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Building and advancing students life projects through transformational learning and deep connections

Alicerce Educação: cognitive neuroscience and agile methodology to transform K-12 students in Brazil

location_on Brazil
We offer afterschool programs to low-income students, integrating personalized learning with focus on metacognitive abilities, social-emotional development and cultural expansion. Our teachers develop strong bonds with students and use scrum based planning to close monitor their development. Inspired by Teach For America, we recruit and train talented undergraduate students to be our teachers

HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.
Key figures

Innovation Overview

5 - 100
Age Group
3 000
Updated on July 11th, 2021
about the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Alicerce Educação was created to better prepare students and allow them to fulfill whichever dreams they have. Our mission is to transform the lives of more than 40 million public school students in Brazil, from low-income families, thus we are heavily focused on quality and scalability. In order to change Brazil’s outlook, we must grow and reach all students and we must really change their lives.

How does your innovation work in practice?

We are an innovative afterschool program, combining cognitive neuroscience and agile methodology to ensure learning. With personalized classes considering students’ challenges, we improve reading, writing, and math competencies, develop social-emotional skills and expand cultural repertoire. Focused on human development, we also help to build and advance their life projects. Besides decreasing their academic knowledge gap, by promoting project-based learning, we connect them to current and relevant social issues. We want to develop resilient and strong-minded youth with critical thinking, self confidence and emotional maturity. With a data-based approach, given our bimonthly test, classes are planned daily and focus on students' learning gaps. Inspired by Teach For America, we recruit and train undergraduate students to help K-12 students learn. From similar socioeconomic background, they are role models, and receive financial support and training to boost their professional careers.

How has it been spreading?

We work with two organizations, a for-profit social impact business, Alicerce Educação, and a non-profit organization, Instituto Alicerce. Students from families with some disposable income are offered a low-cost afterschool program and students from the most vulnerable families are offered scholarships for the same program. We grow the business by digital marketing, word-of-mouth advertising, and having centers located in low-income neighbourhoods, close to our target public; and we grow our scholarship base by fundraising within the philanthropic sector. We have 87 centers in 6 states, which were closed due to the COVID pandemic, but reopening in Dec/2020. We have also launched the online classes, which helped to spread awareness to the entire country, with students from all 27 states.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

We personalize education through a whole-person method for low-income students. Our afterschool program integrates content-knowledge enhancement in reading and math, life skills development and cultural repertoire expansion. We plan interventions based on bimonthly individual adaptive digital assessments. Students work in learning stations according to their specific needs and development level.


See this innovation in action

Social emotional skills | Instituto Alicerce
A sneak peak of our student's families and leaders perspectives of Alicerce's social emotional learning program.
Vivo Transforma | Alicerce Educação
Alicerce Educação and Vivo have teamed up to offer some people from VIVO's trans community vacancies for the “VIVO TRANSforma” project. It is a POC (Proof of Concept), term used to describe a practical model capable of proving a theoretical concept established about the importance of this project to the target audience. This course offers online classes to trans people recommended by Vivo, from any place in Brazil, the project has the goal to stimulate social transformation of the participants, developing knowledge of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, in addition to expanding their socioemocional and digital education skills, essential for a better performance in the labor market. So far it has 12 students unrolled. Classes take place online, 3 times a week, for 1h30 hours daily during 6 months. The journey towards knowledge is customized considering the results of the adaptive assessment performed by students after the opening class.
É sobre transformar o Brasil | Alicerce Educação
Alicerce is a social impact business that brings to Brazil the most innovative and effective world concepts in education. We quickly develop the educational base for people of any age and in all kinds of social contexts. We have amazing results proven in more than 10 thousand students who have gone through Alicerce methodology. Affordable and quality education to all ages! This is our mission.
Alicerce, Carrefour and Casa Neon Cunha Partnership
This project is the result of the partnership between Alicerce, Carrefour and Neon Cunha House. Neon Cunha House intends to be a welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ people who were expelled from their homes and/or are homeless, giving them shelter and passage, in addition to acting as a network to rescue the autonomy and dignity of those people. We have a group of 40 students, divided into 2 groups of online and live classes for trans people from any place in Brazil. The main goal is to stimulate the social transformation of the participants, developing knowledge of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, in addition to expanding their socioemocional and digital education skills, essential for a better performance in the labor market. Classes take place online, 3 times a week, for 1h30 hours daily during 6 months. The study journey is customized considering the results of the adaptive assessment performed by students, immediately after the opening class and the experimental week.
Exame magazine article
According to Alicerce's Learning VP, Monica Weinstein, on an event organized by UNICEF, CIEDS and Saint Gobain: "The school needs to be part of the student's life, understand their learning profile and what they need to develop".
Alicerce and Nubank partner to train and teach young black students from vulnerable communities to be hired by Nubank.
Instituto Alicerce on Instagram: “G R A T I D Ã O 💕 Essa é a palavra que a família do Arthur escolheu para descrever a relação deles com o Instituto Alicerce. Assista…”
Arthur is a 12 year-old student from Ceará.He is a scholarship holder at Instituto Alicerce. He's a student from our online program called Alicerce em Casa (Alicerce at Home). Due to the COVID pandemic, his school hadn't offered online classes, they were just sending some materials. At Alicerce, he was able to keep actively learning even without his school activities. He says he likes everything about our classes!
Meet Elisa, one of our leaders (instructors)
Elisa is one of Alicerce's leaders, how we call our in-class instructors.She is 28 years old from Sao Paulo and is currently studying to get her second undergraduate degree at USP. She holds a bachelor in Law and a Masters Degree from Portugal. Coming from a low income family, she focused on her studies to be able to attend University and study abroad. She is the living proof of how education can truly transform one's life. And that's the transformation she looks for in her students at Alicerce.
Meet Andre, 10 years old, learning how to read at Alicerce
Andre is 10 years-old student from Minas Gerais.He is one of the many children in Brazil who didn't learn to read at the appropriate time and grade. At Alicerce we take care of our students, and help them overcome their challenges and learning gaps, so that they are able to enjoy better opportunities in the future.
Financial Times | Brazil's tech moonshots target social problems
Época Negócios | Wayra faz aporte na edtech Alicerce e entra no setor de educação
Veja SP | Com aulas lúdicas, reforço escolar ajuda quem tem dificuldade de aprender
Valor Econômico | Startup oferece aulas de reforço para alunos de bairros pobres
Fashion Network | Grupo Inbrands anuncia doação para compra de kits de higiene e alimentação
Brazil Journal | Alicerce leva a educação onde o Estado não chega
El País | De volta a rotina de trabalho onde ficam os filhos


Achievements & Awards

May 2021
Partnership with Carrefour and Casa Neon House offers opportunity to LGBTQIA+ community
April 2021
Partnership with Nubank to select and teach 400 young black adults to be hired by the bank
April 2021
VIVO TRANSforma - Online classes for Trans community
February 2021
Selected to Endeavor Scale Up EdTech 2021 Program!
December 2020
1,425 vulnerable students from 27 states (100%) impacted at Alicerce em Casa
December 2020
3,245 scholarships awarded at Alicerce em Casa
November 2020
Innovation page created on
July 2020
Alicerce em Casa, Alicerce's online classes official launch
June 2020
Ceara state and Pernambuco state launch
March 2020
Rio de Janeito state launch
October 2019
Parana state launch
September 2019
Minas Gerais state launch
June 2019
Beginning of the first units of Alicerce Educação - São Paulo
May 2019
Creation of Instituto Alicerce, non-profit organization that expands the impact of Alicerce, offering scholarships to vulnerable students
November 2018
Alicerce foundation

Spread of the innovation

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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

1. Engage students
Engage students through a powerful narrative of growth mindset offered by young, motivated, knowledgeable university students
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2. Testing
Use adaptive digital testing to assess students´content knowledge in reading, writing and math
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3. Assessment
Explore students social emotional skills needs through a structured integrative assessment (inputs from students, teacher, parents)
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4. Instruction
Train Alicerce´s teachers to deliver differentiated instruction in their classrooms
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5. Project-based
Train Alicerce´s teachers to deliver a "life skills" project-based program to develop students' 21st century skills
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6. Groups to meet students
Use Alicerce´s app to view students´assessment data and plan differentiated instruction groups to meet students´ diverse learning and social emotional needs
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