Our English Program has been a great success in the classroom since it was started last year. The students are thrilled to be learning a new language and miss no opportunity to practice with our international volunteers!
We believe that this program is vital to the high-quality education we offer at Nuestro Futuro and El Porvenir. An intermediate level of English is required to pass into Guatemalan secondary and higher education. Also, our students live close to Antigua, a hotspot for international tourism. If our students speak English, they are much more likely to find good paying, stable jobs in town.
The program is supervised by our full-time English coordinator and taught by long-term, English-speaking volunteers. We are extremely fortunate to have several experienced teachers volunteering with us at the moment who are great assets to the program; both in terms of the lessons they give and their input into the curriculum.
We try to make the lessons as fun and interactive as possible. Most of our classes are separated into smaller groups for lessons, so the teacher can focus on the needs of individual students; or by having two teachers separate the students into groups doing different activities at the same time. We use songs and games to help student learn vocabulary that would be too advanced to teach in a more traditional way. We also try to accommodate different types of learners in each lesson. This is done by incorporating visual, auditory and tactile activities in every lesson plan.
We believe in the importance of this program so much that English joined our core curriculum this year, and students will have their first period exams next week. The younger children will demonstrate their listening and speaking abilities whereas the top grades will also include reading and writing skills. Already, the youngest students can recognise colours, numbers and shapes; also most can participate in simple dialogues and role plays.
The vast majority of our teaching materials come from individual donations. We are very grateful for the generosity that brings them and inspired by how much they help our students learn a second language. We are always in need of more English-language posters, games, books, and activities. If you would like to help us purchase these materials, please make a donation today. We really appreciate your on-going support and look forward to sending you an update about the students’ progress later in the year.
Every day, Niños de Guatemala welcomes almost 300 of the area´s poorest children into our schools. They arrive excited to play with their friends, ready to learn about new things and always hungry for more.
Sometimes, though, we have to invest a little more than pencils and books into a child's academic success. Fernando, for example, had trouble getting to school last year. His desk would sit empty 2 or 3 days a week, while our social worker paid frequent visits to his house looking for him. His mother, busy with younger siblings and too much work, was just as surprised as we were that Fernando was not in school.
Slowly, as the year went on, Fernando started coming more often. However, without the tireless work of our social worker, psychologist, academic coordinator, and school director, Fernando would surely not have stayed in school. So far this year, Fernando has had no absences.
NDG promises to provide Fernando and all of our students with the tools they need to get the most out of every school day, but we rely on your donations to present our students with the best education possible.
March 13, your support goes further towards offering this top-notch education to very deserving children. GlobalGiving is matching all donations up to $1000 at 30%. Plus, every donation helps us compete for bonus prizes from GlobalGiving.
We´re counting on your help tomorrow. Please take a moment to donate what you can, and share this message with your family and friends. Together, we can all make a difference!
Happy New Year from Guatemala! Our staff returned to work this week and are excitedly preparing for the new school year, which starts next week. We were so pleased to see the generosity of our friends who donated to GlobalGiving during the holiday season. Thanks to your donation, we now have a permanent place on the site, which will allow us to reach new donors all around the world. We can't think of a better way to start the year, especially with 60 more students joining our rosters next week! So, from all of the NDG students, families, staff, and volunteers, we hope that you have a fantastic 2013.
First of all, we would like to thank all of you who have been so generous in the first days of our GlobalGiving campaign. Your giving makes an enormous difference—as you can see on the GlobalGiving website, we’re already about 10% of the way to our goal and going strong!
We also want to tell you a bit about what the money you donate can help us do. This week concludes Summer School at both of our schools, a program that has been a resounding success over the past two years. Summer vacation in Guatemalan schools normally occurs between October and December. However, we ask our children to come back for a fun-filled, yet educational month of school during November. The reason we do this is two-fold: First, it allows us to create positive associations with school for the youngest class that is experiencing school for the first time. If they love school, they are more likely to come back each day during the school year. The second, and more important reason that we run Summer School, is because so many of our families are coffee farmers. November is harvesting season, which means picking coffee from dawn to dusk, for children as well as adults. If we are able to keep most of them in school (our retention rates during summer school are very positive, around 90%), it means we are able to keep them away from the backbreaking labor that they would otherwise be doing.
Summer School has been a great success for a number of reasons. We have had wonderful volunteers from all over the world come help us run new and innovative classes for the children, from music class, to break dancing, to basketball. They have also been a huge help to our Guatemalan teachers in more traditional classes such as Reading, English, Science, and Math. Summer School has also been a success because we were able to collect enough funds to cover all of our operations. Most of this money came from individual donors like yourselves. This allowed us to purchase all the necessary supplies, pay the salaries of our Guatemalan teachers, and cover all other operational costs.
Thank you for your help. It is making a real impact on the lives of our children, and will continue to do so in the months to come.
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