Providing schools with the tools to succeed

Several years ago, classrooms at St. Mary's School in Los Angeles lacked whiteboards and cupboards. Many students—more than 90 percent of whom qualified for free or reduced-price lunch—didn't have school supplies.

Supplies cost "maybe $80 to $100 per child, and when you have three, it adds up," said Annette, a guardian for three students.

Then Sister Anna, St. Mary's principal, heard about World Vision's Teacher Resource Center. Today, underprivileged children have the opportunity to gain a quality education and a brighter future.

"Most everything in this school is from World Vision. Everything," Sister Anna said. "We have tables, we have shelves, we have school supplies."

Parents can enjoy working on the projects with their kids instead of worrying about how they will pay for additional supplies.

"It feels good that poverty or lack of income is not a reason for (children) not to succeed," said eighth-grade teacher Gabriela Gonzales. "Kids just feel a lot more confident."

For Sister Anna, school is about more than test scores and memorization. "I always believe that when the kids are happy, they learn better" and are more prepared for the future, she said.

Today, the students of St. Mary's School have big dreams and the tools they need to succeed in school. "At the end of the year, we see the difference," Sister Anna said. "That's why I am very, very grateful."