We are very proud of our nine graduates for 2012. Since Ocean Academy opened in 2008, these students have grown with the school and helped to shape it. Now, five are headed to Muffles Junior College, one to a school in California, one has a job with Caye Caulker Belize Tourism Industry Association, and one has a job with the Caye Caulker Traffic Control Office. Congratulations Valedictorian Mercedes Requena, Saludatorian Lilly Aldana, Vote of Thanks Elizabeth Requena, Arturo Allen, Clifton Burgess, David Estrada, Estrella Jimenez, Ramon Pantin and Ramir Villanueva.
June 13, 2012 was a bonus giving day and we would like to thank you all for your generous support.
21 donors gave $2435 to Ocean Academy on June 13th. An additional $220 was donated from GlobalGiving's matching funds. Thank you. We learned two things from this fund-raising experience:
1) It is truly amazing what we can do in just one day by all working together!
2) Donating very early (actually - very late since the fundraiser starts just after midnight) is crucial in order to maximize the matching funds. You can see the full results at the link below.
Thank you very much for the donations you have already made to Ocean Academy through Global Giving. We have an opportunity to significantly increase our funding through a Global Giving Bonus Day campaign on June 13th. Donations made after 12:01 EDT will be matched 40%. We hope that you will make your next Ocean Academy donation on this day, and encourage you to talk with your friends and colleagues about the June 13th opportunity.
Our school year is drawing to a close and we would like to share some successes that were made possible through your support:
Graduation: Nine students will graduate and receive their hard-earned diplomas next week. Our next report will share the full graduation story and photos.
Tutoring Program Expands: In addition to our free after-school tutoring by teachers and volunteers, Ocean Academy students also tutor and support each other in the Peer-Tutoring Program. Rotary Interact Club members go to the primary school weekly to tutor and read to the younger children.
Textbook Rental Program: We noticed that many students were going the entire year without textbooks because the city bookstore would run out of copies, or because some families struggled with the added expense of traveling to the city and buying new textbooks. Students can now rent most of their books on campus for a fraction of the price. Your donations will buy more class sets.
Aquatic Tourism P.E.: In Scuba Diving class, six students earned Advanced certificates and one earned Open Water. Five students and an administrator certified as Reef Technicians. Other aquatic choices include Fly Fishing, Kayaking, Sailing and Windsurfing. With these skills, islander students can get top aquatics jobs right out of high school.
Your donation bought cement blocks for Classroom Expansion
Ocean Academy's student body is growing and we only have one place to go....up! Volunteer student groups from Boston, Iowa,Vermont (USA) and Alberta (Canada) spent Spring Break working alongside Belizeans to lay 1000 cement blocks for much-needed upstairs classrooms. Each cash donation, and volunteer group, advances us towards this goal of more classrooms, desks and space for our growing student body. Thank you!
Your donation created opportunities in Marine Biology
Six more island youth are now certified Advanced Scuba divers through Ocean Academy's Aquatic Tourism P.E. class. We are thankful to Belize Diving Services for volunteering their instructors and resources in order to certify students. Six senior students are enrolled in night classes to become Reef Technicians. Ocean Academy youth are training alongside tour guides, Fisheries staff, and fishermen to identify marine life and conduct scientific surveys. Course participants can specialize in invertebrates, juvenile fish, coral health, acroporids, herbivores, commercial fish, marine mammals. After certification, community technicians will be hired to conduct surveys on the local reef alongside marine biologists
Ocean Academy students are giving back to their community:
See more photos and stories at ...
School Blog: www.cayecaulkerschool.com/projects-news-and-photos-updated-daily
School Facebook page: Caye Caulker Ocean Academy
Happy Holidays and thank you so much to everyone who has shown their love this season with a donation to the students of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. There are so many heart-warming stories to share with you about how your donations are making a difference in Belizean children's lives and we thank each and every one of you for your kindness.
Family sponsors scholarships at Ocean Academy
Brenda and Rob Horn from Wisconsin have six children, and recently "adopted" two more at Caye Caulker Ocean Academy. The family will be sponsoring a full four-year scholarship for one student, and partially assisting another. Brenda and Rob emailed us after their school visit: "we had a long talk with all of our children last night. We told them the statistics that less than 40% of children go to high school, and less than 10% of Caye Caulker children graduate, and that made them very sad. We told them that we were sure as OA grows, more children will attend high school and graduate. We also explained to them the average salary of a Caye Caulker resident, and how much it costs to attend school. They asked really good questions about the salary of the teachers, the cost of electricity, lights, supplies, water etc., when they saw a picture of the school. They all agreed they were very happy our family is sponsoring and wished we could help more. This lead into another really good conversation about "wanting" something versus "needing" something. Our children really want to come to Caye Caulker someday to see the school and meet [our student]... Our visit with your school and meeting the staff and children, is already making a difference in our own home in such a positive way so thank you again!".
Ocean Academy students entertain the community with Christmas Games and Show
Ocean Academy students, teachers and volunteers worked all week to set up this year's Christmas Extravaganza on Caye Caulker. During the day, the high-schoolers ran games for the island children such as fishing pond, facepainting, bucket and dart throws, arts and crafts centre, photos with Santa and a dice and paddle game. In the evening the Ocean Academy students entertained the community with guitar, choir, dance performances as well as skits and poems, More photos can be seen on our school Facebook page (Caye Caulker Ocean Academy).
Five Jr. Science students win trip to Planetarium and Mayan Museum in Mexico
The Mexican Embassy took 100 of the best Belizean students for a trip to visit the new Planetarium and the Museum of the Mayan Culture in Chetumal, Mexico. 5 Ocean Academy students and their science teacher were selected! The aim of the trip was to expand the knowledge in astronomy and Mayan culture among Belizean students. More photos are on our school Facebook page (Caye Caulker Ocean Academy).
Our environment and planet
The school motto is "Preserving our heritage, creating our future".To celebrate the American Thanksgiving holiday, the entire student body spent the afternoon on the north side of our island to show our committment and appreciation for the environment. 62 students, 7 teachers, 1 co-founder and 3 volunteers planted zericote seedlings on the shore, mangrove seedlings in the sea, and cleared the Forest Reserve trails of dead brush. A few photos are attached to this report and more are on our Facebook page for Caye Caulker Ocean Academy.
Our student leaders
Educating also means bringing out the very best qualities and gifts within our students such as leadership. Ocean Academy students are active in a Student Leadership Council, an Interact Volunteer Club and a Girls Empowerment Club. Students leaders of today will soon become the leaders of Belize!
You! Our volunteers, donors and supporters
Hear in the students' own words how your donations and goodwill have made a difference in their lives, and inspired them to continue with their educational dreams.
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