Yspaniola Incorporated

Yspaniola empowers marginalized batey communities of Dominicans and Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Through university scholarships, a literacy center, and community development, we provide resources for individuals and bateys to access local networks and rise out of poverty.
Jan 13, 2014

Introducing New Curricula!

Geremy reading in the Literacy Center
Geremy reading in the Literacy Center

Yspaniola welcomes the New Year with revised curricula for students at the Batey Libertad Learning Center.  With additional resources, including over 70 children’s books and interactive math tools, our new curricula will focus on problem solving, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence targeted toward individual student needs.   

Yspaniola will also be recruiting an additional teacher for the Learning Center and introducing a new and much larger space with additional classrooms, a library, and an office.  All of these changes will contribute to a better learning environment for the students of the Center as they continue to improve their reading, writing, and math skills.  With the help of students from the University of Rhode Island as well as community volunteers, who will be helping us clean, paint, and organize the new space, the Batey Libertad Learning Center is set to re-open at the end of January.  With these changes, along with the increased consistency in attendance we’ve seen over the past two months, we are excited to welcome the students back and are enthusiastic that 2014 will be a year of success and expansion for Yspaniola!

Assisting a community member in the library
Assisting a community member in the library
Oct 8, 2013

The Learning Center grows!

Papo shows his beautiful art at Summer Camp
Papo shows his beautiful art at Summer Camp

The Learning Center Grows!

Yspaniola had a productive and fun summer!  For the past several months, we built the capacity of the Batey Libertad Learning Center by adding new staff, renovating the Center, and holding a book drive, and we are enthusiastic that these changes will lead to a productive and learning-filled fall. 

In June, we welcomed our new Director of Community Education Programs, Cory Fox, who will direct and teach in the Learning Center for two years; she will develop new curriculum focused on emotional intelligence, problem solving, reading comprehension, and critical thinking, and she will develop new evaluation techniques. In July, we held our second annual youth summer camp, in which over 100 children participated in group activities focused on education, music, sports, and art. To assist with the camp, Yspaniola and members of the community recruited over 20 volunteers, both local and international. We also improved the Learning Center space by working with community members, staff, interns, and volunteers to paint walls, add additional classroom space, and, through the book drive, triple the number of books in our library. 

As the fall starts, we hold regular classes throughout the week, structured by age group and reading proficiencies. We also welcome four new teaching assistants from the community, who will assist with implementing lessons in the classroom as well as monitoring behavior. The new assistants, Santa, Rosa, Daniel, and María, will attend trainings throughout the year to build their skills as educators and leaders in their community.

With a renovated Center, more materials, and new staff and community assistants, Yspaniola is excited to see the children improve their skills throughout the year!

Santa and Maria at the Teaching Assistant training
Santa and Maria at the Teaching Assistant training
A space for Learning and preparation.
A space for Learning and preparation.

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Jul 11, 2013

Summer Fun and Studies

The Yspaniola scholars successfully completed another trimester and are taking classes and studying hard this summer. Scholars Fede, Ramón and Julio have also been working hard to practice their English with Yspaniola’s English teaching volunteer. English classes are offered in the literacy center in Batey Libertad on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and in early June six young adult students graduated from the first level of the course.

Because of the popularity and success of last year’s summer camp, Yspaniola is pleased to support a two-week educational summer camp this July! Young adult volunteers from the community will lead the kids in different activities: art, education, sports, an HIV/AIDS awareness program teaching through play and games, and music and dance. At the end of the month, the children will display their work from the camp through a concurso, or competition and talent show. Yspaniola will provide a small stipend for the community volunteers and breakfast for the children each day of the camp. Stay tuned with an update about the camp in August! 

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