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Palabrario & Numerario


Palabrario & Numerario is an educational program that seeks to promote the development of literacy skills and mathematical thinking in students of preschool and elementary school, through the transformation of the pedagogical practices of teachers. The work involves a joint effort with teachers, students and parents.

Line                                                           School Strengthening for K12

Level                                                         Preschool, Elementary

Program Start Date                              Palabrario (2006) and Numerario (2012)

Program Duration                                3 year implementation

Yearly Average Cost per Student     US $45   

Yearly Average Cost per School       US $31,000



Beneficiaries                         32,417 students, 915 teachers, 51 educational institutions

Regions                                  Valle del Cauca, Cundinamarca, Atlantico, Caldas, Meta, Nariño, Cauca

Allies and Donors                 Fundación Corona, Negocios Corona, Fundación Caicedo González,  Universidad de Antioquia, Fundación   Carvajal,  Fundación Scarpetta, Fundación Sociedad Portuaria Regional de Buenaventura, Corporación Educativa Minuto de Dios, J.C.   Kellogg Foundation.



Past Beneficiaries                                       9,500 teachers and 372,000 students

Previous Regions of  Implementation   Cauca, Valle del Cauca, Antioquia, Bolivar, Cundinamarca, Caldas

Historic Allies & Donors                         Natura, Kellogg Foundation, Fundación Colombina,  Fundación Luker, Fundación Promigas, 

                                                                      Natura Cosméticos , J. C. Kellogg Foundation, Fundación Colombina, Fundación Luker, Fundación Promigas,  Fundación Hernán Echavarría, Fundación Argos, Fundación Fraternidad Medellín, Ecopetrol,  Homecenter, Sodimac Colombia, Negocios Corona, Carrefour, Fundación Ramirez Moreno, Universidad de Antioquia, Fundación Carvajal, Fundación Caicedo Gonzalez, Fundación Mamonal.





Main objective

Implement a training program with emphasis on methodologies and use of teaching resources which seeks to qualify the pedagogical practices of teachers for the development of literacy and math competencies of preschool and primary students.


Specific objectives

Transform the pedagogical praxis of teachers allowing them to expand their role and diversify the didactic strategies in the classroom through participatory and self reflective exercises.

Qualify teaching practices to strengthen reading, writing and mathematical logical thinking in students. 

Improve student's performance in literacy and math from the design and implementation of didactic problem-solving strategies in the classroom.

Encourage the participation of parents and family members to promote literacy math at home in every day situations.

Promote joint strategies of Literacy and math in teaching and learning processes. 

Encourage/accompany teachers in the systematization and dissemination of significant experiences in the school.

Stimulate the generations of mechanisms and strategies to incorporate the program into the schools curriculum as a way to guarantee sustainability.



Despite the great advances made towards reaching various Millennium Development Goals, the country still faces significant challenges in terms of quality and equity in education. To address these challenges, the Government has called for help in improving the quality and relevance of education and skills development, especially of the impoverished nad vulnerable populations. The Ministry of National Education (MEN) has joined this effort through its National Literacy Plan(PNLE) and All to Learn (PTA) programs. In spite of the important progress in the schooling of children, the crisis in the quality of learning continues to be a critical worldwide problem. According to UNESCO, there are currently 250 millions children in elementary school age or out of school, who doesn't know how to read or write. In addition, Colombian students have performed very poorly in national and international standardized tests showing that elementary schools students do not have the level they should in reading, writing and math according to their age group.

In this context, Palabrario & Numerario is a program that aims to encourage the qualification of mathematical thinking and the development of  writing and reading skills from the early years of basic education to develop children's problem-solving capacities within different contexts. Furthermore contributes to the construction and strengthening of their self-recognition as individuals capable of learning and participating actively in this world of constant motion. Palabrario & Numerario focuses on the quality of education,responding to the needs that the country has identified, through teacher's training and implementation of a series of educational tools that allows to transform the classrooms practices and directly impact on children's competencies. 


Awards, Forums and Other Accomplishments

  • The National Agency for Overcoming the Extreme Poverty of Colombia (ANSPE) chose P&N as one of the 20   best innovative initiatives in the country in 2012.
  • The Regional Centre for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLALC) included P&N in its Regional Literacy Project Portfolio "Por Leer" (2010-2012), as a successful experiences of reading promotion projects in the region.
  • P&N was chosen as one of the greatest programs of educational innovation in Latin America and in the world by the  Center for Education Innovation.
  • P&N was chosen as one of the experiences presented at the 2013 Forum for Quality Public Education in Colombia.