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Jun 7, 2019

Volunteer in Magical Classroom

Aula Mágica, New volunteer to the program, May 2019

Hello, my name is Gabryl Sam. I am a volunteer with Aula Mágica (Magical Classrooms). In the fall of 2017 I graduated from Northern Arizona University with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Sustainability and an emphasis in Global Sustainability. I am a Native American from the Navajo tribe. Growing up on the Navajo Nation as an indigenous person I feel the importance in helping other indigenous communities. After being in Guatemala and visiting classrooms in the rural areas I have seen first hand the importance of these classrooms. 

On two separate trips we managed to visit five different classrooms in the department of  Retalhuleu and Quiché. Some classes were held at a formal school and the others were held at a member of the community’s house. The teachers are really making an impact to better their community, they are young, bilingual in both Spanish and their indigenous language, so they can communicate with the children. After seeing the children with their smiling faces eager to learn, I knew at that point that this was something special. In Magical Classrooms, we strive to assist children with fun interactive activities that will stimulate their learning. The classes will last no longer than two hours each day, Monday through Friday. In the classrooms we use different techniques from visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning. What we focus on with the children, to name a few, is knowing their ABCs, numbers, shapes, and colors. We do this by reading to the class, singing along to music, arts & crafts, and social interactions. 

From visiting and traveling far into these rural indigenous communities, I have seen first hand the need for schools in these areas with high levels of poverty. With the lack of government support in these communities it is hard for children ages 4-6 to have a basic education before the 1st grade. Magical Classrooms assists children in the crucial time in their life to build the foundation to succeed further into their education.

 See you soon!

May 7, 2019

Amazing Activities

They all wait their turn to play with the numbers
They all wait their turn to play with the numbers

Hello! To all, It is a pleasure to write again and show you what our teachers do.

The activities you will read in this report are based on the report of one of our teachers in Santo Domingo Xenacoj, she is Gloria who is a very active and creative teacher in everything she does; as you will notice in the following activities that she did in her class.


Her children have advanced very well with the issue of numbers, for example they learned the number 7,8,9 and 10 doing the stroke, having a sequence of the following numbers and the amount they represent; they learned various activities such as the airplane game where they follow the sequence of numbers from 0 to 10. These numbers are the fundamental basis for children's learning.


As far as letters have been able to see which are the lowercase and uppercase vowels, identify the letter and make the stroke of these; with 6 year olds she performs dictations.In small groups they have worked on how to tie shoelaces since most of them have trouble doing this.

She coordinated with the health post closest to the community, to have an exhibition or talk about the care of the lungs. This was done so that families and children and their families would notice the importance of taking care of them to prevent tuberculosis; this activity was done by the day of Tuberculosis.


To celebrate the day of the water, they became aware of taking care of it and a handicraft with a balloon making a drop of water as a symbol of not spending a lot of water at home.


Finally, to make better the tracings of letters and numbers, the children made a sensory bag, this also with the aim of working fine motor skills.


These are some of the activities Gloria performs in her class, they are simple, fun and instructive for children; as you will see in the following images.


In the next report we will tell you more about what other activities are done by other teachers. Greetings to all.

With this activity Amber learned to tie the straps
With this activity Amber learned to tie the straps
Exhibition on the care of the lungs
Exhibition on the care of the lungs
They all drew their lungs and decorated them
They all drew their lungs and decorated them
For the day of the water, they did this craft
For the day of the water, they did this craft
Making traces with the sensory bag
Making traces with the sensory bag
Apr 26, 2019

WOMEN AND GIRLS IN OUR SOCIETY

Countries around the world celebrate women during the month of March with the international women’s day. However often in times the focus is too much on women and girls here. Still women’s conditions cannot be improved without an increased consciousness from men. In our centre, for the month of April, we decided to sensitize our young boys on girls and women issues and challenges.

We believe that change will only be possible if boys are taught very early the importance to respect girls and women. So we organized discussions around women’s rights and shared with the kids stories of inspiring Senegalese women. To better raise awareness on critical issues, discussions were also held to tackle issues such as consequences of early marriages or school dropouts for girls.

As boys who are already out of the French academic systems, the boys may not always be sensitive to girls education. In some areas, the place of the girl is still in the kitchen and her future is about taking care of her husband and children. Often, men do not really understand the importance of education for themselves; educating a girl cannot thus be a priority.

Changing behaviors and beliefs seems to be difficult but it is important to start talking with children very early on this issues. This can even avoid abuse between children and may help to reach new milestones in the fight against violence against women. Change is only possible if we involve men in the fight. Involving men in the fight for better conditions is important and critical.

Our second focus was to extend our coverage areas and reach more children. Talibe children do not always receive proper care, they sometimes have wounds that they hide. Such situations may put them in danger as the wounds can evolve into dangerous infections. We visited more areas to meet some of the talibe children we do not usually see. We hoped to gain their trust after discussions and then proceed with the wounds. We hope that after the discussions, the talibes children will be more conscious of the importance of their health and will decide to seek care when needed

 
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