Last Thursday was our last day of the second trimester. Students finished up with their end of trimester exams that day. This week is semana santa which means "holy week" and there is no school. Tomorrow is a parent teacher meeting where parents will receive report cards for the students. I will admit that the returnal rate of report cards after the first trimester was quite poor... meaning that parents were supposed to sign and return report cards with students, but that did not happen with everyone. Tomorrow at the meeting we will talk to parents about the next school year and try to get a prediction of how many will send their children to the public school that will be going all day. This will give us a better idea as to whether we will focus on pre-school students or maintain the school for a larger variety of ages and level.
We had some fun activities during this trimester! We played some community bingo, learned about solar energy and made shoe box solar ovens, and filled out "About Me" pages for students to share with their sponsors. We also had some chiropractors visit who did some consultations and adjustments. And I almost forgot, we had a movie night as well. (Pictures attached)
We are looking forward to this summer when we have a higher amount of volunteers and will do an English immersion camp. We were hoping to get enough volunteers this year to have an English camp in both of the two communities where we have the schools. This is still a possibility, but for right now, the numbers are only high enough to do the camp in one community. If you are interested in volunteering for between one and six weeks between June 21st and August 2nd, please e-mail Volunteer@EsperanzaMeansHope.org. You can see more details here on our website.
Lastly, we had some visiting volunteer Virginia Tech architecture students this March. They are interested in incorporacting the construction of one of our two schools into their final year projects. We scoped out land. There is lots of land for sale in the Munoz batey area by the Dominican government. The cost is $12 US per sq. meter. We estimate that around 4,000 square meters would be ideal to build the school. Therefore, the land purchase would be $48,000. We also made a rough draft of an ideal plan for the future of these schools with the amount of students, staff, ideal schedule, etc. That is attached in this update.
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