Yspaniola has had a busy and exciting start to 2013!
In January, we welcomed a group of graduate students from Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs for both a study-tour and project collaboration. The group featured several education specialists with previous experience working with Teach for America, the Peace Corps, the Millenium Village Project, and teaching around the globe. After observing classes in the Literacy Center, the SIPA Education Team worked with our local staff to develop a new curriculum to further Yspaniola's literacy initiative in the batey.
The SIPA students also held a training session for Yspaniola's local staff and volunteer tutors, including Mayra Rodriguez, an Yspaniola scholarship recipient. Throughout the training, the SIPA Education Team successfully demonstrated methods of classroom management and introduced innovative activities geared towards children at various literacy levels. Yspaniola has already begun to implement many of the strategies introduced by the Columbia students, and we are looking forward to a continued collaboration toward an effective and inclusive literacy program.
The SIPA group also traveled around the island of Yspaniola, and was accompanied on a trip to Northern Haiti by Yspaniola’s scholars Mayra and Ramon. The group observed border relations and various manufacturing and development projects near Cap Haitien, Haiti.
In February, Yspaniola enrolled an additional 30 students in the Literacy Center program, doubling previous numbers. In an educational environment in which over 98% of students fail national exams at the primary level, Yspaniola is eager to reach as many students as possible with targeted literacy interventions. All four scholars have also begun to volunteer monthly in the literacy center, serving as effective tutors and role models for Yspaniola’s youngest students.
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