Nomad Schools

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What is Nomad Schools?

Slide3Nomad Schools is as a community-based English language program based in New Orleans. Our purpose locally is to provide self-paced English lessons to those who have been unable to attend languages classes due to time, money, or childcare constraints.  We provide bilingual lessons through preloaded MP3 players and workbooks so that students can study on the move or in their homes. Our thinking is: If students can’t get to classes, then let’s get the classes to the students.

We are currently operating out of VAYLA’s community center in New Orleans East.  In our initial pilot, we have enrolled 25 students, from 14-45 years of age, from beginner to intermediate. These students are all native Spanish speakers, but we hope to soon expand our service offerings to include other languages such as Vietnamese and Portuguese.


Why it’s about community:

Nomad schools is a unique education experience combining audio and visual lesson content with personal, community-based tutors which takes learning to places it would otherwise never go. It is about the human experience and sharing the stories that make our students who they are and which drove them to search out a new life here in New Orleans. It is learning through the sharing and merging of cultures and creating an inclusive and engaging family of learners and teachers.

Our philosophy

We want to focus on investing in people who will give back to the community: by starting social services, being successful business owners or being amazing parents whose children will go on to change the world. We believe if we help students tell their stories, the motivated ones will tell tales that drive others to invest their time and money into achieving similar educational goals. It is not just about free English lessons or a free iPod, Nomad Schools wants to treat each student as a future teacher; every student and every iPod is a micro-scholarship.

Why 5,000 is critical for Nomad’s Mission

We have only just launched our initial 3-month pilot.  With the additional funding of $5,000 we can fully develop our classes and make an impact on the community of New Orleans East.  It will create 100 more pocket schools that can be distributed to 400 students over the coming year and hundreds more students in the years to come.

Demand from community members in New Orleans East far exceeds our capacity to serve, and we have an ever-growing waiting list. With more funding, we will be able to purchase more iPods and hire tutors to service larger student groups.


iPods (100 @ $25 each)                    $2,500

Audio content development translation    $2,500

Total Budget:                      $5,000



We are extending the reach of current ESL classes to 35,000 people in New Orleans to develop a model that can work for community organizations across the United States trying to help the other 12 million people in the country overcome the language gap.

At its core, Nomad Schools will succeed if it helps students gain the English language skills they need. However, the expected impact is much farther reaching. Learning English will allow community members to advocate for better jobs, understand their legal rights, and communicate with schools on behalf of their children. Furthermore, our ESL program has ambitions to become an ESL train-the-trainer program.  A core component of our solution is the recruitment and training of teachers from local communities. This component of our model addresses our goals for the empowerment of underrepresented communities.  We hope to change the paradigm of how people can take control of overcoming education access barriers—whether it’s time, internet access, violence or lack of infrastructure—we are confident that Nomad Schools can be part of the solution.

The best part?  Our method costs less than $1 per instruction hour, compared to other solutions that are $10+ per hour.

Even just $5 will fund five hours of English education for a student in need.  Who knows, that 5 hours may be all they need for a job interview or to get an A on their next spelling test.

Thank you!

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