More students and more reading, thanks to Juntos Por La Educación

Donations from PriceSmart members allow more students to receive the important benefits of the Aprender y Crecer program.

February 23, 2024

The 2023 Juntos Por La Educación fundraising campaign, which collected more than $2.2 million in donations from PriceSmart Members plus another $850,500 in matching funds from Price Philanthropies, will allow more than 9,000 more students to receive the important benefits of the Aprender y Crecer program in 2024.  

Aprender y Crecer provides school supplies and books to more than 150,000 students at 280 public schools in the eight Latin American countries where PriceSmart operates.  The main source of funding for this program is the Juntos Por La Educación (Together For Education) fundraising campaign that takes places in PriceSmart Clubs each year.  Donations from PriceSmart Members and matching funds from Price Philanthropies are vital to sustaining the Aprender y Crecer program, and are the key driver for expanding to additional schools.

PriceSmart’s cashiers, who tirelessly invite each Member to donate, continue to be the secret behind the campaign’s success.  “My main motivation is knowing that with my help I am supporting the wellbeing and happiness of the children,” remarked Katherine Peña, a cashier in Colombia.

“As a mother, I know that helping someone or giving something that is out of reach to a child, for them it is a wonderful experience that fills they with joy. Their smile is the most sincere proof of that.”

While providing school supplies for students continues to be a primary benefit of Aprender y Crecer, the program brings additional support to schools including a basic cleaning supplies and paper products, to foster a clean and dignified school environment.  Also, the more than 7,500 teachers at schools that participate in the program also receive a package of materials to support their work in the classroom.

José Ricardo Mena, a teacher and former student at Centro Escolar Católico Luisa de Marillac in San Salvador, El Salvador, notes the profound impact that the program has caused at the school.  “In my day as a student, this program didn’t exist. Now as a teacher here, I can see the benefits firsthand.  The students receive nice notebooks, clean ones that aren’t handed down from older brothers or sisters, which is the reality of many kids.”  Fellow teacher Silvia Ramos adds, “We are in a very difficult economic situation these days.  The families anxiously await the delivery of the supplies.  It allows parents to spend that money on something else for the family.”

Since its inception in 2006, Aprender y Crecer has donated more than 1.2 million school supply packages and nearly 2.9 million books to students, along with 306,000 books to school libraries. The Juntos Por La Educación campaign funds 100% of these book donations. This year, thanks to the campaign, all students in participating schools will receive three books to facilitate reading instruction in the classroom, as well as recreational reading at home.

A student who begins in kindergarten at school sponsored by Aprender y Crecer and continues through 6th grade will have received 21 books from the program.  Published studies1  show a direct positive correlation between the number of books in a child’s home and the level of education they may attain, and therefore their earning potential.

The Juntos Por La Educación fundraising campaign will return to PriceSmart clubs in Latin America and in October 2024.


1 Research in Social Stratification and Mobility; Volume 28, Issue 2: Link; Social Science Research, Volume 77, January 2019: Link; University of Nevada, Reno; Science Daily; 21 May 2010: Link.


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