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

place Brazil

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

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.

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November 2022

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.

What does your innovation look like 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.


São João de Meriti: Jovens em conflito com a lei recebem apoio pedagógico e psicológico - Site da Baixada
A saúde mental bate à porta da escola
Projeto social oferece 400 bolsas de estudos para crianças e jovens em situação de vulnerabilidade social no RJ - ANF - Agência de Notícias das Favelas |
O Instituto Alicerce e a Secretaria Municipal de Esteio se uniram em um programa com foco na recuperação de defasagem escolar
Alicerce Educação se une a Revista Raça
Alicerce e Instituto MRV levam jovens de baixa renda à porta da faculdade | Exame
Evento online gratuito promove discussão sobre defasagem escolar
Online event with the theme "School Gap - Challenges and Solutions"
Ambev e Instituto Alicerce oferecem programa profissional
Ambev, in partnership with Instituto Alicerce, offers a professional training and employability program to young people aged between 18 and 24 in São Paulo.
Alicerce e iFood montam novo programa de educação para entregadores | Exame
Alicerce Educação to become a provider of educational solutions for iFood delivery people. A 40% discount will be offered on Alicerce Educação tutoring classes.
Institutos Alicerce e Cyrela recuperam defasagem escolar de 700 estudantes | Exame
Alicerce and Cyrela Institutes recover 700 students' school gap
Investe Favela abre edital de R$ 1 milhão para empresas periféricas | Exame
Investe Favela and Alicerce Educação open R$ 1 million public notice for peripheral companies
Instituto Alicerce lança programa para levar jovens ao mercado de trabalho | Exame
Instituto Alicerce launches program to bring young people to the job market
Investe Favela abre edital de R$ 1 milhão para empresas periféricas | Exame
Investe Favela and Alicerce Educação open R$ 1 million public notice for peripheral companies
Instituto XP and Alicerce Educação launch a free financial education course in five capitals
Instituto XP and Alicerce Educação launch a free financial education course for all those who want to learn how to invest and organize their finances.
Transformando vidas juntos | Roldão e Alicerce Educação
This project, in partnership with Instituto Roldão, takes place in the North zone of São Paulo and has as target audience students between 12 and 18 years old. Instituto Roldão and Instituto Alicerce are transforming the lives of these students through education, aiming to remedy the school gap (which is the distance between what students knows and what is expected for them to know at a certain age or school year), bring new perspectives for these young people and help them draw a life plan so they can have a better future.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEtII0jgeSw
Nubank & Alicerce Educação
This is a program that we are very proud of! With the capacity to serve 400 young people, through ten physical places located in vulnerable and suburban neighborhoods in the city of São Paulo and nearby places. The target audience is young black people between 17 and 25 years old, who do not have a formal job and live close to the Poles. The goal is to provide more opportunities in the labor market by offering training for 7 months, with classes five times a week, in Portuguese, Maths, English, Life Skills (Socioemotional skills) and Discovery (career guidance). Some of the students will also be registered to Saturday Hack Workshop, which teaches programming languages.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2uMLULdg6s 
Parceria | Instituto Alicerce & VRB
Positive impact at 4 large favelas in Rio de Janeiro! In the communities of Vila Nova Aliança, Cantagalo, Cidade de Deus and Queimados, a partnership among VRB Social Institution, which concentrates funds from several companies and allocates them to the projects they support, the social organization Viva Rio and the Football academy Pérola Negras, the Instituto Alicerce carries out the “Alicerce in communities'' project. We monitor the Psycho-pedagogical development of students, in parallel with the sports initiatives of our partners, complementing the integrated education of children and young people with our extra-curricular after-school program that teaches Reading, Writing and Mathematics skills.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgW-OpWY6LI&ab_channel=InstitutoAlicerce
Social emotional skills | Instituto Alicerce
A sneak peak of our student's families and leaders perspectives of Alicerce's social emotional learning program. https://youtu.be/huNkKPR6uRs
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".https://exame.com/bussola/escola-precisa-se-atualizar-para-engajar-alunos-diz-pesquisadora/
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!https://www.instagram.com/tv/CG7VcEzjqc3/?igshid=1dnb213ogbdzi
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.https://www.instagram.com/tv/CH1E6r5hFV4/?igshid=ltr2ou9ikchq
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.https://www.instagram.com/p/CJEDK4EBDbD/?igshid=u036u9ktsmsa
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

Implementation steps

1. Engage students

Engage students through a powerful narrative of growth mindset offered by young, motivated, knowledgeable university students 

2. Testing

Use adaptive digital testing to assess students´content knowledge in reading, writing and math

3. Assessment

Explore students social emotional skills needs through a structured integrative assessment (inputs from students, teacher, parents)

4. Instruction

Train Alicerce´s teachers to deliver differentiated instruction in their classrooms

5. Project-based

Train Alicerce´s teachers to deliver a "life skills" project-based program to develop students' 21st century skills

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

7. Deeper content learning

Ensure students´ deeper content learning through timely and direct instruction

8. Expand students´cultural

Create opportunities to expand students´cultural repertoire through collaborative working groups to address interdisciplinary themes

9. Monitor students´progress

Monitor students´progress closely through the digital adaptive assessment every eight weeks

10. Adjust instructional plans

Adjust instructional plans based on the data from the continuous monitoring

Spread of the innovation

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