Yspaniola Incorporated

Yspaniola empowers marginalized batey communities of Dominicans and Haitians in the Dominican Republic. Through university scholarships, a literacy center, and community development, we provide resources for individuals and bateys to access local networks and rise out of poverty.
Jul 21, 2015

Summer Camp with Yspaniola

Monday, July 13th marked the kick off of the fourth annual Batey Libertad Summer Camp.  Led by local youth leaders, international volunteers and Yspaniola interns, over 90 children participate in two activities per day including sports, art, theater, health, and music.  The energy in the air is palpable as the campers zoom from activity to activity ending the day with a typical Dominican lunch of chicken, beans and rice, or more colloquially called, ‘la bandera.’

 

Music is a popular activity, and one that is uniquely different from its American counterpart.  In the ‘locale,’ or local gathering place, the campers dance to music played by the local youth leaders, who sing, clap, and play the drums and guidra.  Enthusiastically, the campers pair up and practice bachata with one another, a classic Dominican dance.  Children of all ages perform the intricate steps and ‘vueltos’ with a hilarious ease in comparison to international volunteers. 

 

When the kids finally make their way to art or health, they are sufficiently tired enough to sit still for a lesson on personal hygiene in health, or a mask-making session in art.  Summer camp provides children from the batey with a perfect mix of instruction and fun.  By the end of the week, the campers have imitated animals, had their faces painted, played soccer, constructed instruments, and learned the basics of personal health care, all before a hearty meal— la bandera— for lunch!

Apr 28, 2015

Spring Reading Assessments

This February, Yspaniola staff administered Reading A-Z evaluations for all students in the Learning Center.  Reading A-Z assessments are an internationally-recognized, research-based system that provides our students and families with measurable results of the Center’s impact in literacy skills. These assessments measure the students' ability to interpret a text, critically analyze, and make inferences, while also measuring their vocabulary skills. Of a total of 47 students whom were tested in June 2014 and then again in February 2015, 72% showed improvement. Of those students, 41% progressed 2 or more reading levels with 24% progressing 3 or more levels. These assessments help Yspaniola educators develop curricula and programming informed by students' weaknesses and strengths. 

Jan 28, 2015

Student Spotlight

Martin
Martin

When Martín, 12, first came to the Learning Center in the fall of 2013, he was reading at a pre-kindergarten level, even though he was in the fifth grade. Once Martín entered the Learning Center, he became a dedicated and enthusiastic learner: he has regularly attended class and he has had two years of reading growth since September 2013. In other words, Martín spent four years in public school and did not learn how to read, but after spending seven months in our Center, with one hour a day, three days a week, he became literate. This might sound surprising, but it isn’t: Martín is a smart and clever child who, with proper support and good teaching, has exceeded and will continue to exceed expectations. 

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