VE volunteers prepare and run a huge variety of workshops for the children we serve. These can teach life skills such as cooking, improve creativity through art and performance and boost educational attainment with anything from reading to math activities.
A recent example of a successful workshop was one carried out at an all-boys children’s home we work with. This particular institution has a lot of problems with violence and low literacy. We started our workshop with cooking, an activity the boys are always enthusiastic to participate in. We made “dirt cups” which are a sweet treat using milk, jello, chocolate cookies and gummy worms. We gathered all the boys together in a circle, and before they could eat their creations, we read the story of ‘The Hungry Caterpillar’ with them. One of the volunteers started reading it, making sure to hold the book up so all the boys could see the pictures and get involved. Some of the boys helped reading aloud certain sections. At the end of the story we asked questions about the book of varying difficulty to suit the age range of 3 to 11, handing out puddings as each boy answered correctly.
This activity was a reminder of how effective our workshops can be to get children excited about reading, listening to each other and working as a team.
This summer we are excited to start our ¡Vamos a Leer! program throughout our eight institutions. The program aims to motivate children to read more over the slow summer months and help inspire them through the stories they hear. This year we were awarded a grant from the Chilean government to help us provide even more books that the volunteers can take in to read with the younger children and to encourage the older children to read independently.
Some of the children in our program already enjoy reading but have limited resources to help further their interest, but there are also quite a few children who would never think of reading as a way to spend their free time. Through !Vamos a Leer!, we hope to change this because we know the importance of reading in terms of expanding vocabulary, increasing their reading ability and improving their overall academic performance. Our program lets children choose their own books and sets age/skill appropriate goals for finishing them. At the end of the Chilean summer, we plan to celebrate the close of the program with Carnaval, a fun outdoor event for all the children who reached their reading goals.
On November the 19th we had our last Liga of the year. A fun day filled with sports, games and silly races aimed at getting the kids more active! The children loved getting involved and trying new things such as sack races, wheelbarrow races and egg and spoon races, using ping-pong balls to avoid any egg-smashing incidents! They also appreciated the opportunity to use proper sports equipment and full-size basketball courts and soccer pitches.
After the games the children tucked into a healthy snack and had a go at a dance class, tennis and the various games such as chess and twister laid out for them. We also do fun trivia questions, this time about the sun and how to protect your skin, with all the kids winning goodie bags to take home with them!
Our September 2011 class has arrived! 14 new volunteers went through VE's ten-day orientation and are from four countries, including England, Germany, Australia and the United States. Highlights from orientation included training sessions on: how VE functions in Chile, health and safety, how to best work with children, VE’s educational programs, culture shock, a Chilean Food charla and many more.
Volunteers have already begun thinking about fun and educational projects to do with the children and with VE's Festival de Arte around the corner; we're excited to see what they come up with. Keeping our social-service institutions filled with good volunteers is extremely important to the work we do and we're so excited to have our new volunteer class! If you´re interested in volunteering check us out!
This month VE Global volunteers have been teaching English as a second language to kids through our English in Motion program. By teaching English, the program complements the Chilean school system, but our aim is to develop a child´s perseverance and curiosity for learning in an active and fun environment.
Volunteers can use materials and lessons provided by VE Global, but individual planning is encouraged. Typical English in Motion classes consist of games like treasure hunts, Simon says, Twister and other fun ways to actively learn a language.
As many of our volunteers are non-native Spanish speakers, many can relate to the difficulties of learning another language. But most also know, how exciting it is when that language starts to become easy to use. VE Global´s English in Motion program gives kids that opportunity - to put down their grammar books and find the fun in speaking in a second language.
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.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.