We are proud to be sending more students than ever to school on Change My Stars scholarships!
First, let me just say that summer camp this summer was better than ever! We reached more kids, engaged more volunteers and local teachers, and even took a trip to the zoo in Santo Domingo after week 5 where the theme was animals. It is already apparent that next year we will have to split into two camps - one in Padre Granero where we have had it the past two years, and one in Munoz. This summer we bussed dozens of kids from Munoz to the camp in Padre Granero, and 13 kids from Los Dominguez. Check out vidoes (made by volunteer coordinator Joanne Ng) here.
Alright, for the past few years we have had 3 kids on scholarship. This year that was upped quite a lot. Here are the 2014-2015 scholarship recipients:
Eriverto in 7th grade at Perpetuo Socorro.
Piterly in 8th grade at the Centro de Educativo Padre Granero, hopefully soon to be moved to Perpetuo Socorro.
Miguelina in 9th grade at Santa Rosa de Lima.
Freddy studying Modern Languages at the University of OyM.
Aniverca at Escuela de Educacion Especial.
Kerenchy in 7th grade at Colegio Mundo Feliz.
Engly (Jon) in 5th grade at Colegio Mundo Feliz.
Wadner in 9th grade at Perpetuo Socorro.
Naomi in 9th grade at Perpetuo Socorro.
Chinaider in 9th grade at Perpetuo Socorro.
Milena in 5th grade at Sueno de los Ninos.
Wow! That was a lot of back to school shopping! :)
We hope to run a winter Change My Stars camp but are short on volunteers at this point. If you are interested in volunteering with us in early January, check out this link.
Thank you always for your support!
Our four scholarship students are finishing up this school year strong. Miguelina Joseph passed the Pruebas Nacionales, which are a national exam after 8th grade, and will be moving on to high school in August!
This summer will be the best summer camp so far! It is our fourth year running the camp, and we have more resources than ever, and done more planning ahead. Thanks to Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, we are providing breakfast every morning for campers. We have some movie nights planned throughout the summer, and a parents' day with presentations on the last day of camp. We are also planning a trip to the zoo after the 5th week of camp where students learn about animals! We have several campers bussed in from various communities and still need support for that so if you can chip in at this time, that is what the funds will go toward. To sponsor a camper to go to the zoo, donations of $15 are sought. Sponsors will receive a picture of their camper at the zoo, along with a thank you note!
Here is a video of week 1 of camp.
It is great to see the constant growth of confidence in our scholarship recipients. Sending these students to schools where they can receive more individual attention than the public schools, where classes often have 45 students, and where discipline is often held at a much higher standard, makes such a world of difference. In simply observing their demeanor, you can see a huge difference and even in those who have been on scholarship for a few years now, this improvement just seems to continue.
Our student who is on scholarship studying Modern Languages at the university of OyM, Freddy Jean Piet, has had troubles maintaining his funding. He has to spend close to $200 US each quarter just on transportation, books, and meals on days where he has to be at school all day long. Tuition just rose a bit this quarter as well. His funding ran out as it came time to register for this quarter that just began in January, however more is scheduled to come at the end of the month, but this will only last through the end of this quarter. I was just contacted by another non-profit looking for a teacher in an area two hours away. The pay is good and they say Freddy is a good candidate, considering his documentation, language skills, and education. He plans on applying, and this would be a way that he could earn to pay his college education, rather than having to rely solely on donations, but he would have to move and transfer to a different university as well. So we'll see what happens and if he is given the job or not.
Aniverca Bien-aime was registered in August at Colegio Sueno de Los Ninos, where her brother Eriverto is on scholarship. She has cerebral palsy and at age 11, has never been to school before, but only attended our summer English camp during the summer of 2012. This school has another student with cerebral palsy and they are able to integrate him into the classroom setting, as they have no separate special education class or teacher. They thought that they would be able to do the same with Aniverca but it turned out otherwise. The first grade teacher was sad to report that she could not handle her in the classroom. She demands too much individual attention and is too undisciplined, having never been in school before. They then reflected that the other boy with cerebral palsy spent three years in a school specific for special education children before he was integrated into Sueno de los Ninos. They explained the location of the school and I visited. It is a wonderful facility, but it turns out that students are referred from a rehabilitation center. We were directed to take Aniverca there. So we did, and were sent to do evaluation after evaluation. Finally she got the okay to register. We have been given different dates to come back for the registration, but should be finishing up with that this week and getting her into this school!
We hope to have enough volunteers to execute two summer English immersion camps this year - one at each of our schools. We have a new Peace Corps volunteer and a new assistant who each are doing weekly lessons in the schools at this time, and by the time summer rolls around, should each be able to direct/coordinate a camp, along with one local teacher. We have plenty of volunteers spots open, so we hope you will consider joining us!
Thank you for your support! You are helping us make a real difference in the lives of these youth!
On August 2nd, we finished our third annual English immersion summer camp here in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. It lasted 6 weeks and this summer 55 campers participated! We added a new group for youth ages 15 to early 20s. We had cut off campers at 14 in the past, but there was an overwhelming interest of this group, so we added the group and called them Watermelons, in addition to our other 5 fruit groups.
We continued with the four stations - Story, Arts & Crafts, Songs, and Active Games. 10 volunteers, all from the US, ran the camp, in collaboration with our Haitian teachers. 5 counselors were here throughout the entire summer, which created lots of consistency, and 3 counselors were returners from last year, which strengthened our program as well.
Also, as a surprise to all of us, we moved into a new and improved building on our last week, complete with a playground!
After camp, it was time to prepare for the start of the school year. We continued our three scholarships from last year. Freddy Jean Piet enters into his second year studying Modern Languages at the University of OyM. Eriverto Osvaldo has moved onto 6th grade at Sueno de Los Ninos private school. And Miguelina Joseph graduated from 7th grade at Sueno de Los Ninos, so she moved onto a new school for 8th grade and then high school. This school, Santa Rosa de la Lima, is one of the best private schools in the city, and we are proud that she is able to attend. She is loving it so far!
Oh, I almost forgot, there was a special scholarship set up this year for Eriverto's younger sister Aniverca who has cerebral palsy and has never gone to school before this year, just one summer of summer camp. She was registered in 1st grade at Sueno de Los Ninos, but unfortunately, the teacher was unable to continue with her integrated into the class, although they do have one student with cerebral palsy, but he appears to be more accustomed to goign to school and working in a classroom. So the plan is to attempt to place her in a special education school, at least for a few years, if the special scholarship continues, and then attempt to integrate her again.
Thank you for your continued support! Together, we are truly changing lives and working for a better future.
We have to announce (although late) that we have shut down the English immersion pre-school and other English education activities that took place in the house on the street 12 de Julio in Puerto Plata. We still have the scholarship program with three students on scholarship. We created this English immersion education program in order to more practically engage foreign volunteers and also to respond to the requests of the general Puerto Plata community who had asked for English lessons from native English speakers throughout the years. The decision to shut down was based on the lack of local registrations and the high costs of the building we were renting. If we have the opportunity to start this program up again in the future, we will do so in a different part of town with a different approach, and building on top of relationships we have formed and lessons learned throughout this effort. Thank you to those of you who have sponsored a camper, a pre-school student, volunteered, or taught. It has been a blast and hopefully we can start it up again someday! In the meantime, we'll continue with the scholarships.
Thank you for your support!
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.