Fundacion Calicanto had a fun filled summer program which attended to 30 kids from the area. The one-month summer program was filled with dance, theater and circus classes, as well as guest speakers and fun-filled educational trips.Our kids visited museums, theater plays, and had wonderful guest speakers that spoke about various themes like music, art, painting and even violence prevention in their neighborhoods.
The most exciting excursion was to Panama’s National Library in Parque Omar. The four story library was built in 1942 and had never been visited by any of the kids in our program. The guided tour exposed the children to historic documents and a wide array of books from Panamanian and foreign authors. Right outside this library is the recreational park “Parque Omar,” in this park you can find a gym, swimming pool, tennis, baseball, basketball and football courts and great green field to enjoy the scenery. The kids enjoyed a picnic and then went on to play and fly kites, ending our summer program with excitement!
We had a great 2011; the kids successfully completed a year of dance and theater instruction and developed artistic skills that they were able to show their parents, teachers and friends in an end of year production. The end of year presentation consisted of a circus act, a play and impressive dance performances that left a cheering crowd.
The children also participated in an intensive tutoring program focused on reading and math, which has already helped the kids increase their math scores in school. We are all very proud of their commitment to excellence and their hard work this year.
This year 13 kids successfully finished the program and as the program is ongoing, we will keep these 13 and add at least 20 more!We are currently holding auditions and interviews for the start of the program next year so stay in touch for reports on new activities ranging from performing arts classes to educational field trips and new tutoring methods.
From Fundacion Calicanto: thank you for your support!
It has been a month and a half since Enlaces project was first posted in GlobalGiving. We started to raise funds for the program, but more important still: we started new friendships!
So this report aims to continue growing this friendship as any other would do: by getting to know us better! ...We are going to do our part, and please do yours! Send us your support also talking to your friends about us! "Friendraising" is a great way to inject energy into our project...and into this kids' lives!
One of the best gifts that GlobalGiving has given to Enlaces, is the possibility to get volunteers from HP to get to know us. The panamanian staff members of Hewlett Packard have become our dearest friends and we are so much looking forward to keep on doing things with them. Together with Nefthaly, the program coordinator and psychologist, they have launched a tutoring program on Saturdays, that focus on helping children with homework from other courses that they don't have time to finish during the week (We focus their weekdays' tutoring in Math and Language).
Our friends from SembrArte also organized a Sunday activity and together with the kids, painted a mural in one of the Santa Familia Building's walls.
The value of the month has been Empathy. It is challenging to promote this in the group when some of the kids live surrounded by negative role models. But they have attended workshops leaded by the program's psychologist to build the capacity to feel share experiences to recognize and share feelings that are being experienced by other human being in positive ways.
Dance lessons have included the use of sticks to create stories that could express the movement of their bodies and rhythm of the music in a free and spontaneous manner. The children also participated in a special class that a group of professional dancers gave them on Aerial Dance. It was amazing for them to see what this artists are able to do, and the potential that modern dance has when hard work, discipline and creativity combine in stage!
Students and teachers practice with much dedication the presentation for the end of the year, playing various scenes of real-life situations with a touch of humor. They also formed part of the recording of a TV show where they give advice to other children on how to conserve the environment. The latter presented a great challenge for them, since they needed to put into practice their projection before the cameras and good communication.
So our friends...these are some news from the Enlaces day to day, and we hope that they encourage you to keep supporting this program, helping all of us in Calicanto to shape the leaders of tomorrow!!
Thank you for your friendship!!
After attending the graduation ceremony of the CAPTA beneficiaries I was taken to Fundacion Calicanto's offices located in the Old Town (Casco Viejo) of Panama City.
Upon walking in I was slightly confused: the offices were in an old run-down school, with shaky ceiling fans and graffiti all over the walls. It looked reminiscent of a 1960's Cuban government building, or rather, what I'd imagine one to look like.
The artistic vibrance of Calicanto's office provides the playful and creative atmosphere in which the children of ENLACES are able to let their minds roam free. On the second floor of the building is a classroom, air-conditioned, with colorful walls and lots of artwork everywhere. Beside the classroom is an even more creative room in which there is a dance floor as well as the resources and supplies for the children to paint, draw, or play about. The building, to me, represents what schooling is all about. The shell of the school provides the framework in which these children can think academically and creatively, and the fun colorful walls give inspiration and make these children feel safe.
Within this environment, and using the facilities as provided by Calicanto, these kids can choose to say NO to gang violence and abusive substances found commonly within their neighborhoods. Calicanto inspires confidence and gives these children a previously unheard voice.
Safety is clearly a large component that these children have very little experience with. Coming from some of the roughest neighborhoods in Panama these children face issues that very few grown adults face in developed countries.
Calicanto provides stability to the otherwise tumultous lives of these children, and provides a safe but creative environment in which these children can experiment with the arts and culture, as well as receive after-school tuition.
These children are the leaders of tomorrow, and through giving them the right learning atmosphere Calicanto is helping shape the future of Panama.
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