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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 - 18
Age Group
2 000
Updated on April 18th, 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

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

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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