School Is Open

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School Is Open is a charitable, not-for-profit organization registered tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization working to improve education in developing countries. Currently we are focusing our efforts in Afghanistan, supporting teachers and students to get the tools they need to get an education.


Providing Afghan teachers with training and tools to develop educational curriculum in the areas of science and math.


Teacher Trainings
SIOs main focus is organizing, planning, and executing teacher-training workshops.The mission is to help teachers of primary and middle schools receive a college level seminar in Early Childhood Development and in hands-on science methodology targeting those teachers who have been unable to enroll in a formal teacher-training program.

Knowing that educated communities can rebuild a country, we are working towards supporting teachers so that they can rebuild their country, one student at a time. Our trainings , conducted throughout villages, cities and provinces in Afghanistan, are designed for elementary school science projects and hands-on lesson. As the program has grown, so have the lessons and training that best meets the Afghan teachers needs.
Training Workshop Instruction includes:

Child Development Research
Learning Disabilities
Hands-on Science Methodology and Activities
How to use science supplies, equipment and local resources
Overview of educational theories and teaching methodologies
All aspects of science including earth, life, physical, investigation and experimentation

Every teacher is given a "training kit" for their classroom upon completion of the course. This includes a microscope, set of anatomy charts, magnifying glasses, set of x-rays, anatomy models, stationary and markers so they can share their knowledge of science with the students.


Over the past four and a half years SIO, has assisted teachers in students with very little funding. To date we have:

1. Trained 500 teachers, representing 100 schools, benefiting 40,000 students in grades K-12
2. Collected and distributed 800 pounds of winter clothes,
3. Donated $35,000 worth of school supplies including:
o 200 microscopes,
o 3000 hand lenses
o 125 x-ray kits
o 3,000 notebooks
o 300 anatomy charts
o and more pencils than we can count


SIO will be conducting 3-5 teacher trainings in various provinces all around Afghanistan. As teachers donating our vacation time and professional services, we will be conducting these during April and summer vacation. We hope to train 200 teachers and donate a teaching kit to all each one of them.


Marianne O'Grady is a veteran educator with over 20 years of teaching experience, Friends educator, Marianne has taught at Cambridge Friends School, Marin Country Day School and currently teaches 2nd grade at San Francisco Friends School. She also conducts teacher training classes in the areas of science and math at at University of San Francisco's Graduate School of Education and at the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute. She has traveled extensively in Afghanistan and Belize, doing outreach to educators by sharing her passion for inquiry-based science and "hands-on" teaching and learning. Marianne grew up outside of Boston- where she attended public schools and went on to receive her B.S. and M.Ed. degrees in Early Childhood Education from Fitchburg State College and Wheelock College.


Elsie De Laere
Teacher Trainer

Elsie De Laere is veteran elementary school. She is currently teaching at Marin Elementary School in Albany, California. She has been teaching classes with second language learners as well as children with disabilities for the past 20 years. An educational activist, Elsie has volunteered for numerous committees at the local and state level on issues related to elementary school curriculum in public schools as well as parent involvement. Elsie has helped organize and participated in five teacher trainings in Afghanistan for non-governmental agencies. She has, as a volunteer, given trainings in both early childhood development and elementary school hands-on science. She has a B.A. in general studies and holds a California Multiple Subject credential for K – 12th grade from Mills College in Oakland, California, as well as an accreditation as a Second Language instructor.

Monica Ng

A native of the Bay Area, Monica has taught at the preschool, elementary, high school, and college levels in public and private schools. She received her BA fro UC San Diego in Literature and Writing and her Masters in Education, School Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her research focused on barriers to teacher collaboration. In addition to her teaching experience, Monica served as an administrator at the East Bay Conservation Corps/AmeriCorps program, and at the University of California's Student Learning Center.






1639 Page Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
Phone: (415) 861-4655
EIN: 36-4630615

Countries and Regions

The Skeleton

Full Human X-Ray

School Is Open

Regular price $40.00

A full set of human x-rays that when put together assist teachers and students understand how bones, joints, muscles and ligaments work together. The x-rays launch a series of hands-on science lessons to understand how the body works and how to keep it healthy.

Simple Tools

Chart Paper & Markers

School Is Open

Regular price $10.00

A roll of chart paper and pack of markers for a teacher to help illustrate a point. A simple tool for teachers in the US but not the case in Afghanistan.

Closer Look

Magnifying Glasses

School Is Open

Regular price $120.00

A class set of hand lenses, 60, can change how Afghan children see their world and motivate them to study hard.

Look Even Deeper


School Is Open

Regular price $80.00

Solar lit microscopes are available in Kabul. We will buy them there and haul them to teachers and science school labs in rural Afghanistan. SIO trains teachers how to use them, as well as kid friendly lesson plans to help them increase biological knowledge.