Number of volunteer instructors: 8
Average number of students: 20-30
Number of workshops held: 3 times a week for two hours
Type of classes held: Intro to Math, English, German, Bosnian, physics, chemistry, Agro & Eco math
Program Activities and Goals:
During this reporting period, our studnets were on their winter break until the end of January; however, our program continued without any disruption so the children had a contructive outlet during the break. Some of the workshops during the break were: jewelry making, story telling and creative imagination writing, making your own computer from scratch, «show how much you know-quiz» (composed in PowerPoint questions in English and German where children were to fill in the words, etc.) and photography workshop. Upon the completion of the winter holidays we held a fun karaoke competition. After the break, we started our general instructions in Math, English language, German language, computer science, chemistry, and physics.
Program Update: We are happy to report that since January 2013, we have four students with special needs and the little ones that do not yet go to school. With the little kids, we did basic counting until 10 and few math exercises, while with the special needs students, we did exercises how to write small sentences. For the best handwriting, Indir S. (13) received a chocolate.
Our workshops have proven to develop certain skills and interests in the children that they did not have before. This is most evident when they do not want to finish the class, they improve very quickly and pay close attention. Our instructors are also reporting that before they would have to look for children in the orphanage, while now, they are already waiting for them in their desks with pen and paper ready.
The teacher that does jewlery class always brings new and interesting beats from which children can make unusual jewlery and keep what they make. The best student thus far is Irma C. who makes the best jewlery and seems to enjoy it the most. During our «build your own computer» class, the boys seem to show the most interest and the best student is Fehim C. who has shown drastic improvement in his knoweldge and interest towards computers. There is a young boy who came to the orphanage three months ago and he said that our afterschool program is his favorite and the best spend time since we arrived to the orphanage.
We would like to specifically mention Velid H. (16) who regularly attends our program. He was very persistant to learn the synthax in Bosnian language and with the help of our instructors has managed to get a very good grade. Also, Dijana F. (11) received a B in English language; however, this is very impressive because she did not know how to read until our program. Also Adna H. (15) has mastered geometry with her math instructor.
There are no serious challenges to report as studetns are showing great progress in school, interest in extracurricular activities and their behavior has drastically improved. However, there is a «good problem to have» and this is that students come when they recieve a bad grade or when they have an exam. As soon as they are helped with their homework or they recieve a good grade on their exam, they stop coming until they again need our help. To keep these students interested, we have included more fun yet still educational activiites that the children would not want to miss. On the other hand, we have not forced the student to come because sometimes they only cause distraction for those that still need our continued support.
Senad, Social Worker in Zenica Orphanage: “I am glad that you found a way to entertain the chlidren in a creative and effective way so they are not wasting their time on the street.“
Velid Halilovic (16): “I am very happy that our instructors thought about us even during the winter break, and thank you so much, honestly, i had so much fun and i learned alot.“
After School Program Report for October-December 2012
During this quarter, our beneficiaries of the afterschool program in Zenica started their new school year, facing new challenges and opportunities. As last year, we continued again with classes held 3 (three) times a week for two hours. Classes vary based on students’ needs and they are: math, English, German, Chemistry, physics, computer and Bosnian language.
The best indicator that this project is successful can be seen in the students’ grades and their improved behavior with the start of this new school year. For example, one of our beneficiaries, a 16-year-old boy, received a D grade in English last year; however, this year he started the school year with a B. Seeing how happy and proud he was and the joy that he shared with his Afterschool instructors was well worth all the efforts that we have put towards this program. There are also a number of students with special needs and learning disabilities who still struggle with basic multiply/divisions yet they are already in 7th grade. Last year it was very hard to get them to start listening and cooperating, yet this year we can see that they are excited to come to the classroom. To assist them more, we have allocated instructors to work just with these students to give them an opportunity to learn and engage.
In November, along with the regular instructions, the volunteers also worked with the students on preparing them for the Annual Fair that included organic products, handmade designs and fresh produce. We purchased raw materials and gave our students to make picture frames, quilts, jewelry boxes, jewelry, blankets, etc. The Fair lasted for a week and the three main students who made the majority of the items made close to 300KM (approx. $200). One of these students is a 15yr old girl who just recently came to the orphanage. She was extremely shy and not very social. Including her in this Fair was so beneficial to her as she opened up and truly let her amazingly creative talents shine. They were all so ecstatic and happy to be included in this event, especially because they made some pocket money to have close to the holidays.
For December, the focus of the instructors was geared towards preparing the students for the end of the semester exams. We asked all the students to bring a letter from their teachers to show us where the students improved and where they could improve even more. Naturally, we also saw an influx of more students coming to the instructions so managing all of them and making sure to use the time most effectively was a challenge. Also, since it was the end of the school year, we wanted to reward and give them some additional entertainment. The volunteers organized a famous comedy called “Audicija” (Audition) that all the students really enjoyed. We gave acknowledgment letters to the best and the most improved students, treated them with candy and had a little party for everyone to close this school year. During the holidays, we plan to continue our program, but focused more on learning through fun and taking the students to the movies.
Greatest challenge this quarter remains lack of textbooks for the students living in orphanage. are given one book per orphanage per subject so if there are three or four students same age and in the same classroom, they have to share that one book. This becomes a difficulty when they need to study for exams, but also when they come to our afterschool program as they are all using one book. We would like to purchase few additional books that would remain a property of the program and that the students next year would be able to use them.
After School Program Report for July-September 2012
In this quarter, the focus of the after school program has been on helping students pass all of their classes and prepare for the summer activities that would keep the children entertained without school. A significant number of students needed to improve their grades to pass their exams so we assigned one volunteer for each student, especially the older ones that were able to retake exams for the second time to attain better grades.
For the whole month of July and August, we held English conversation workshops to help students improve their spoken English. The majority of participants in this classroom were between the ages of 12 to 18 years old. Many have a solid fund of words but they do not feel confident to speak the language. During these conversational classes, the topics used where tolerance, how to be better in school, get along better with your peers and how to better communicate with others.
Aside from these classes, we also continued with the jewelry and arts and crafts classes. Students that were part of our jewelry workshop were given monetary rewards for the jewelry that they made and that we were able to sell during our Annual Event in June, 2012. This came at a perfect time so that these students could better enjoy their summer vacation.
For the first part of September, the after school program went back to its regular routine of working with students to get adjusted to their new school schedule, and prepare them for new challenges. In the coming quarter, we will continue with our regular classes to help the students obtain better grades and understanding of their classes; however, we will also add new extracurricular classes like movie nights, sewing classes for older girls, self development classes that will include workshops how to better deal with problems, better communicate and improve their confidence.
Afterschool Program Report – Zenica Orphanage
Over the course of the last three months, the After School program at Zenica Orphanage has made a significant and impactful progress. Currently, there are close to twenty children with different age group actively participating in the after school program. The program pays for six instructors to conduct three classes a week, including occasional weekend fun extracurricular activities. Since the school was ending during this reporting period, the focus of the after school program has been on helping the students do well during their exams. The outcome has been extremely positive as a number of students have significantly improved their grades during the finals. Two of the teachers have written thank you letters praising the program and students’ behavior as it improved over the last few months. We have also noticed students’ behavior improve in the classroom as they showed less frustration and more interest in learning.
Additionally, a lot of the children at the orphanage do not have a creative outlet. To address this need, we have surveyed our students to see what are their interests. The majority voted to have jewelry and arts and crafts classes where they would learn how to make jewelry and cards that they could also possibly sell at the local stores. Particularly, there are three teenage girls who expressed interest to learn this craft because they could potentially earn continuous income, especially once they leave the orphanage. To help promote their efforts, we also sold their jewelry at the Bosana’s Annual Benefit in June.
For the next three months, while all of our classes are educational, we will try to include a big dose of extracurricular activities to create a fun and memorable summer break. A lot of the children will not have a chance to go anywhere for the summer so our program will focus to keep them positively occupied and entertained.
We really hope that the success of this year’s program at Zenica Orphanage will help us expand the project to other orphanages in Bosnia and Herzegovina because it has truly proved to be very helpful and positive in the lives of the children. Not only have their grades improved but also their behavior.
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