Another Great year is on the Horizon
The beginning of the new school year is upon us and we are ready to get back to inspiring our students. In a prior article in this newsletter, we had written about the eagerness the kids show to get back to our program. Whenever we come around the school during vacation (for meetings or repairs) kids on the street always asks us when we are going to start classes again. We take this as a huge compliment because it shows us kids want and love to be here.
This is going to be a year of new beginnings and new programs. Every year we evaluate ourselves and take every step necessary to better the program in whatever way possible. We have a meeting with the teachers at the end of the year to get their input on the positives and negatives and any other observations they may have to better the program. We also have meetings with parents and people from the community to hear their suggestions. After we do this, we then get together and decide what to do and how to do it.
“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
St. Francis of Assisi
The first change we will have this year is a new teacher. Mrs. Silvia Galvan has a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado. She has close to 30 years teaching experience as an English and Spanish teacher in California and Mexico. She will be our new 5th, 6th and Junior High English teacher. We are expecting great things from her. Welcome to the Volcanes Kids Education Project Mrs. Silvia.
The second major change we are making is very necessary and important. For years we have watched our students struggle with reading, writing and mathematics. We have had a Reading/Writing Intervention class to help primary school kids who are behind on these subjects and, in collaboration with the primary school, we have seen the impact this class has made with these specific students.
However, we have come to the realization that Reading and Writing are fundamental subjects for every single student. We believe that reading is fundamental to learning and that kids who read will have a higher possibility of not only staying in school but flourishing in life. These two subjects, along with math, should be just as important as our English and Computer classes.
To this end, and with the help of Mrs. Silvia, we have implemented a more intensive reading/writing comprehension program. Each student taking English classes will also take reading and writing comprehension as part of the curriculum. We will also require our teachers to read to the students as often as possible and get kids interested in reading for themselves.
Another serious problem students have faced in school is in mathematics. Over half of our students are struggling with math and a majority of them “hate” the subject because they perceive it as something boring, complicated and unnecessary (“why do we even need to know algebra and percentages and fractions” etc. etc.).
Math is important not only because it will come in handy in every day life (when shopping, paying bills, measuring) but it also teaches students critical problem-solving skills. In other words, it teaches students to think and to find solutions to problems and to use logic in doing it.
At the beginning of October, we will be offering math classes to 5th, 6th, and 7th graders in the afternoons. To change their perception about math, we are calling this class a “Math Club” and will be using fun activities to teach the lessons as well as treating these kids to special field trips and outings. We are looking forward to these changes in our program.
Along with these changes, here is a brief summary of all other classes and programs we will be offering:
ENGLISH CLASSES (Daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.)
COMPUTER CLASSES (Daily 10 a.m – 4 p.m.)
READING/WRITING INTERVENTION (Daily 9 am – 2 pm)
MUSIC CLASSES (Daily 3 pm – 7 pm)
MATH CLUB (Daily 4 pm – 7 pm)
KIDS DANCE CLUB (Daily 10 am – 12 pm and 2 pm – 3 pm)
COMMUNITY BRIGADE (One Saturday a month we will take on a project in the community. Example: cleaning up trash, parks, old people’s houses, visiting asylum in Volcanes, etc.)
CHARACTER COUNTS (Saturdays 1 pm – 2 pm before field trips) (This class teaches values, morals and character)
SAVINGS GROUPS (Wednesdays 10 am – 4 pm)
BOOK CLUBS (Two Saturdays per month 11 am – 12 pm) (We will have a teenage book club and a Kids Book Club)
LIBRARY – (Daily from 10 am – 9 pm)
We thank everyone who makes this great program the success it has become. Another great year is on the horizon.