Lets Be Ready

Our mission is to use unemployed youth in Guatemala to prepare at-risk Guatemalan children for the first-grade by establishing preschool classrooms and training the teachers. Our vision is to help break the cycle of poverty in Guatemala by reducing the high rate of drop-out and repetition of children in the first-grade while giving jobs to an underutilized portion of the population, young men and women. Our goal is to have none of our students fail the first grade and to advance the teachers as productive members and leaders in their communities.
Aug 31, 2016

Latest Report from the Field

Margarita
Margarita

The following letter was sent to from a teacher to her sponsors who has supported several teachers for five years. She gets updates like this one through out the school year.

AUGUST 2016
Hello again, Marshon ...

It's good to write again and tell about our adventures and advances this month ...

We have been studying the theme of transportion and to achieve more effective learning. We visited the Naval Pacific Command of our country where children received an explanation of what they do there and some important facts about the boats. The children were able to see the inside of the boat and all the equipment it contains. It was a fun trip because at the end of our visit. We went to the beach, so that children could know" The Mar". The children were amazed and liked it so much they no longer wanted to go home.

This month we also studied plants and how to care for them. We listened to the Magic Classroom audios to learn more information. Also each child drew a plant with parts and painted them in their favorite colors. The students learned about various fruits and vegetables and the the differences between them. To finish the month, we studied the public and professional occupations that encouraged children to tell us what they want to do when they grow up. Many are quite sure what they want to be. Each child drew a picture of what they want to be on very large colored paper and decorated it, a portrait of them for the future.

We continue to strengthen our knowledge of numbers, letters, shapes and colors in every theme we study. Taking ideas that we learned in the teacher training we had in July, we are using the bottle caps or covers from carbonated water, to perform various activities such as to form figures, sequence numbers, patterns, and colors.

By the way, we are also working with each of these themes in the centers, especially in blocks, home & drama in conjunction with the imagination game, numbers and letters; and finally with the corner library, where lately many of our children love to take a book and read it alone. The students interpret images from the books, and they are expanding their vocabulary while we are reinforcing the theme of animals.

Finally, we work a lot with gross motor skills in PE class and outdoor games.

There are many things we have done, but better it is better if I show the pictures. I will write again next month, which will also have many new and varied activities ...

See you soon!!!

Margarita

Sailor
Sailor
Kids in class
Kids in class
Mothers and kids at the beach
Mothers and kids at the beach
Jul 8, 2016

From Starfish to Star Teacher: Chonita's Story

Everybody is all smiles in Chonita
Everybody is all smiles in Chonita's classroom

Last June, I had the opportunity to check up on and visit with all of our facilitators in their respective hometowns and was blown away with their collective progress. Even though many of these exceptional youth had just a few months of teaching experience under their belts, each and every one of them has made tremendous strides that exceeded even my wildest expectations. While the group as a whole shone brightly, there is one particular facilitator whose experience I’d like to share with you all this month.

Concepción or as we affectionately call her around here, Chonita, is a new addition to the program by way of our recent partnership with the outstanding organization of Starfish One by One, based out of the Sololá department near Lake Atitlán. Our partnership with Starfish was something that had our whole staff excited due to the fact that Starfish provides outstanding and comprehensive programs to help empower young women and give them the tools and confidence necessary to lead transformational change in their communities. Starfish found itself churning out amazingly perseverant and intelligent graduates, but needed help finding reputable internship and employment opportunities to help bolster their graduates’ résumés. After having crossed paths in the past and remained in contact, the leadership teams of both organizations came up with the idea of giving these young women the chance to serve as program facilitators for Magical Classroom to help satisfy their internship requirement. This is all one long explanation as to how Chonita came to join our team.

I had a limited number of interactions with Chonita back in our training in March, but from what I can recall, she was quite reserved yet still exuded a certain sense of confidence that put me at ease at the time. She is one of a handful of our facilitators that with teaching certificate, which has likely helped her find her voice in the classroom. And after my recent visit to her community of Tzancháj 2 in Santiago Atitlán, I can confidently say that she has definitely found her voice!

With 19 regularly-attending students, Chonita’s classroom could easily devolve into chaos if she were not such a prepared and diligent teacher. She has improbably managed to strike the perfect balance between maintaining order amongst her rambunctious students without stifling their creativity or excitement; she manages to follow our guided program to a tee, yet is more than content with improvising and letting her students spend a little bit longer on a particular activity. Chonita has done such a great job with her group of students that the principal of the school has lent her additional supplies and learning materials to help beef up her classes, and perhaps most impressively, has asked her to extend her classes from our program-mandated two hours to four hours a day. Given that she has long dreamed of having her own classroom and feels good about being able to be part of a positive change in her very own community, Chonita happily agreed to help the principal on a voluntary basis. During this particular visit, I was accompanied by Dolores, a fellow Starfish graduate from a nearby town in Santiago hoping to join Magical Classroom in the next few days. That afternoon we both walked away floored by Chonita’s growth and more than appreciative that Dolores would have such a great example to learn from in the coming months.

Please consider making a donation today to help us find support Chonita, Dolores and the other young women out there hoping to make an impact in their communities through Magical Classroom.
To learn more about Starfish One by One, check out their website here: http://starfish-impact.org/

Some more students happy at work
Some more students happy at work
Sharing with Dolores what her experience has meant
Sharing with Dolores what her experience has meant
Chonita has incredible patience with her kids
Chonita has incredible patience with her kids
Two Starfish setting out to make a difference
Two Starfish setting out to make a difference

Links:

Jun 9, 2016

Some love for mama and a special visit

All smiles on Mother
All smiles on Mother's Day!

It’s incredible that we’re somehow already in the fifth month of the year! Here in Guatemala, May is known as the Month of Mothers and as such a lot of importance is placed on the celebration of Mother’s Day in schools everywhere. This year we celebrated this special day in all of our classrooms on May 10th, where each teacher had students participate in different arts and crafts and other fun activities such as dances, skits and other games.

The objective of this day is to make sure that all the mothers have fun, and feel happy and proud of their children. While the kids had a great time amidst all the fun and games, they also were hard at work developing their abilities. During the arts and crafts portion of the day the children were honing his/her fine motor skills and putting their creativity abilities to work. During their dance presentation, the children showed off their balance, coordination and an ability to follow instructions and in the group skits they demonstrated an ability to get into their respective roles and act out different kinds of stories. All together it was an incredible day throughout the program!

We also were lucky enough to have a special visitor and good friend to the program drop in this month. Barbara Conboy is a university professor and speech therapist at the University of Redlands and has been bringing students down to Guatemala to observe Let’s Be Ready classrooms and students for the past few years.

This year Barabara brought down a good sized group of students whom were able to visit Cindy and Glorias’ classrooms in the community of Santo Domingo Xenacoj. They started the day off with Cindy’s class where they got to help them read the story of El Tico Tango before helping them reflect on the story and making crafts centered on the animal characters from the book. In the afternoon they went on to visit with Gloria’s group where they were met with the same level of enthusiasm from the kids as earlier in the day. Both classes loved being able show off for their special guests!

Overall, we’re more than pleased with our students’ progress thus far and are continually blown away by just how capable and intelligent they are.

As always, thank you to everyone that helps support Let’s Be Ready. We’re trying our hardest to be the best teachers possible and work together to improve the education of rural children in Guatemala.

Costumes made by students for their skits
Costumes made by students for their skits
This group went all-out with their costumes
This group went all-out with their costumes
These boys made some cards for mama
These boys made some cards for mama
One of our guests from the University of Redlands
One of our guests from the University of Redlands
Everybody got in on the day
Everybody got in on the day's arts and crafts
 
   

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $10
    give
  • $12
    give
  • $300
    give
  • $1,500
    give
  • $3,000
    give
  • $10
    each month
    give
  • $12
    each month
    give
  • $300
    each month
    give
  • $1,500
    each month
    give
  • $3,000
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Lets Be Ready

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Lets Be Ready on GreatNonProfits.org.
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.