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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.

Web presence






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
Ambev e Instituto Alicerce oferecem programa profissional
Alicerce e iFood montam novo programa de educação para entregadores | Exame
Institutos Alicerce e Cyrela recuperam defasagem escolar de 700 estudantes | Exame
Investe Favela abre edital de R$ 1 milhão para empresas periféricas | Exame
Instituto Alicerce lança programa para levar jovens ao mercado de trabalho | Exame
Investe Favela abre edital de R$ 1 milhão para empresas periféricas | Exame
Instituto XP and Alicerce Educação launch a free financial education course in five capitals
Transformando vidas juntos | Roldão e Alicerce Educação
Nubank & Alicerce Educação
Parceria | Instituto Alicerce & VRB
Social emotional skills | Instituto Alicerce
Vivo Transforma | Alicerce Educação
É sobre transformar o Brasil | Alicerce Educação
Alicerce, Carrefour and Casa Neon Cunha Partnership
Exame magazine article
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…”
Meet Elisa, one of our leaders (instructors)
Meet Andre, 10 years old, learning how to read at Alicerce
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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