2012 was a very good year for Ocean Academy students. Your donations are truly making a positive difference in the lives of young Belizeans. High-school attendance on Caye Caulker is exceeding the rest of the nation: only 40% of high-school age students attend school across Belize while an estimated 70% attend on Caye Caulker. Your scholarship pledges and recurring donations play a huge role in this success statistic. As the student sign says in the first photo, "thank you for giving us the gift of a lifetime...our education".
If you can't escape the winter cold this year and come to Belize, then you can still meet the students through video links below:
Happy New Year from the students and staff of Caye Caulker Ocean Academy!
Students are now preparing a presentation for a Caribbean-wide Science Fair. Their project: Reducing organic waste in the village dump site through composting & gardening.
Female Leadership Club (FLC): 2nd place in National Youth Awards (Power to Women)
Every Tuesday, ten Ocean Academy girls meet as a book club to discuss personal issues such as identity, healthy lifestyles, relationships, and career dreams. This group is now also in a November Global Giving competition to join The Girl Effect Project. Click the links below, and you can read writings and see photos on the FLC' club's blog, and contribute to the girls' Global Giving November page for The Girl Effect Project.
Interact Volunteering Club: Tutoring at Primary School
This enthusiastic group of Ocean Academy students is helping younger children with their homework and reading skills, after school. The club also has a Saturday beach clean-up on their volunteer calendar this month.
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
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.
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