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Sep 25, 2019

Nutrition in the Garden

Sandy teaches in the organic school garden
Sandy teaches in the organic school garden

When we teach nutrition, it’s not always in the kitchen. Last week, Sandy visited Patzilin Abaj Primary School to lead a nutrition workshop for teachers—in the school’s organic garden!

“Healthy cooking is just one facet of nutrition,” says Sandy. “We also need to know where our food comes from in order to understand how to prepare and eat healthy food.” The Patzilin Abaj school garden—established by local teens through Pueblo a Pueblo’s Youth Leadership project—is a valuable teaching tool that gives students hands-on experience with the process of growing organic vegetables from seed to harvest.

Sandy also hopes to encourage teachers to use the garden as an outdoor classroom. “Being outdoors gets students excited to learn,” she says, “so teachers have a lot to gain from incorporating the garden into their lesson plans no matter what subject they teach.”

During the workshop, Sandy led a game to model a fun way teachers can engage students in nutrition education. She assigned each teacher an element of the food system to wear on their forehead and challenged them to guess their “identity” by asking their fellow teachers questions. Some, like tomatoes and spinach, were easier to guess. But others forced the teachers to think outside the box. “Yes,” said Sandy as she laughed along with the others, “water and soil are important parts of our food system, too!” She also modeled an activity based on the "olla familiar": the Guatemalan equivalent of the food pyramid.

This kind of nutrition education addresses all three of Pueblo a Pueblo’s focus areas—health, education, and food security—which are deeply intertwined in the lives of our project partners. We seek not only to spread the word about eating healthy food but also to teach families how to grow that food in their own backyard. Thank you for believing in the power of education to build healthier communities! Your support fuels our success.

Teachers participate in a game
Teachers participate in a game
"Parts of our food system" game
"Parts of our food system" game
The "olla familiar" activity
The "olla familiar" activity

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Sep 13, 2019

When a Small Boost Makes a Big Difference

Students pose with their new athletic uniforms
Students pose with their new athletic uniforms

For many families in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala, sending a child to school gets complicated fast. When a household of five or six family members depends on an income of less than $4.00 per day, it is nearly impossible for parents to enroll even one child in school due to the laundry list of costs associated with school attendance.

For example, every public school student in Santiago Atitlán must purchase a sports uniform and shoes to wear during gym class throughout the school year. While gym clothes may seem an insignificant detail, the inability to pay for a sports uniform can prevent children in Santiago from attending and excelling in school.

At Pueblo a Pueblo, we believe that economic need should not prevent children from having the opportunity to learn. That’s why every student participating in the Primary Education Scholarships project receives a uniform and a pair of athletic shoes each year.

Last week, project manager Johanny Quiejú visited Chukmuk Primary School to deliver a brand-new uniform to each student. Once she had passed out a shirt and sweatpants to each of the sixteen students in attendance, the boys and girls tried them on. With a color-coordinated uniform in tow, each student is more prepared to take on elementary school and all its challenges—without worrying about how to pay for gym clothes.

Our Primary Education Scholarships team works hard to set students up for success, but we can’t do it without supporters like you! Thank you for believing in the power of education to transform lives and the little boosts—sometimes as simple as a gym uniform—that make a big difference along the way.

Johanny helps out
Johanny helps out
Chukmuk Primary School scholarship recipients
Chukmuk Primary School scholarship recipients
A student shows off her new uniform
A student shows off her new uniform

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Aug 23, 2019

Give the Gift of Literacy Today

Tzanchaj Primary School
Tzanchaj Primary School

On a small, rural campus on the outskirts of Santiago Atitlán, Tzanchaj Primary School serves 252 students from preschool to sixth grade. A tight-knit group of teachers, administrators, and parents are enthusiastic about making the school a better place to learn, play, and grow—and they need your help to do it!

With your help, Pueblo a Pueblo will help them build a new school library at Tzanchaj, opening up doors to new ways of teaching and learning. “The library is a dynamic learning space,” says Pathways to Literacy Project Consultant Rebeca Sosof. “It's different from a regular classroom because it gives kids more freedom to learn and play at the same time.” Rebeca wants every student at Tzanchaj to pick up a book during recess, build a robot out of Legos, or play math games on an electronic tablet. Students who have the opportunity to engage with a variety of educational activities master vital skills like reading and writing more quickly and successfully, and the library will provide space for teachers to introduce and reinforce these skills in creative ways.

Your gift to this project will provide books, educational games, and teaching materials to fill the shelves of the brand-new library. With your support, our staff will also train a brand-new librarian to catalogue the donated materials and instruct school faculty in the use of library resources—in all subject areas, even science and math! Your donation will build a space where young people will walk a pathway to literacy—perhaps the greatest gift an educator can offer.

“My teachers and I are willing to work hard to build a better school for our students," says Principal María Magdalena Damián Tziná. "We've done it before, we're doing it now, and we'll do it again." Help us equip Principal Magdalena and her team with the tools they need to build and sustain a school library in Tzanchaj. You can give young students the gift of literacy today!

Rebeca and Principal Magdalena
Rebeca and Principal Magdalena
The future site of the new Tzanchaj school library
The future site of the new Tzanchaj school library

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