘Presented by CTV – Amazing People Gala in support of SchoolBOX’ is just weeks away. Join us for an amazing event of entertainment honouring amazing people from around the Ottawa Region on Saturday, October 27.

Ticket are going fast! Check out for more details.

Get your tickets today!

September 2012 – Delivery of Notebook #200,000

In the first half of September, SchoolBOX celebrated a momumental milestone. The 200,000th notebook was handed out in the community of ’15 de septiembre’ about 50km North West of Managua.

The lucky recipient was 14 year old Elvin. He is only two children in the 5th Grade at the 15 de septiembre School within his community. The other child is his twin brother. Elvin and his brother are behind in school because their family is so poor that he needs to often work to put food on the table. They remain committed to finishing their studies, and the notebooks they received in their educational packages will go a long way towards helping them acheive their goals.

Elvin dreams of becoming a teacher, so that he can help those in his community. He wants to become a leader in the community, and help others acheive the dream of an education.

Click here for the full media release

Photo slideshow of Elvin receiving notebook #200,000, and the two little girls who received notebook #1 and notebook #2.

Video of Ronald Chavarria handing out notebook #200,000 to Elvin within his educational package. English translation of video: We are here with Elvin Daniel Novarra Gonsoles, handing out the education package that corresponds to notebook #200,000 in Nicaragua. SchoolBOX is delivering education packages to the ’15 de septiembre’ School.

Elvin received notebook #200,000 that SchoolBOX has delivered in Nicaragua.

September 2012 – Grand Opening of the Shirley Case #2 School and Laurie’s Library in Leon

On August 30, 2012, SchoolBOX celebrated the inauguration of the Shirley Case #2 School in Leon. The joyous occasion also marked the official opening of Laurie’s Library.

The entire community of Roger Deshon was on hand for official ribbon cutting. Although the weather did not cooperate, everyone was in good spirits. The children were so excited for their new flush toilets, and their two large slides, and two see-saws.

In total, over 50 international volunteers travelled to Nicaragua to help with the construction of this amazing school. SchoolBOX wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Jessica Chaikowsky and Shirley’s Superninjas, along with a plethora of Shirley’s friends and family.

Thanks go out to the Tranter Family, Kelly Parascandalo and the Hamilton Community Foundation for making Laurie’s Library possible. Laurie’s Library is being housed in the far classroom, and includes over 260 books, two weatherproof cabinets, two large tables, and 20 chairs for the students to take part in different activities with the books.

The Shirley Case #2 School features four classrooms, three bathrooms, eight water fountains, four playground games, 90 student desks, 4 teacher chairs/desks. The last classroom featured Laurie’s Library

For more details on the Shirley Case #2 Build, check out our Completed Classrooms Section:

The completed Shirley Case #2 School.

September 2012 -Latin Fiesta! – A Celebration of SchoolBOX

September means many things. Back to School for the kids, soaking up the last bit of warmth left over from the summer, and of course – The SchoolBOX Latin Fiesta. On Friday Sept 28, 2012, SchoolBOX will celebrate their 7th annual Latin Fiesta sponsored by Equator Coffee Roasters.

Join the SchoolBOX community in a fantastic celebration to raise funds and awareness for education in Central America. Listen to live latin fusion music, and mingle with the SchoolBOX team.

This year, SchoolBOX will welcome a very special guest to the festivities!

Details are as follows:

Date: Friday Sept 28, 2012.

Time: 7:30pm

Place: North Lanark Agricultural Hall, 195 Water St. Almonte

Live Latin Fusion Music

Silent Auction ? Live Auction

Tickets: $20 / $10 students

Kids under 13 FREE

Check out the live auction items (Remember to bring your cheque book!):

1. One week at an Apartment Condo in Peak District National Park Derbyshire England.

2. House Concert with the iconic Canadian singer/songwriter Ian Tamblyn

3. Hand-made Quilt, Queen size, value approximately $600

For more information, email:

Excitement is building for the 7th annual SchoolBOX Latin Fiesta

August 2012 – Amazing People Commercial Airs!

The ‘Presented by CTV’ Amazing People Gala in support of SchoolBOX commercial started airing on CTV Ottawa on August 21st. Check out the embedded clip below, and make sure you share it with your friends. For more information on the Gala, please go to, where you will be able to find more information on how to buy tickets, and also sponsor the event.

SchoolBOX wishes to thank CTV and their other sponsors for helping put on this wonderful event.

Click here to buy tickets for this Amazing event.

August 2012 – Soccer Dreams Success!

Goooool! Gooooool! Gooool! The chants were loud and frequent during the most recent Soccer Dreams tournament in Chichigalpa last week. SchoolBOX hosted 4 teams from around Chichigalpa at the El Socorro School in La Isla. Several of the schools brought their own cheering sections. It was definitely a sight to see!

Esuela Santa Fe were eventually crowned the champions in a low scoring final game. They were victorious over host school El Socorro 2 to 1, scoring the winning goal in the final minute.

Sante Fe will represent Chichigalpa in the finals and will be joined by Ruben Dario from Leon, La Cenicera from El Sauce, and Los Maribios from Telica.

SchoolBOX wishes all 4 schools the best of luck in the finals.

The Soccer Dreams Program was initiated to get children excited about school. Every child is motivated by different reasons to attend school, and many are excited to go to school to be part of a soccer team. Only children with good grades, and good attendance records are allowed to be part of their school’s team.

The Chichigalpa Soccer Dreams tournament participants celebrating a fantastic day.

Jason, the team captain of Sante Fe accepting The Chichigalpa Soccer Dreams championship trophy

August 2012 – Love for Books

The SchoolBOX team was happy to provide library training for the Nuevo Amenecer School, and the Shirley Case #2 School at the beginning of August. Each school received training on book organisation, using silent reading as a tool, different ways to read to children, and how to use books as a classroom tool.

Nuevo Amenecer received their collection of reference books, text books, novels, and story books in their sturdy weather proof bookcases immediately, while the Shirley Case School #2 will receive their books when the school and Laurie’s Library are inagurated at the end of August.

The majority of public schools are not equipped with the essentials such as books. The books provide the tools to succeed for both students and teachers.

SchoolBOX, and the students and teachers of Nuevo Amenecer and the Shirley Case #2 School containing Laurie’s Library wish to thank all for their ongoing support!

Miguel Jesus from the Shirley Case #2 School will be enjoying the books provided at Laurie’s Library.

The teachers at Nuevo Amenecer receiving their library training. They were so happy with the new teaching materials.

July 2012 – The Ryerson Chicas and the Great Wall of Leon!

At the beginning of July, SchoolBOX welcomed 5 energetic and amazing girls from Ryerson University. Annie, Kaushilya, Ruba, Kelly, and Janice all worked hard on the construction of the Shirley Case #2 School in Leon.

The girls were vey enthusiastic during their volunteer experience and played a large role in the construction of the wall surrounding the school. Through sheer effort and determination, the girls were able to complete this wall.

The wall was necessary in order to keep the school safe after hours, and also to create a barrier and drainage facility during the rainy season. The community of Roger Deshon was over the moon with the progress of the wall.

The school is slated to be finished in August, and will contain 3 classrooms, and a multipurpose room containing Laurie’s Library. Check out our facebook page and our website for pictures and details of the inauguration later next month.

Janice enjoying her time in Leon with the children of the Roger Deshon community. The Great Wall of Leon can be seen in the background.

Amazing progress on the Great Wall of Leon from the Ryerson Chicas!

July 2012 – 7054 Educational Packages Delivered!

SchoolBOX has delivered an astonishing 7054 educational packages as per July 10, 2012. Carolina Chavarria has led the charge for the SchoolBOX team, and has delivered a motivating talk to all students receiving the package of educational supplies. This year, each student is receiving a notebook with the SchoolBOX logo, and a motivating message. This is definitely a sign of SchoolBOX’s growth in Nicaragua.

Doña Elizabeth is still working with the community in La Primavera to package each and every educational package with care and love. As we continue to expand our Supplies 4 Success Program, we are providing empowerment and employment to more Nicaraguans.

In total, 6764 students, and 290 teachers in 25 communities have benefited from our Supplies 4 Success Program.

Catherine recently received her educational package. She is so happy for all of the support from the SchoolBOX family.

Doña Elizabeth assembling educational packages in La Primavera

July 2012 – Teachers Empowered

SchoolBOX partnered to provide 14 teachers from their partner schools with a week of teachers training and relaxation at Skylark Retreat Centre in beautiful San Marcos, Nicaragua.

All of the teachers were so happy that they were provided the opportunity to learn new ways to educate their students. They were all smiling and giggling over the opportunity to learn and interact with fellow colleagues.

SchoolBOX salutes these teachers for their hard work and dedication!

14 teachers posing with SchoolBOX’s Ronald Chavarria before they head off to San Marcos

July 2012 – Presented by CTV – The Amazing People Gala in Support of SchoolBOX

Join us on October 27, 2012 at the Ottawa Convention Centre for a night of celebration in support of SchoolBOX. Hundreds of people will attend the Ottawa Convention Centre to find out who are the winners of the “CTV Amazing Person of the Year” (for each of 2011 and 2012), as well as the “CTV’s Viewers’ Choice Award” which will involve online voting at

CTV has profiled about 50 Amazing People who will be honoured, before the dancing begins in the beautiful Trillium Ballroom overlooking the Rideau Canal at a red-carpet gala like no other.

Check out the feature at:

The goal on that night is to raise enough money to build a school in Nicaragua with SchoolBOX, powered in part by young people in Ottawa. They will learn the importance of helping others on a global scale and discover their ability to change their own community.

For more information, check go to:

Check out our Facebook event:

Join us for an amazing evening in support of SchoolBOX!

June 2012 – 10,000 Facebook LIKES = 1 New Classroom

10,000 Facebook Likes = 1 New Classroom Campaign

The campaign is simple: If the SchoolBOX page on Facebook hits 10,000 LIKES before the end of 2012, then a generous anonymous donor has pledged a $10,000 contribution towards a classroom for a project in 2013. This contribution will enable SchoolBOX to construct one complete classroom for the children of this impoverished community.

For more information, check go to:

Join us in this amazing awareness campaign!

June 2012 – Amazing SchoolBOX Kickoff – July 5th – Metropolitain Brasserie, Ottawa

Join CTV News Anchor Kimothy Walker, Max Keeping, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and SchoolBOX President, Tom Affleck on Thursday, July 5th from 5:30pm to 7:30pm at the Metropolitain Brasserie Restaurant for a special SchoolBOX Kickoff Event.

We will be announcing an amazing campaign and event to empower countless people around the Ottawa Region to help ‘Make Education Possible’ for the children of Central America.

Head on down to the Metropolitain on July 5th to mingle with Kimothy, Max, Jim and Tom, and be a part of this amazing event.

For full details, check out the facebook page:

The entire SchoolBOX family is excited for this kickoff

June 2012 – Kent Huskins Golf 4 SchoolBOX Tickets 50% Sold!

The Kent Huskins Golf 4 SchoolBOX Charity Tournament presented by Equator Coffee Roasters is 50% sold out. Act today to reserve your foursome, or single golfing ticket. Do not miss this amazing opportunity to migle with Kent Huskins and the family of SchoolBOX supporters.

Tickets are now available online at the following link: or by calling Mike or Millie Maloney at (613) 256-5059.

For complete information, visit:

Tickets are going fast. Sign up today and help the children of Central America get a basic education.

June 2012 – Craig Hall named to Ottawa Business Journals Top Forty under 40

SchoolBOX wishes to congratulate Mississippi Mills resident Craig Hall on being named to the Ottawa Business Journal Top Forty under 40.

Craig is the owner and operator of Equator Coffee Roasters, which has been a huge supporter of SchoolBOX since 2010. They donate 10 cents per pound of coffee roasted, and also donate $5 for each bag of beans for dreams coffee sold to SchoolBOX. Check it out here:

An Equator Coffee group will be headed to Nicaragua in May of 2013 to build a school in Northern Nicaragua, which should prove an amazing experience.

For more information on Craig’s award, click here

Craig has been an amazing ambassador for SchoolBOX

June 2012 – McDowell Elementary supports Supplies 4 Success Program

The Grade 6 class of McDowell Elementary School in Shawville QC and their teacher Robyn Lee raised $813.81 for SchoolBOX. They raffled Sens tickets and had a coin drive.

Their generosity and enthusiasm provided 162 children with the essential school supplies they need to study for one year. Each child received a package of notebooks, a pencil, pencil sharpener, ruler, and eraser.

Thanks to the entire Grade 6 class of McDowell Elementary School for ‘Making Education Possible’

The students were so happy to get their educational packages.

May 2012 – Delivery of Educational Packages Well Underway

The SchoolBOX team has been busy in the regions of Telica and Sauce delivering educational packages to students and teachers. Carolina Chavarria and her team have delivered a total of 1592 educational packages (1499 packages to students, 93 packages to teachers) to 17 communities.

The packages cost $5 each, and contain a pencil, eraser, pencil sharpener, ruler, and several notebooks.

For more information on this program, please click the link below:

The children at the Shirley Case #1 School receiving their educational packages.

May 2012 – Soccer Dreams Program Underway!

On April 25/2012, SchoolBOX had their first soccer tournament of the year in El Sauce. The tournament comprised of 4 schools: La Cenicera, Hermanos Linarte, Rueben Dario, and Las Pilas.

Each team had 10 players aged 8 to 12 years old. SchoolBOX provided transport for teams travelling from rural areas.

The eventual champion was La Cenicera defeating Hermanos Linarte 5-3 in the finals. The 3rd and 4th placed teams were Rueben Dario and Las Pilas respectively.

All teams showed great spirit and enthusiasm during the competition. SchoolBOX talked to all players about the importance of staying in school to get ahead of life. SchoolBOX is commited towards using soccer tournaments as a means of promoting education in Nicaragua.

For more informaiton on the Soccer Dreams program, please click the link below:

The champion of the SchoolBOX Soccer Dreams tournament in El Sauce was La Cenicera! Congratulations to all!

May 2012 – The Voluntourist – Jessica Jennings and her experience in Nicaragua

Jessica Jennings was part of Team “Get ‘er Done”, that came to Nicaragua in April of 2012. Her experience in Nicaragua had a great impact on her life, and she shares her thoughts on Nicaragua, SchoolBOX, and voluntourism in her article with Travel + Escape.

Check out the article here:

Jessica working hard on site at the site of Shirley Case #2 School in Leon.

May 2012 – GR8 in 98 – Toronto Performance in support of SchoolBOX

On Saturday May 12th, Nicki Gallo will be hosting a solo show called GR8 in 98. A portion of the proceeds will benefit SchoolBOX. Enjoy a great performance, and support SchoolBOX at the same time. An amazing night of entertainment for a great cause!

Location: Second City – John Candy Box Theatre, 70 Peter St, Lower level, Toronto.

Time: 8 pm

Tickets $10

To purchase tickets online, please visit:

Gr8 in 98. To enlarge poster, please click above

April 2012 – Kent Huskins Golf 4 SchoolBOX Charity Tournament presented by Equator Coffee Roasters

On July 2nd, 2012, scores of Ottawa Valley participants will band together for a fun filled day of golf, with proceeds benefitting SchoolBOX. In order to make this tournament a success, SchoolBOX is looking for golfers, volunteers and sponsors.

Details: Shotgun start 2 foursomes/tee scramble -maximum 2 putts (9 hole tournament)

When: Monday, July 2nd, 2012

Where: Pakenham Golf Club, 112 McWatty Road, Pakenham, Ontario,

K0A 2X0 (approximately 30 minutes drive from Kanata)

Why: To golf and have fun in support of SchoolBOX

Cost: $75 per golfer/ $300 per foursome (includes 9 holes of golf, shared power cart, banquet dinner, $25 charitable tax receipt for SchoolBOX ($100 per foursome), and more)

$50 dinner only ticket (includes $25 charitable tax receipt for SchoolBOX)

Tickets can be purchased online at:


Registration/Check In: 11:30am-1:30pm

Shotgun start: 2:00pm

Score Cards Handed In: 5:30pm-6:00pm

Welcome Presentation: 6:15pm-6:45pm

Banquet Dinner: 6:45pm-7:45pm

Prizes and Awards: 7:45pm-8:30pm


Putting and chipping—pre tournament 11:30am-1:30pm

Longest Drive (Mens and Womens)

Straightest Drive (Mens and Womens)

Closest to the Pin (Mens and Womens)

Closest to 150 (Mens and Womens)

Casino Hole—choice of 3 pin placements, and bet for a birdie (max $20)

Hole in one hole

Ticket Details: Please contact Mike and Millie Maloney: or (613) 256-5059

All spaces must be reserved by June 15, 2012.

Please share details with your friends through our facebook event page:

Kent Huskins, defenceman for the St. Louis Blues, and winner of the Stanley Cup in 2007

April 2012 – Inauguration of Mini Library at Monte Olivo

On April 23, 2012, SchoolBOX inaugurated a mini library at the Shirley Case #1 School in Monte Olivo. SchoolBOX delivered 2 weather proof bookcases with locks, 184 books, and two containers for transporting books between classrooms. The books were a mix of story books, novels, educational books, and reference books that the community sorely needed.

The day also included training for 4 teachers that included topics such as book organisation and care, book classification, reading creatively to children, using silent reading as a classroom tool, and how to use the books within a classroom setting.

The children and teachers were so happy when they opened the boxes containg all of the books.

SchoolBOX is planning to provide another 4 mini libraries to schools in Nicaragua this year.

Jania, a student at the Shirley Case #1 School enjoys the books in the new mini library.

April 2012 – SchoolBOX Timeline Released

SchoolBOX has been ‘Making Education Possible’ since 2006. With your help, we have reached tens of thousands of children around Nicaragua through our various programs.

Our timeline page outlines what SchoolBOX has accomplished on a year by year basis, and also shows our cumulative accomplishments. It will be updated on a regular basis.

Check it out here:

A student at the Jezreel School in Managua.

April 2012 – Laugh while raising funds for SchoolBOX

Come to The Beet (2945 Dundas Street West) for a night of hilarious comedy in support of a great cause.

Doors at 8:00

Featuring Brian Barlow, Stuart Vaughan, Stephanie Kaliner, Tom Henry, Jeremy Mersereau, Kye Fox, Deborah Robinson, Kathleen Phillips, Mark Little, and Chris Locke.

Pay what you can ($10 suggested). All proceeds going to SchoolBOX

For more information, check out the facebook event page:

March 2012 – Helen Knott speaks about the IYES Program

Helen Knott, SchoolBOX IYES (Indigenous Youth Empowering tudents) Coordinator speaks about the IYES Program.see

Feb 2012 – Ground Broken at Shirley Case #2 School

On February 17th, 12 international volunteers, along with the SchoolBOX staff were on hand at the Roger Deshon Community to break ground on the Shirley Case #2 School. The entire community was on hand for this momentous occasion. Construction on the 4 classrooms will continue over the next few months. Many more volunteer groups will be able to enjoy the hospitality of the Roger Deshon Community.

Ronald Chavarria, SchoolBOX Operations Director lays down ceremonial cement blocks with members of the Ministry of Education and the community.

Feb 2012 – Nuevo Amenecer Inaugurated

On Feb 17th, SchoolBOX celebrated the completion of their 28th classroom in Nuevo Amenecer. The inauguration was especially memorable, because the SchoolBOX team was joined by representatives from World Vision Nicaragua, and 12 volunteers from Canada and the Czech Republic. They were treated to speeches from the Ministry of Education and the Municipality, and folklore presentations from the community. The new school boasts a larger roof overhang, so that children are able to stay dry during rainy season while outside, and also had two flagpoles installed, bearing the Canadian and Nicaraguan flags.

Funds from the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX, presented by Sleep Country, as well as World Vision contributed to the construction of the school. Thanks for ‘Making Education Possible’

The completed Nuevo Amenecer School.

Feb 2012 – Alexandra Kay places third in public speaking contest speaking about SchoolBOX

Alexandra Kay came down to Nicaragua in February of 2011 with her mother Michelle (SchoolBOX Finance & Administration Manager). Her experience with the children and families within the community of Bella Vista had a great impact on her life. Alexandra decided to do a speech entitled: My trip to Nicaragua with SchoolBOX. She entered into the Almonte Legion public speaking contest on Feb 26th, and placed 3rd in her category.

The entire team at SchoolBOX wishes to congratulate Alexandra on this great achievement, as she is inspiring young people to make a difference in their communities.

Alexandra Kay showing a young girl how to skip rope in Bella Vista

January 2012 – SchoolBOX community prepares to celebrate the construction of its 28th classroom in Central America

In February, SchoolBOX will inaugurate 3 classrooms in the community of Nuevo Amenecer. The inauguration will be significant, as it will mark the construction of SchoolBOX’s 28th classroom in Nicaragua. These classrooms provide a safe, secure and enabling environment for children to get a basic education.

Stay tuned for more news on these completed classrooms. SchoolBOX thanks you for helping ‘Make Education Possible’.

Construction Progress at Nuevo Amenecer as per the middle of January

January 2012 – SchoolBOX celebrates being recognized as an International Charity in Nicaragua

After 3 years of hard work, struggles and tears, SchoolBOX is finally registered as in International Charity in Nicaragua. Ronald Chavarria worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality. SchoolBOX is now able to own assets, and gain tax relief in Nicaragua.

Ronald Chavarria worked endlessly to register SchoolBOX as an International Charity in Nicaragua

January 2012 – SchoolBOX Guy – Cycle 4 SchoolBOX in Ilan’s words

The Cycle 4 SchoolBOX has raised over $90,000 to date. Although Ilan finished his cycle on August 26th, he continues to find ways to raise money for SchoolBOX. SchoolBOX Guy is taken directly from Ilan’s daily blog and diary about his journey before and during the the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX. Relive the ups and downs of his journey towards ‘Making Education Possible’ for the children of Central America.

Click on here to purchase the book. All proceeds will benefit SchoolBOX and the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX campaign.

Dec 2011 – SchoolBOX re-launches the Indigenous Youth Empowering Students Program (IYES)

SchoolBOX is excited to announce that it has re-launched the Indigenous Youth Empowering Students Program (IYES) with a school build and cultural exchange taking place July 19th – 28th 2012. The unique volunteer experience, created by SchoolBOX in 2009, is designed to cultivate the leadership abilities of Indigenous youth and expand their horizons. IYES is a cultural volunteer program that provides First Nations, Metis, and Inuit youth with the opportunity to create meaningful change in the lives of Central American children through education.

The program is open to Indigenous Youth that are Canadian residents and are over the age of 18. Interested applicants should download the application form and submit them to our IYES Program Coordinator, Helen Knott. Read more about the program here.

SchoolBOX aims to minimize the barriers in part taking in this program by offering participants IYES Flight Scholarships. We are actively seeking partnerships and sponsorships to make this a possibility for the participants.

If you are interested in donating to the Indigenous Youth Empowering Students Program, you can do so online through our CanadaHelps Giving Page or by cheque with IYES in the memo line submitted to:

SchoolBOX Inc
Mill Street
P.O. BOX 201
Almonte, Ontario
K0A 1A0

Nov 2011 – SchoolBOX Christmas Newsletter Released!

The 2011 SchoolBOX Christmas Newsletter is fresh off the presses. Click the following link to take a look. Please share with friends and family. Together, we can Make Education Possible.

Nov 2011 – Ground Broken on the Brett School in Managua!

Saturday October 29th will always be a special day for the SchoolBOX family. It marked the day that ground was broken on the Brett School in ‘Barrio La Primavera’ in Managua. The school is named after Tom Affleck’s dear friend Brett Bentley Crawford, who had her life tragically cut short. Her name will live on in the hearts and minds of all students at the new school. The groundbreaking was a labour of love, as over 3 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours were put into this project by the SchoolBOX team. Congrats to all of our supporters!

The start of construction at Brett School is an amazing accomplishment for the SchoolBOX family

Nov 2011 – A classroom with windows!

On Oct 13th, ground was broken on Nuevo Amenecer School. The school is located in North West Nicaragua in a very poor community. Parents work in the agriculture sector earning about $75 a month. There is hope in the community that the children can break out of this cycle of poverty.

The current school has no windows, and children often suffer from heat exhaustion during the year. The children are so happy that their new school will have windows. The new school will provide a safe and secure learning environment for 63+ children.

Mario and Francisco working hard at the build site.

Oct 2011 – A Joyful Occasion: Second classroom in Cenicera completed!

On October 10th, the second classroom for Cenicera was completed. The community showed their commitment to education after the first classroom was completed. The enrollment of children attending school skyrocketed over 66% after the first classroom was completed. The second classroom was a huge gift for this community, as they worked tirelessly with SchoolBOX staff to get it completed.

The community celebrates the second classroom.

Oct 2011 – SchoolBOX Latin Fiesta in Almonte raises over $30,000

Friends, families and supporters from around the Ottawa Region attended the SchoolBOX Latin Fiesta on September 30th. It was a fun-filled evening for all that highlighted the successes of SchoolBOX during 2011. Young and old alike enjoyed great music, and informative presentations from SchoolBOX Ambassadors. The $30,000+ raised was a testament to SchoolBOX’s network of supporters. Thanks to everyone, for making education possible.

Katie Cotnam, Latin Fiesta Organising Chair 2011 with Tom Affleck

Oct 2011 – Cycle 4 SchoolBOX created a media frenzy for SchoolBOX

On Aug 26th, Ilan Levy completed his 8000km cycle across Canada. The campaign raised an unprecedented amount of money towards making education possible in Central America. Ilan’s drive and determination were key to the success of this campaign. Over 40 cross Canada media pieces were attributed directly to the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX. Thank you to all SchoolBOX supporters and to Ilan to help bring SchoolBOX to the next level.

Ilan and Tom pictured with children from Monte de Los Olivos in Nicaragua.

Oct 2011 – CBC Radio SchoolBOX Update

Tom Affleck is interviewed on CBC Radio and discusses the successes of SchoolBOX over the last few years. He also speaks about the future of SchoolBOX.

Listen to interview here.

One of the many children who has benefited from SchoolBOX over the last 5 years.

Oct 2011 – A Celebration of Success: 24th Classroom in Cenicera completed

Recently the SchoolBOX team celebrated the completion of its 24th classroom in Cenicera, outside of El Sauce. Two volunteer groups, the SchoolBOX construction team, and countless community members and students made this dream a reality. The construction of the new classroom has instilled a sense of pride in the community, and has spurred an incredible growth in the student population. Before construction started, the student population sat at 33 students, after the construction ended, 55 children were now attending school. SchoolBOX is proud to announce that they have begun construction on a second classroom in Cenicera to fuel the growing need.

Thanks to all of our supporters for making this happen.

Before Picture at Cenicera

Cenicera School Completed!

Oct 2011 – 11,327 Educational Packages Delivered

As September 2011 drew to a close, SchoolBOX can add over 11400 happy students and teachers to their list of successes for the year. The school packages were delivered by Carolina Chavarria, who performed a motivational talk to all of the students to inspire them to stay in school and of the possibilities a good education affords. The children who received the package of notebooks, pencils, a pencil sharpener, ruler and an eraser are afforded the opportunity to study, as the cost of school supplies is a large barrier to education for a large number of Nicaraguans. SchoolBOX wishes to thank its volunteers and donors for their continued support.

Sept 2011 – Jon’s experiences with SchoolBOX

Check out this story about SchoolBOX Communication Manager Jon Tam, written for the Telfer School of Management Alumni Association.

Sept 2011 – Cycle 4 SchoolBOX Complete – nearly 87K raised thus far!

On Aug 26th, Ilan completed the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX. 81 days and 8249km later, the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX has raised nearly $87,000. This total will increase as the campaign continues until the end of the year. Check out this clip of Ilan cycling the last few metres up Signall Hill in St. John’s Newfoundland. For more information or to donate, check out the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX blog at

September 2011 – The 6th Annual SchoolBOX Latin Fiesta!!!

The Latin Fiesta is an evening of fun combined with an opportunity for SchoolBOX to say thank you to a very supportive community.

One can dance, enjoy a presentation of Salsa Dancing and participate in a Salsa Dance lesson, enjoy varied Silent and Live Auction opportunities and learn something about the work of SchoolBOX through Youth presentations, and words from Tom and (hopefully this year) Ronald while enjoying potluck snacks donated by members of the community!!

Dance Music – Star Tools

Salsa – Demonstration and lesson by Salsa Ole

Live Auction

Silent Auction – wide variety of crafts (some made by area artists and artisans, some items from Nicaragua), services, entertainment, restaurant vouchers, etc.

Presentations – by youth who volunteered in Nicaragua the past year.


$20 – Adults,

$10 – Students

Free – Under 13 years

Tickets are available at the door and at Blackbird in Almonte and Read’s Bookstore in Carleton Place.

Click here to view the flyer for more information.

August 2011 – Support Local Artists and Help Fund the Second Shirley Case School!

Rideau Valley Art Festival, 30th Anniversary Show, Westport

Aug 26-28, Fri 6-9 pm, Sat. 10-5 pm and Sun. 10-4 pm.

Location: The Community Centre, Concession Street, Westport

Sixty-five professional artists will also be displaying their work including special guest James Kierstead.

For additional information, call 613-272-5111 or email Mary at

A portion of the profits will go to the Shirley Case School – a SchoolBOX Project

August 2011 – Skydive 4 SchoolBOX presented by Skydive Toronto – If Not Now, When?

Ever thought about jumping out of a plane? Does it scare or excite you? Skydive Toronto presents Skydive 4 SchoolBOX on Saturday Aug 27th. SAVE THE DATE! You can jump alone, or go with a group of your friends to gather up the courage!

Skydive Toronto is initiating a fundraising event Saturday August 27, 2011, called Skydive 4 SchoolBOX. The focus is to raise funds and awareness for SchoolBOX, a small Canadian non-profit that provides funds to build classrooms and distribute educational supplies in Central America.

The aim of SchoolBOX is simple: to build dreams and hopes by ‘Making Education Possible’. By doing this, locals are empowered to lift themselves out of poverty. This mission statement of helping people to help themselves is one that we should support because it has a long lasting positive impact.

We are looking for skydivers to raise funds and awareness for our event.

Here are the details for the fundraiser:

Gather a group of friends, or jump on your own. Individuals and teams will be asked to raise money for SchoolBOX through speaking with the friends, family, and colleagues.

Cost: $337 per jumper (including a $50 donation to SchoolBOX) which includes:

  • Group picture
  • Group CD with pictures and some video clips
  • Pre-jump refreshment

For a copy of the information package including pledge sheet, please click on:

or http://schoolboxca.files.w?

To register, and to reserve a jump spot, please contact

Proposed Schedule:

  • 8:00 am Registration and submitting of donations
  • 9:00 am Opening and greeting of all participants
  • 10:00 am SchoolBOX Representative kick off jump
  • 10:30 am Jumping until sunset
  • 11:00 am Tom Affleck speaks about SchoolBOX charities and mission
  • 12:00 pm Activity
  • 2:00 pm Tom Affleck speaks about SchoolBOX charities and mission
  • 3:00pm Activity
  • 4:00 pm Awards and Recognition

For more information please contact Jon Tam @ or go to

To donate online, click on:


SchoolBOX Communications Manager, Jon Tam leaping from an airplane at the Skydive Toronto facilities

August 2011 – Shirley Case School Complete!

July 24, 2011 was a momentous occasion for SchoolBOX. It marked the completion of SchoolBOX’s 23rd classroom construction. The 23rd classroom is part of a 4 room school in Monte Olivo, Nicaragua. The school is named after Shirley Case, a Canadian aid worker, who was tragically killed in 2008. Her friends and family worked tirelessly to raise funds to build the school in her honour.

This school is a beacon of hope for the community, as it replaces their old school which was housed in an old coffee roasting facility. The children will now be able to enjoy learning in a clean, and safe environment. The 59 international volunteers that travelled to Nicaragua to help build this school can be proud that their efforts will education generations of children in Monte Olivo.

August 2011 – Updated Tally of almost $75K for the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX presented by Sleep Country

As per August 9/2011, almost $75K has been raised for the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX campaign. The campaign is 75% of its way towards meeting its goal of raising $100K which will provide 8000 educational packages and build 8 classrooms across Central America. Ilan has been biking hard, and is now in the province of Quebec.

Countless individuals have been empowered across Canada to organise dinners, bbqs, speaking events, and cycling events. SchoolBOX thanks you for ‘Making Education Possible’

For more information on how to help reach our goal, please visit

July 2011 – Supplies 4 Success Program Well Underway

188 Educational Packages were handed out last month to El Guanacastal Sur School in the township of La Isla, Nicaragua. Carolina Chavarria Arauz handed out the 188 educational packages to the students and the teachers. Before she handed them out, she belted out an amazing inspirational speech about staying in school, and the value of a good education.

SchoolBOX is well on their way to handing out 12000+ educational pacakges in Nicaragua this year. These educational packages can be the difference between staying in school, and leaving.

For more information, please visit:

July 2011 – Telfer School of Management Alumni Association presents: An Evening with SchoolBOX

Time: between 6pm and 8:00pm – Thurs Aug 4/2011

Place: Metropolitain Restaurant and Brasserie – 700 Sussex Drive (Sussex at Rideau)

Premise: Tom Affleck, President of SchoolBOX, and Ilan Levy (the gentleman who is cycling across Canada in support of SchoolBOX) will also speak. Jonathan Tam – BCOMM (2004) of SchoolBOX will speak about volunteerism.

There will be a small silent auction table, as well as an opportunity to donate to the cause.

Light appetizers to be served. Cash Bar.

To RSVP: please email as soon as possible.

July 2011 – Almonte Mini Cycle 4 SchoolBOX Event

Time: August 5th · 14:00 – 17:30

Location: Gemmill Park, 182 Bridge Street, Almonte, ON

This event is taking place in conjunction with the Canada-wide Cycle 4 SchoolBOX campaign which aims to raise awareness and funds in order to purchase 8000 educational packages and build 8 schools in Nicaragua.

There will be 2 fun rides for participants of all ages/abilities to choose from:

1. Mississippi Mills Tour (20-25 km) A scenic ride with Ilan Levy to Blakeney and back.

2. Almonte Fun Rally Tour (5-10 km) in town with options to bike/walk/jog.

BBQ at 5:30 pm on the lawn of St. Paul’s Anglican Church (62 Clyde St.)

Menu: Hamburgers $3 Hot dogs $2 Drinks $1

Prizes for the rides will be awarded at the BBQ + 50/50 Draw

Pledge forms and instructions for donations are available directly through the Pledge form link:

Participants are encouraged to set a goal amount and to ask family, friends, and co-workers for pledges. Please note all pledge forms and donations will be collected on Friday, August 5.

Online donations can be made through Canada Giving page:

All funds will be directed and tallied directly towards the Amonte Mini Cycle 4 SchoolBOX Event.

Entry fee for non-pledgers (people who wish to participate in the event without fundraising): Adults $10, Youth 8-16 yrs. old $5, Children under 8 yrs. old free.

Registration and Waiver Release forms along with tour maps and directions will be handed out the day of the event.

Help us support the right of every child to receive a basic education. All proceeds from this event will support the Canada-wide campaign.

For more details and to register contact:

Sara Cardona Email:

Rachael Gardiner, campaign coordinator Email:

Carol Bruce Email:

To follow Ilan Levy’s journey go to:

Let’s extend a warm welcome to Ilan and put the friendly town of Almonte on the map!!

June 2011 – Cycle 4 SchoolBOX presented by Sleep Country launched

On June 7th, 2011, Ilan Levy embarked on his 8000km+ journey across Canada for the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX. His endeavour will take him through 10 provinces, and will take 81 days. The goal of this campaign is to raise $100,000 to purchase 8000 educational packages and to build 8 classrooms for needy children in Central America.

Check out the media release here. For more information click on to see how you can help.

June 2011 – Cycle 4 SchoolBOX Media storm is brewing

Ilan has been busy fighting exhaustion and oncoming traffic during the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX. He has also been busy doing radio and newspaper interviews. As the campaign rolls along, Ilan will get busier and busier. Check out one of the first newspaper articles from the Coast Report in Sechelt, British Colombia. Click on the adjacent image to read it.

June 2011 – Cycle 4 SchoolBOX breaks the $20,000 barrier

The Cycle 4 SchoolBOX campaign has started out strong. Ilan Levy is currently on day 8 of 81 and the campaign has raised over $21,500. Help ‘Make Education Possible’ and visit to find out more aout this fantastic campaign. You can donate directly online, or find out other ways to raise awareness.

June 2011 – CHANCE Foundation to fund Pre-school for Brett’s School.

C.H.A.N.C.E ( has committed nearly $20,000 dollars to build a two classroom pre-school for La Escuela Brett (Brett’s School). El Prescolar CHANCE (C.H.A.N.C.E Preschool) will be a wonderful addition to Brett’s School which will include a total of 8 classrooms and a small office. This amazing new facility will empower 100’s of children to learn how to read and write. For more information please see our Projects Section.

June 2011 – Shirley Case School construction on track thanks to amazing international volunteers.

Family, friends and admirers of Shirley Case joined SchoolBOX in Nicaragua in April and May to help build a school in her honour. Over 25 people from Canada and Australia have worked along side community members in an isolated region of Nicaragua to build the 4 classroom school. It has been a wonderful, life changing experience for all involved. Construction is scheduled to be finished in July.

The progress on the Shirley Case School in Monte Olivo, Nicaragua has been amazing.

May 2011 – Tom Affleck hits the airwaves!

Tom Affleck was interviewed on CKNW Vancouver recently. He spoke about starting SchoolBOX, and the growth of the organisation due to the passion of its volunteer base and ambassadors. He also touched on Ilan Levy’s quest to cycle 8000km across Canada during the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX campaign. Check it out!

Listen to the Interview (4.2MB MP3)

Tom Affleck and Ilan Levy pose with a bicycle in Monte de Olivo, Nicaragua just weeks before the commencement of the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX.

May 2011 – Sleep Country Canada and SchoolBOX live on the radio!

Sleep Country Canada has again gone above and beyond by helping SchoolBOX. As the title sponsor of Cycle 4 SchoolBOX, they are directly helping over 2000 children get an education in Central America. Sleep Country Canada is also providing nationwide commercial airtime to aid in increasing the awareness of SchoolBOX and education in Central America. We are all so grateful support.

Please click on the below link to hear our SchoolBOX Public Service announcement that went live on Monday across Canada

Listen to the Announcement (1.5MB MP3)

May 2011 – SchoolBOX summer job posting: Gain experience and ‘Make Education Possible’

Do you have 20-25 hours a week to dedicate to SchoolBOX for the next 4 months (May-Aug)? Are you organised, self-motivated, and outgoing? Do you believe in ‘Making Education Possible’? If you answered yes to all 3 questions, you are an ideal candidate for the position of Campaign Coordinator for the Cycle 4 SchoolBOX presented by Sleep Country.

Click here… for more information.

April 2011 – Stories that will make you smile! SchoolBOX’ Spring 2011 E-Newsletter

Please take a look at our Spring 2011 e-newsletter. It is full of stories that will make you smile. Feel free to pass it on to anyone who might be interested. If you wish to receive our e-newsletter directly , please subscribe on the right hand side of the this page. (Under Join Our Mailing List)

Click here… to read the e-newsletter.

April 2011 – ‘Students build a school, while feds fake a lake’, The Guelph Mercury, Monday April 18th

This newspaper article is bound to make you smile or make you mad. Whatever your political cup of tea might be, Owen Roberts article in the Guelph Mercury certainly puts SchoolBOX spending in perspective. Thankfully, a dollar can still go a long way…

April 2011 – Construction of the ‘Shirley Case School’ begins

Friends and family of Shirley Case have joined SchoolBOX staff in Nicaragua to begin the construction of an amazing new school in her honour. The Shirley Case School will be built in Monte Olivo, North West Nicaragua. Shirley’s school will have 3 classrooms and a multi-purpose room.

Shirley Case

March 2011 – Bella Vista School Complete!

The Bella Vista school is complete. Thanks to Team Princess and Viaje Nicaragua- 2 amazing volunteer groups from Canada – 32 children in Bella Vista have a new school. Before the school was built, students received classes in a small structure made from palm leaves. Thank you to everyone in Cedar Hill and beyond who made the Bella Vista school possible!

Team ‘Viaje Nicaragua’ poses in front of the completed Bella Vista School with the entire community.

March 2011 – Amazing people = Amazing stories.

We are so grateful to have had over 100 volunteers and visitors join SchoolBOX in Nicaragua to see our work first hand. These adventurous individuals have come from far and wide to share their talents and resources to help Make Education Possible. Thankfully many of these amazing people have written about their experiences with SchoolBOX. Here is one of their stories:


Constantino’s snapshot of Blanca in the village of Bella Vista

February 2011 – Pancakes and Maple Syrup! A perfect combination for a SchoolBOX Fundraiser!

Fulton’s Pancake House partners with the Pakenham United Church to satisfy your sweet tooth, and raise money for SchoolBOX!

Cedar Hill / Pakenham United Church service & fundraiser at Fultons Sugar Bush. Enjoy delicious pancakes and maple syrup after the service with a donation to SchoolBOX. Funds will be used to help Ottawa Valley area residents build a school with SchoolBOX.

When: Sunday Feb 6: 10 am

Where: Fulton’s Sugar Bush: Directions, see

February 2011 – Business partnership makes difference in developing world

Equator Coffee Roasters has been a long time partner of SchoolBOX. Their most recent Beans 4 Dreams program is making a difference in the lives of thousands of Nicaraguan children and communities. Check out this news story in the West Carleton EMC.

Read the article at here

January 2011 – SchoolBOX celebrates the 18th classroom built in Nicaragua at the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus public school

On January 3rd, SchoolBOX celebrated the completion of the L.L. Kennedy classroom at the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus public school. The new classroom is named after Laura Lee Kennedy who has generously supported SchoolBOX since 2007. SchoolBOX has built a total of 2 classrooms and 3 washrooms for the School. The lives of the children are changing thanks to your support.

This is the 18th classroom that SchoolBOX has built in conjunction with its generous donors, and the community in Nicaragua. What a great achievement for SchoolBOX in such a short period of time!

January 2011 – Hot off the Presses – SchoolBOX Christmas 2010 Newsletter.

Take a look at our Christmas 2010 Newsletter. Please pass it on to anyone who would be interested. If you wish to receive this newsletter in your inbox each time it is published, please subscribe on the right hand side of the this page. (Under Join Our Mailing List) Click here… to read the newsletter.

December 2010 – SchoolBOX and Equator Coffee Roasters Present the ‘Beans 4 Dreams’ Program

SchoolBOX has partnered with Equator Coffee Roasters to “Help Make Education Possible” for the children of Nicaragua. Purchase a bag of coffee and $5 will be donated by Equator to SchoolBOX. If you buy one bag, it is enough to purchase a package of school supplies for one child. By purchasing a minimum of 6 bags, Equator will also cover the shipping in Ontario.

The $30 donation for this purchase is enough to buy a whiteboard and marker set for one classroom. This is a great last minute Christmas present for that special someone. By purchasing Beans 4 Dreams fair trade coffee, you are supporting small farmers in Nicaragua, small business in Canada and aspiring young students in Nicaragua. Order before December 20th and have the coffee shipped to your door before Christmas! Please click on the following link for the order form. Beans4Dreamsorderform.pdf

November 2010 – A Different Christmas Gift This Year!

SchoolBOX is offering you the opportunity to provide the gift of education during this holiday season. Instead of offering a predictable gift this year, you are able to offer the children of Nicaragua an Educational Package, a Tooth Brush Kit, or a desk. Donate money to SchoolBOX in the name of your loved ones this year. In addition to you and your gift recipient being happy, the children of Nicaragua will have an extra reason to smile this holiday season. For as little as $2, you can make a difference. Please click here to view the SchoolBOX Gift Ideas. The children of Nicaragua and SchoolBOX thank you for your continued support.

November 2010 – Another Successful Classroom project completed

November was a special month for the community in Telica Nicaragua (near Leon). SchoolBOX was able to finish the construction of a classroom, and 3 new washrooms at Sagrado Corazon de Jesus Public School. Tom, and Ronald from SchoolBOX, in conjunction with community leaders, students, teachers and family members were on site. The most exciting part came for the kids, as they loved flushing the toilets! SchoolBOX thanks the community of Telica, and especially all those that gave their time and money to help this project come to fruition.

October 2010- A night out in Toronto on November 2nd for SchoolBOX!

The ‘Things I Have Been Meaning to Do’ fundraiser for the construction of the Shirley Case School in Monte Olivo, Nicaragua aims to be a ton of fun! Live music, amazing auction items, great food; this event has it all. Check out the website: for details and see you there!

October 2010- A new school construction begins!

SchoolBOX began the reconstruction of the Sagrado Corazon de Jesus public school in Telica, Nicaragua on the 11th of October. 95 children from Kindergarden – Grade 6 will enjoy the new washrooms and improved classrooms. Thanks to Performers for Progress ( for making this project possible. As you can see from the picture- there are a lot of improvements to be made!

October 2010- Almonte FUNdraiser Run, October 30th

Enjoy a beautiful run for a great cause. There are 1km, 5km and 10km options. All proceeds from the event will be shared between Almonte Olympian Perianne Jones and SchoolBOX. Please visit for more information and online registration.

October 2010 – Want a job that really matters?

SchoolBOX is hiring its first Fundraising Communications Manager. Put your skills to use with SchoolBOX and help to Make Education Possible for 1000’s of amazing children. This dynamic position will be based out of SchoolBOX’s head office in Toronto. Click here for a complete job description.

September 2010 – 10,000 educational packages for teachers and students in 2010!

This year SchoolBOX has given educational supply packages to 10,084 students and teachers in Nicaragua. Most of our partner students live on less than $1 / day and these simple supplies make a HUGE difference in their lives. They often mean the difference between a child staying in school- or not.

September 2010 – Buy a book and help SchoolBOX!

Mill Street Books, an amazing independent book store in Almonte Ont. is holding a HUGE BOOK SALE for SchoolBOX. 50% of sales will go to SchoolBOX: Sept. 18th 8am – 1pm, Sept. 19th 1pm – 4pm. Click here to view the flyer for more information.

September 2010 – Announcing SchoolBOX’ 5th Annual Fiesta …with a Twist!.

Please join us on Friday September 17th at the North Lanark Agricultural Hall in Almonte, Ontario for an evening of live music, dance performances and presentations. Participate in a silent auction, enjoy some food and beverages and perhaps bid on a vacation in the live auction. Celebrate the fact that SchoolBOX is now helping 10,000 children get a primary education in Central America. Click here to view the flyer for more information.

July 2010 – The Shirley Case School

Shirley Case was one of 2 Canadian aid workers tragically killed in Afghanistan in 2008- she was 31 years old. Shirley devoted her life to helping and loving the children who needed her most all over the world.

In celebration and remembrance of this true Canadian Hero, SchoolBOX is helping Shirley’s friends and family to build the ‘Shirley Case School’. This beautiful new school will empower 100’s of children to get a basic education in an isolated community in Nicaragua, Central America. Shirley’s light will continue to shine!

If interested, you may contribute to this cause via our donate page.

June 2010 – The Great Wall of Leon.

SchoolBOX began working on the construction of a perimeter wall to provide protection for hundreds of children in the Cristo Salvador public school in Leon, Nicaragua. Located in the middle of a very poor neighbourhood, the School is being overrun by everything from cows and dogs (wandering around the school yard), to thieves (stealing everything including the Schools toilets), to taxis (using the playground as a short-cut). The new wall will keep the kids in and everyone else out.

June 2010 – SchoolBOX AYES (Aboriginal youth empowering students) participant continues to ‘Make Education Possible.’

After returning from volunteering with SchoolBOX in Central America, Helen Knott raised over $500 in her community to help children living in Nicaragua’s largest trash dump to go on a trip. Staff from our partner Juntos Contigo and SchoolBOX accompanied 39 children from the dump on an amazing trip to the colonial city of Leon- the highlight of the day was a huge lunch. Thanks Helen!

May 2010 – Team ACE dances its way into SchoolBOX history.

A team of 13 young professionals from Ottawa joined SchoolBOX to build the 7th new classroom for the Rueben Dario School. While we are forever grateful for their work, this amazing group will be most remembered for their ‘HUGE’ dance performance. Amidst the overwhelming cheers and requests for autographs from the students, it was clear that this group had danced their way into our hearts. Check out this great video on the groups experience:

April 2010 – Changes for the Rueben Dario School in Leon Nicaragua

They are finished- Two new classrooms, One amazing soccer pitch, and Four functioning washrooms. The SchoolBOX community has helped to literally transform the Rueben Dario School in Leon Nicaragua. We are currently building the 7th and final classroom for the school.

April 2010 – So far this year, 6091 students in 33 communities have received SchoolBOX educational packages

These basic supplies- notebooks, pencils, erasers, rulers, etc – can literally mean the difference between a child getting an education- and not. In Nicaragua , 75% of the population lives on less than $2 a day and nearly 50% of children do not finish Grade 5.

April 2010 – Michelle Kay joins SchoolBOX staff

Michelle´s SchoolBOX credentials are amazing- she has fundraised to build a school, traveled twice to Nicaragua to work on our projects, and championed our cause in the media. Michelle is an accredited management accountant in England and an incredible Mom with two wonderfully bright children (George & Alexandra). Welcome Michelle!

April 2010 – SchoolBOX in the Media!

We have been very fortunate to get some great coverage in the media recently. Have a look at three CBC pieces (written, radio, TV) here. Also, check out a great 1.5 page article published in the Ottawa Citizen on a family’s volunteer experience with SchoolBOX in Central America – here.

March 2010 – Notebooks for all !!!

Thus far in 2010, SchoolBOX has provided educational supply packages to 3271 children and 142 teachers in Nicaragua. Containing notebooks, pencils and other basic supplies, these packages literally make education possible in our partner schools. In 2010, SchoolBOX aims to provide 10,000 children with educational supply packages!

March 2010 – Aventura Nica is AWESOME!

Aventura Nica, a 16 person Anglican Church youth group from Almonte, Ontario did an awesome job of building two classrooms with SchoolBOX in Nicaragua. The group worked hard, inspired young students, met community members, hiked volcanoes, visited a Pacific Beach, and experienced a whole new way of life. Amazing!

February 2010 – SchoolBOX Volunteers Make it Possible!

An amazing group of SchoolBOX volunteers, ranging in age from 13 to 65, joined us in Central America to build 2 more classrooms for the Rueben Dario school in Leon. Working alongside students, parents and community members, the group did an awesome job of moving the construction forward.

February 2010 – Press Release – Sleep Country Canada embraces SchoolBOX expansion to Toronto to help Central American children access an education

Read the press release here…

February 2010 – SchoolBOX releases its February newsletter.

SchoolBOX’s February newsletter is available here…

January 2010 – SchoolBOX is delighted to announce the arrival of Bryant, our newest member.

SchoolBOX Director of Operations, Ronald Chavarria Arauz and wife Yasmine Lopez welcomed their new son Bryant into the world in December. Ronald and Yazmine live with their two sons in the SchoolBOX office in Managua, Nicaragua.

January 2010 – Union Espana’s new classroom is finished!

Working alongside dedicated community members, SchoolBOX staff has successfully completed the construction of a new classroom for the Union Espana School near the city of Leon in North West Nicaragua. Construction was challenging, as there was no water available in the community. Thankfully, this challenge was overcome by transporting water to the site in plastic barrels. SchoolBOX has now built 13 classrooms in Nicaragua! Thank you for making it all possible.

December 2009 – Sleep Country Canada gives creatively.

Thanks to Sleep Country Canada CEO Steve Gunn, SchoolBOX now has an office in Toronto. Sleep County Canada is providing office space, with a dedicated phone line and wireless internet, free of charge for SchoolBOX. It is an incredible gift for our organization!

The new office is located at:
140 Wendell Ave.
Sleep Country Canada Building
Toronto, Ontario
Canada, M9N 3R2

December 2009 – Construction of Classroom #13

SchoolBOX is building a new classroom for the Union Espana school located near the City of Leon in North Western Nicaragua. The average household in the Union Espana community has 6 children and a total monthly income of $40 US ($480 annually). This is the 13th classroom that SchoolBOX has built in Central America. SchoolBOX aims to finish construction of the Union Espana classroom by January 2010.

December 2009 – CHANCE Foundation donates $15,000 US to SchoolBOX.

CHANCE is an Ottawa based foundation that works to give children a better future. This incredibly generous gift will be used to create a pre-school building for the Jezreel School located in Managua, Nicaragua. For more information on CHANCE please visit:

November 2009- Celebrate with SchoolBOX Gifts!

Please consider giving the gift of education this holiday season. These simple and cost effective presents make education possible for some of the poorest children in the Americas. In addition, enjoy an open letter from SchoolBOX President Tom Affleck as we come together to celebrate an incredible year! View our newletter for more details.

October 2009- School Construction #5! The Rueben Dario school is finished!

The four classroom facility is our largest construction project to date. The new facility is providing space for hundreds of children to get a basic education. SchoolBOX will be building two more classrooms and a soccer pitch for the Rueben Dario school in 2010.

September 2009- A SchoolBOX Wedding

It is official, SchoolBOX President Tom Affleck and AYES Creator Sarah Kerr are now ‘Mr. & Mrs.’ Tom and Sarah fell in love while building a library for a SchoolBOX partner school in Nicaragua. Friends and family donated over $1,500.00 to SchoolBOX in celebration which will be used in the construction of a new school in Managua, Nicaragua.

September 2009- A SchoolBOX Super Hero is honored.

Jennette Affleck was given the SchoolBOX Super Hero Award at this years’ Latin Fiesta Fundraiser in Almonte, Ontario. Hundreds of SchoolBOX supporters applauded as Jennette received the award for her incredible dedication to the children of Nicaragua and her son, SchoolBOX President Tom Affleck. ‘SchoolBOX would simply not exist without the unconditional and loving support of my Mom, SchoolBOX Super Hero Jennette Affleck’ said Tom.

August 2009 – Tools 4 Schools: 4 new classrooms!

The construction of 4 new classrooms for the Ruben Dario School has begun, and it is a dream come true to the students and community. Students that were studying at 50 to a room in plastic insulated containers, or under temporary scrap metal structures, will soon be able to move to brand new classrooms. The school of over 2,000 students is packed with eager minds and the desire to learn, with the construction of new classrooms, hope and a brighter future for the community is being built brick by brick.

August 2009 – Supplies 4 Success: 1,023 packets to 1,023 happy students

In the city of Leon on an ordinary Wednesday morning, 1,023 students had their school semester brightened by the delivery of SchoolBOX Supplies 4 Success packets. Each student received their personal packet to help them with the resources needed to continue studying: 2 notebooks, 2 pencils, 1 eraser, 1 ruler and 1 sharpener. These basic materials are often what stand in the way of a student being able to attend school as they cannot afford the materials. With their Supplies 4 Success packet students are ready for another semester!

August 2009 – SchoolBOX announces the 4th annual Latin Fiesta

Please join us at 8pm on Friday September 11th at the Almonte Agricultural Hall for an amazing evening of music, dancing and presentations. Celebrate the fact that SchoolBOX is now helping 5250 children go to school in Central America.

Performers include: Banda Sarandoga (an eight piece Latin Band), Salsa Ole (an amazing salsa dance group), and Sole Unity (Almonte’s newest youth band).

Take advantage of an incredible silent auction which includes a one week stay at a farm in France, and a one week stay at a beach house in Costa Rica.

August 2009 – AYES Program has a powerful impact.

‘I cannot express in words how amazing of a time I had working with SchoolBOX, my feelings are so strong and I am so grateful for being so blessed and being able to help others.

AYES is an amazing life changing program, it has changed my life forever in amazingly awesome ways..some of which i dont fully understand yet, but i know it has.

I now understand what is important in life, the gift of giving and the joy of living in the moment. I am going to continue to work with SchoolBOX…if i can..for the rest of my life hopefully.’

Kristy Auger, AYES Participant August 2009

Read more about AYES in the Ottawa Citizen here

August 2009 – Vitality Media AYES documentary!

Jeff Kopas, producer and director or Vitality Media, a Canadian based film and documentary company is in Nicaragua with SchoolBOX working on a documentary covering the Aboriginal Youth Empowering Students volunteer project. Jeff will be shadowing the group as their experience in Nicaragua unfolds; documenting the various emotions and impressions made on the adventurous youth as they work with an impoverished community in the north of Nicaragua, building classrooms and hope for future generations, whilst sharing their culture with the local community.

August 2009 – 1st AYES Program Volunteer Trip

The SchoolBOX Aboriginal Youth Empowering Students program (AYES) sees their first volunteer group arrive in Nicaragua to work on the Tools 4 Schools construction in Leon. The group of 5 adventurous Canadian Aboriginals have come from various reserves in Canada to unite in Nicaragua to share their cultural heritages between themselves and with the Ruben Dario Community for whom they are building a school. The cultural emphasis is the focus of the program not only for the group participants to learn from each other but also to represent to the community who they are and why they are in Nicaragua. The hope these youth are instilling in the Leon community will last for generations as they receive the education facilities they deserve to encourage them to continue their primary education.

July 2009 – Ruben Dario Construction Begins!

The Ruben Dario Reparto community based 20 minutes outside the main centre of the city of León is a poor and densely populated part of the state of León. Over 2,000 students attend the Ruben Dario Reparto School. The school was in desperate need of classrooms with 4 grades sitting over 50 students to a class in plastic containers in which the heat is stifling by 8am, and the 1st and 2nd grade classes under a rickety scrap metal and wooden structure. SchoolBOX is building a 4 classroom pavilion meaning that 4 classes can move to bright airy new classrooms where they no longer have to mop up the perspiration on the floor after each class. These four new classrooms are the beginning to transforming the school and lives of the students.

July 2009 – Tools 4 Schools helps Little Corn Island School complete their dream

In February 2009 SchoolBOX built an extra classroom for the overcrowded school on Little Corn Island, in the Caribbean of Nicaragua. This was a desperately needed project. The young community had 225 students in 2 classrooms. The third classroom was a huge stepping stone to completing the community’s dream of a school with adequate facilities on their island. The parents themselves had begun a project called “One brick for my School”, encouraging each student to raise $1 for a cement block to construct two more classrooms. SchoolBOX was so impressed with their dedication that we decided to complete the remaining funds needed and helped finish the new building. The school is now big enough to fit all the eager students of the island; a dream that has taken years to become a reality.

June 2009 – SchoolBOX Movie Night Fundraiser JULY 21st 2009

The Laurier Student Group is hosting a FREE Movie Night for anyone in the Waterloo, Ontario area! This event is in support of building the Jezreel School in La Primavera, Nicaragua, one of Central America’ largest and poorest squatter neighbourhoods. Come along and enjoy the cool night air viewing a Hollywood Blockbuster. There will be a silent auction filled with Nicaraguan handicrafts, special trips and treats! So break open your piggy bank, round up friends and family and drive on down to St. Jacobs Farmers Market for a FREE open-air night at the movies in Ontario that benefits children in Nicaragua! Please sign up for the event at this evite.

May 2009 – 464 Supplies 4 Success Packets, Las Quemadas, Leon

464 students at SchoolBOX partner schools in Las Quemadas received their very own Supplies 4 Success packets. Parents and family members came to the schools that morning as well to welcome the SchoolBOX Nicaraguan team and thank them for supplying their children with packets. School material is a luxury that many parents simply cannot afford. Las Quemadas is one of the poorer rural areas surrounding the city of Leon. Students can expect to walk up to an hour to their nearest school. Families earn a living farming peanuts, sesame and sugar cane. The average student’s family survives on less than US$2 a day. A Supplies 4 Success packet contains 2 notebooks, 2 pencils, 1 sharpener, 1 eraser and 1 ruler.

May 2009 – BIG smiles all round! 464 students with toothbrushes…

Dental disease is common in Nicaragua. A survey conducted by Medical Teams International found that only 5.7% of children living in rural Nicaragua had ever visited a dentist. The Big Smiles program promotes dental hygiene and develops the habit within students to brush their teeth at least once a day whilst they are at school. This reduces the risk of disease and cavities. 464 students in Las Quemadas received a tooth brush and cup with their name on it for sole use at school. Teachers were supplied with 42 toothpastes to ensure that their students brush their teeth. The Big Smiles program encourages teachers to not only show students how to brush their teeth but to discuss basic dental hygiene issues from sugary sweets to fruit.

May 2009 – Soccer Dreams 54 young soccer players with uniforms

Under the Soccer Dreams program and in preparation for the ‘First SchoolBOX Soccer Tournament’ 6 football teams from the schools in Las Quemadas, Leon, were kitted out with attractive uniforms. The teams of 9 players were so excited they immediately donned their new kit over their uniforms and refused to take them off to attend class…now these are true soccer players!

May 2009 – The First SchoolBOX Soccer Tournament

Truck loads of students with their families turned up bright and early on a sunny Las Quemadas morning to anticipate the start of the First SchoolBOX Soccer Tournament. 6 teams, 1 winner. The primary school students making up the teams began to discuss tactics whilst their captains discussed game rules and timings with the SchoolBOX Nicaraguan team organising the event along with the school’s Director and a local radio show host. News of the Soccer Tournament event was broadcast on the local radio Telica 92.3FM. The atmosphere was electric as the 6 teams whittled down to the two finalists. Parents encouraged from the sidelines and fans went wild when the favourites Los Maribios won! The winning team’s players received medals, 2 soccer balls and a trophy. The runners up each received a medal as well and 1 soccer ball.

April 2009 – 2,019 Supplies 4 Success Packets on Ometepe

There were 2,019 smiley faces on Ometepe Island during April as SchoolBOX distributed their Supplies 4 Success packets to 11 partner schools. SchoolBOX gives each student one packet per school year. A Supplies 4 Success packet contains 2 notebooks, 2 pencils, 1 sharpener, 1 eraser and 1 ruler. Most children in Nicaragua do not attend class as their families cannot afford such materials. For US$2 a packet one child can continue studying the entire school year.

April 2009 – Completion of the San Pedro de La Flor School on Ometepe

A fabulous group of volunteers began the San Pedro de La Flor Pre-School construction in March. A few weeks later SchoolBOX’s 4th school build was completed. The school and community are now under the cover of the Ministry of Education ensuring that the teacher, Faviola, now receives a salary and the students receive curriculum and materials. The building is a focal point for the community acting as a meeting hall and adult night school too.

March 2009 – School Build #4: Pre School, Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

SchoolBOX’s fourth School Building project was a huge success for the rural community of San Pedro de La Flor. Working alongside dedicated community members, SchoolBOX constructed a one-room Pre-School which now stands as the focal point for the region. Not only will this building serve its young students, it will host as an adult education and community centre on evenings and weekends. The Ministry of Education will assume all operating costs of the school including teacher salaries.

March 2009 – Return to San Pedro: Volunteer Group builds Pre-School

Almonte resident, Michelle Kay, returns to Nicaragua after two years: with her son, a volunteer group, and the materials to create change in a rural village. In 2007, SchoolBOX took Michelle to visit the San Pedro School which was attending classes in a small, hot, damp, earthen floor building on rented land. She left Nicaragua with a determination to build this community a proper school. With the help of her Church and a group of volunteers, (Including Helen Wells our first European visitor), she finally accomplished her dream. Thank You to Michelle and all the volunteers who made this possible!

February 2009 – Reading Week in the Sun: Carrying Dirt!

An incredible group of volunteers from Canada and the United States joined with SchoolBOX on their Reading Week to construct a much needed classroom for an overflowing school on Little Corn Island. This fantastic group of University students and a teacher, worked hard alongside kids and parents- carrying bricks, earth and sand, mixing cement, tying re-bar, and leveling the floor to build a beautiful classroom. They made it all the way up to the roof in a week- an impressive feat for an island without any transportation! Thanks to all our volunteers who made this build possible!

February 2009 – Little Corn Island, Big Success: School Build #3

Thanks to the help of a wonderful Student Trip, we were able to construct a classroom for the overflowing school on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua. The 225 students were rotating learning periods between 7am and 8pm to ensure they could all study each day. They began a project called “One brick for my School”, encouraging each student to raise $1 for a cement block. SchoolBOX was so impressed by their motivation and collaborated with the ministry of education to build three new classrooms. With this new building, the school is now big enough to fit all the eager students of the island; a dream that has taken years to become a reality.

February 2009 – Tables & Chairs: Simple Tools for the School in the Dump

The students at Juntos Contigo, a partner school in the Municipal trash dump of Managua, had been studying with 2 old broken desks or just on the floor. They were delighted when we brought them brand new tables and chairs, sponsored by Elephant Thoughts, a partner charity in Canada. These simple tools have made all the difference in their classroom environment and are gratefully appreciated by staff and students.

February 2009 – Back to Class in February with 1,323 Educational Packages

Over 1300 students in 11 partner schools in the Caribbean and Managua received their SchoolBOX Supplies 4 Success educational packages to begin their new school year in February. Each package contains 2 notebooks, 2 pencils, 1 pencil sharpener, 1 eraser, and 1 ruler. These supplies, worth US $2/package, provide each student with the basic materials needed to participate in class. Many children throughout Nicaragua cannot afford these basic supplies, which means they cannot go to school.

January 2009 – Septic Tank installed in the Trash Dump

The 40 Juntos Contigo Education Centre students in La Chureca, the municipal dump outside Managua, now have a fully functioning bathroom and septic system. Thanks to Elephant Thoughts who collaborated on the project, the students and teachers are benefiting from a cleaner learning environment. The students live in small shacks made from scrap metal and materials found on the dump. The lesson of hygiene and experiencing cleanliness for the part for the day that they are in school is vital for their health and ability to study.

January 2009 – A Brighter Breezier Future

The 120 Jezreel School students started their second semester with a wonderful surprise: fans and a safe and reliable electrical system, thanks to Elephant Thoughts who collaborated on the Project. The Jezreel School is situated in La Primavera, one of the poorest squatter neighbourhoods in Central America. Nowadays the students can count on steady electricity instead of having it go off for days. As the Director of the school says “We now have even more students whereas before they used to leave early or stopped coming altogether as the conditions were so hot and dark. We are very happy!”

December 2008 – SchoolBOX Newsletter, Winter 2008

It is time to rejoice! On the eve of 2009 our organization is empowering 3490 children in Central America to get a basic education. Read all about our results in 2008: Click here to read the newsletter.

December 2008 – Two new schools in 2008!

The new San Santiago School will be open for business when Nicaraguan students return to school in 2009. With three new classrooms and a new library (Blaney Library) the School will shine as a beacon of hope for the small community located on Big Corn Island off of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua.

November 2008 – Press Release:

SchoolBOX charity sees 969% increase in year-over-year donations and embarks on trip to Nicaragua to finish second school for children in need. Read more

November 2008 – A Reunion with a Difference!

Eight ´lads´ from the Ottawa Valley will travel with their respective families to Central America to build hope for an impoverished community. It is going to be a truly wonderful experience, as the group works along side SchoolBOX staff, community members and students to rebuild the San Santiago School located off of the East Coast of Nicaragua. The original school was destroyed during Hurricane Mitch in 1988. SchoolBOX began working on the new School building in March 2008.

October 2008 – SchoolBOX expands to reach 26 communities.

This month SchoolBOX will expand the number of schools we partner with in Nicaragua from 19 to 26. The new partner schools are located in an extremely impoverished rural area known as El Occidental (located 90 km from the city of Leon). SchoolBOX will now be working with over 3500 primary students. Thank YOU!

September 2008 – SchoolBOX’s 3rd annual Latin Dance fundraiser is a huge success!

Over 200 people joined us at the Almonte Agricultural Hall for an evening of wonderful music and great times as we celebrated SchoolBOX. To think that one notebook, a pencil and a simple dream two and a half years ago could grow into a committed and efficient organization serving thousands of children and building schools is awesome. We are so grateful! Proceeds from the evening surpassed all expectations: $21,000!!! Thanks to Tod and Laura Hughes of Calgary for making that number possible.

September 2008 – Appointment of Andrea Paltzer as Coordinator of Operations for Central America.

SchoolBOX proudly announces the appointment of Andrea Paltzer to the position of Coordinator of Operations in Central America. Andrea’s administrative skills and passion will be great assets to our young organization. Andrea studied at the University of Bristol in the UK, speaks 7 languages and has extensive experience working in Central America.

August 2008 – The Mark Mcloughlin School is open for business

Its Done! The Mark Mcloughlin School is open for business in the San Jose Del Sur community, Ometepe Nicaragua. The new school building will be used by 60+ preschoolers during the day and adult literacy programs in the evening. The community is ecstatic! Thank you to everyone who made it possible.

August 2008 – market2world communications inc. makes a major committment to SchoolBOX.

market2world communications inc., a public relations and marketing agency based in Almonte, has pledged the company’s talents to champion SchoolBOX to regional, national and international media for the next year at no charge to our organization. We’re looking forward to telling our story with the help of market2world’s expert PR team on our site. Watch this space for lots more press!

July 2008 – SchoolBOX completes the first stage of the Blaney Library Project

SchoolBOX completes the first stage of the Blaney Library Project located on a small island off of the Caribbean Coast of Nicaragua. Children of the South End community on Corn Island can now access well over 5000 wonderful books thanks to the generous donations of the Almonte community in Ontario, Canada. A second phase of the project, which includes a small computer lab and additional infrastructure, will begin in October of 2008.

June 2008 – SchoolBOX partners with Elephant Thoughts

SchoolBOX partners with Elephant Thoughts, an educational Charity from Canada, to provide new desks for the Jezreel School in Managua Nicaragua. The new desks will help to accomodate the dramatic increase in enrollment that the Jezreel School has experienced since SchoolBOX secured an adequate building for the school in 2007.

June 2008 – SchoolBOX gets a new office!

Thanks to a generous donation by Nicaraguan business man Francisco Guadamuz, SchoolBOX is moving into a spacious new office building in Managua, Nicaragua. The new office includes living quarters for Operations Coordinator Ronald Chavarria Arauz and his family. This is a great step forward for our organization as it provides us with a safe and more formal office from which to organize our efforts. Things keep improving for the ‘Little Organization that Could.’

June 2008 – Volunteers from Western Canada lay the foundation for a new school

SchoolBOX welcomed an inspiring group of volunteers from Western Canada to build a new school for the San Jose community on Ometepe Island in Lake Nicaragua. In 10 days the group managed to get a tremendous amount done and literally laid the foundation for a better future in this rural community.

May 2008 – SchoolBOX builds New Washrooms

Two impoverished schools in Managua, the Capital of Nicaragua, will be outfitted with new washrooms under the SchoolBOX Tools 4 Schools Program. These washrooms are essential to the day to day operations of these schools. It is a lot easier to study when you have a place to GO..

May 2008 – The Blaney Library Project and the San Santiago School Near Completion

With the help of a devoted and hardworking team from Canada the San Santiago School on Corn Island is close to being completed. An inauguration ceremony and celebration is planned for late June to open the school with the entire community. Only minor touch-ups are needed to finish the library which will make a HUGE impact on the surrounding community as there are no libraries in the area and the children are hungry to read.

May 2008 – Filming the SchoolBOX Video

A talented young filmmaker; Joseph Murray has been documenting the schools, neighbourhoods, families, teachers and children that SchoolBOX has been working with in Nicaragua. The video will be a short promotional film to be put on the SchoolBOX website and sent out to various schools and donors. The video should be ready for audiences in July 2008.

March/April – 2008 Two Groups Visit Nicaragua

In March, a group visited three schools that SchoolBOX is working with in Managua and traveled to Corn Island to participate in the Blaney Library Project/ San Santiago School Build. A second group came in April and toured a number of SchoolBOX partner schools across Nicaragua. Both groups got to experience SchoolBOX’s work first hand. We look forward to hosting many groups in the future.

February 2008 – SchoolBOX Board meets in Toronto to map out an aggessive strategy for 2008/9

As a result of several months of careful planning, SchoolBOX establishes an aggressive stratetgy to build 5 schools, help over 5000 students, and expand to include over 30 partner schools.

January 2008 – SchoolBOX announces the expansion of its team in Nicaragua

SchoolBOX is overjoyed to announce that the following individuals will be joining our team in Nicaragua as interns: Dilya Niezova, Nicole Gallo, Sara Kerr, Alexandra Giancar.

November 2007 – SchoolBOX announces a new internship program in collaboration with Elephant Thoughts

SchoolBOX announces a new internship program in collaboration with Elephant Thoughts, an International Not-for-Profit organization specializing in education. Two University of Guelph students will travel to Nicaragua to complete challenging internships in June of 2008. The interns will receive training in Canada with Elephant Thoughts before heading to Nicaragua to work on an infrastructure project with SchoolBOX.

November 2007 – SchoolBOX announces the Blaney Library Project on the East Coast of Nicaragua

SchoolBOX is working in collaboration with the ADHS Amnesty International Group and others to build and equip a new school library on an isolated island. The San Santiago school was destroyed along with its library during Hurricane Mitch in 1988. The new library, which will be named after the late Mervin and Doris Blaney of Almonte Ontario, is the first step in a multi-phase project to restore the school to its former strength.

October 2007 – SchoolBOX launches the La Primavera Youth Soccer League in Managua.

Based in one of the cities poorest neighbourhoods the La Primavera League has the potential to positively impact the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged youth. SchoolBOX has equipped 10 teams with equipment and is hoping that the league will continue to grow. We hope to bring a professional soccer coach from Canada to work with the players this spring.

September 2007- SchoolBOX held a successful Benefit Concert, on Sept 29th at the Almonte Agricultural Hall.

Thanks to everyone for coming out to help us celebrate a successful year. Together we have empowered over 3000 students to get a basic education in Central America.

We were happy to host Banda Sabrosa, an eight piece salsa band, Professional Salsa Dancers, and other wonderful entertainers at the 2nd Annual SchoolBOX Benefit Concert.

Proceeds from the evening will support SchoolBOX’ operations in Nicaragua in 2008.

September 2007- SchoolBOX reaches out to victims of Hurricane Felix

On September 4th Hurricane Felix slammed into the North Eastern coast of Nicaragua destroying everything in its path. The United Nations has estimated that the storms deadly force has directly impacted over 100,000 people. In response to the crisis, SchoolBOX’s Managua office has sent a large amount of clothing to the affected areas. While SchoolBOX does not have any partner schools in the immediate vicinity, we do hope to participate in the long term reconstruction of the areas schools.

July 2007- ‘83870 1324 RR0001’ is our Number
It’s official folks, SchoolBOX is now a Registered Canadian Charity. After months of intense scrutiny by the Canada Revenue Agency, SchoolBOX has been awarded charity status. This means that donors will be able to claim their donations to SchoolBOX for income tax purposes and receive 21.3% back for an annual donation under $200.00 and a whopping 40.16% back for all funds donated annually over $200.00. Furthermore, our donors can rest assured that SchoolBOX accounts and operations will be under increased scrutiny from our government.

June 2007- SchoolBOX assists its 3000th student in 2007
SchoolBOX surpasses its goal for 2007 and helps over 3000 primary aged students attend school in Nicaragua. Working along side community members and parents, SchoolBOX President Tom Affleck provided students at the Las Cruzes School with new educational packages under the SchoolBOX Supplies 4 Success Program. Tom was almost as excited about handing out the packages as the kids were about receiving them, “It is just awesome to see how far we have come in less than a year. I am so thankful.”

May 2007- Ken Andras Joins SchoolBOX Board of Directors

The SchoolBOX Board of Directors is very thankful to announce the appointment of Mr. Ken Andras to the organizations Board. Mr. Andras has a great deal of experience in the field of international development and sat on Care Canada’ Board for 12 years. He currently sits on the Advisory Board of Care Canada and is Vice President of Research Capital Corporation, a Canadian based investment firm. In addition to many notable achievements, Mr. Andras is a Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary Club of Ontario.

strong>May 2007- Concordia University Interns arrive in Nicaragua

Three SchoolBOX interns from Concordia University are working to assist one of our partner schools in Managua, the Capital City of Nicaragua. The interns; J.P. Bastalle, Nadiezka Theodosiadis, and Diane Cohen are assisting the Jezreel School, located in an extremely poor neighbourhood of the City. During the course of their three week internships with SchoolBOX, the students will be helping to equip the Jezreel School’s new facilities, conduct studies and create a small documentary on the students.

These are the first interns that SchoolBOX has hosted in Nicaragua. We are hoping that their work will positively impact the Jezreel School and the La Primavera Community. Conversations with community members, students and teachers indicate that they are doing a great job so far.

April 2007- SchoolBOX friend and supporter Michelle Bird visits Nicaragua to see our projects

Michelle spent 10 days with SchoolBOX President Tom Affleck and SchoolBOX Coordinator Ronald Chavarria visiting our projects and partner schools. In Michelle´s words, ´Thank you (SchoolBOX) for an incredible experience.´ Using funds raised by her Church in Clayton, Ontario, Michelle was able to sponsor a new fence for a SchoolBOX partner school located in the Capital Cit