Apply to Join
Oct 14, 2013

Update of Aula Magica for Fall 3013

Facilitator at Pacamache, Guatemala
Facilitator at Pacamache, Guatemala

October 12,2013

I just returned from Guatemala after a trip to meet with Guatemalan associates to plan for next year. I am happy to report that we have finished the school year with our "traditional" Let's Be Ready Program and fulfilled all of the commitments we made when accepting donations from sponsors of our 29 classroom sessions and the promises we made when we accepted grants for our Nutrition Program. 425 kids have been fed and prepared daily for success in the first grade through our program with regular classrooms and trained teachers. 

But how about the kids in the communities that are too far away for us, or the government, to reach with trained teachers?

The main purpose of the trip was to meet with an association of community radio stations in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, the center of the indigenous population and the poorest and most rural people in the country.  I came seeking Guatemalan partners for the new Aula Magica Program to translate, record and to broadcast preschool curriculum to the most rural villages, not served by Let's Be Ready, nor the Guatemalan government and not likely to be served in this decade.

Over the past 18 months, a group of Guatemalan teachers in Antigua have been writing and recording Aula Magica programs in Spanish to be broadcast into homes or played on strong mp3 players in public spaces in just such rural areas.

As of agreements made on this trip, several rural radio stations in the Highlands have begun broadcasting the first 20 of these programs in Spanish. However the greatest payoff will come when the programs are recorded in the various indigenous languages and presented to groups of 10 to 15 children gathered in a home or public space. Think of it as a group of children listening to Sesame Street like programs and guided in planned activities by a facilitator trained in their use.

The teachers in Antigua are continuing to write and record more of the programs in Spanish, expecting to have at least 30 ready by January. Meanwhile, we are continuing to look for like-minded, bilingual people in the rural areas who are willing to translate and record them into one of the 22 indigenous languages, and for literate facilitators to train in the use the program with small groups of children in 2014.

This next phase, to translate and record 30 programs in one indigenous language, and to train and monitor 6 facilitators and one control group of children, will cost $4750.

Without the preschool program in the communities we now serve in rural areas, we would expect to see a 30% failure rate for the children arriving at the first grade classroom. Instead in our original classroom programs, they have a success rate of 87% .More info at www.let'sbeready.org

Do you or anyone you know want to help us expand the Aula Magica program to the indigenous people of Guatemala using their language and relevant to their culture?

Thank you for your support in 2013.

 


Links:


Attachments:
Sep 19, 2013

Update for September

We are nearly through our most successful school year ever AND well on our way to implementing changes for 2014 that will allow us to reach hundreds of children not currently being prepared for preschool in the rural areas of Guatemala.

This year our teachers have had 28 sessions every day preparing 350 kids to be successful in the first grade. There is a new building for the classroom in Xeneco, a second session in Cero Alto and another teacher and a classroom in Colonia Juan XXIII. Our teachers gathered in Antigua in june to learn new methods, and are now utilizing techniques that are seldom seen in Guatemala. Click here to see the details

We have 3 sessions without sponsors for 2014 at a cost of $1500 each. Want to help?

We are also making progress on our innovative program of recorded curriculum for use in the very rural areas where there are no teachers. We have 20 scripts written and recorded in Spanish and are continuing to apply the learnings from testing them in our current classrooms. We have undertaken the very large step of finding partners to do the translations and recording in two indigenous languages. I met with the Guatemalans that are leading this effort before I left in August. I will be returning to Guatemala in October to meet with the library and an association of radio stations to check progress and choose more partners to expand the program next year. For more details on the progress click here.

We need help with funding the expansion to more programs, languages, and more rural areas. $2500 will get the program started in a new language area.

The program to teach the mothers the importance of nutrition and prepare meals for the kids at school is thriving.  I met with mothers who are locating more local sources for fruits, vegetables, chaya, and eggs, and are attending classes for learning how to grow, cook, and include them in their meals. Click here to learn more. We will again be applying to renew the grants from the Herrod Foundation and Feed the Dream to continue this program in 2014.

Our program is small and very simple. We find graduated but unemployed teachers and offer to put them to work in their communities as preschool teachers. Our sponsors’ donation gives them a stipend each month and provides the classroom materials. They have to find the space to hold the classes and manage all the relationships with parents and leaders in their community. They are social entrepreneurs.

Fred

Links:

May 15, 2013

Non-functioning Link

The link that takes you to the current news was not working properly. Here is one that works:

  For the latest news about what’s happening...  Click Here

Thanks again for supporting our work.

The majority of rural, poor children are ill-prepared for the first-grade.  The February 2006 World Bank report states: 30% of children in the Central American countries fail the first-grade; many drop-out at this point.  Often parents can’t read or write; many work long hours and children are cared for by older children. Over the last 6 years, there has been progress but the needs are still great.

Our program is small and very simple. We find graduated but unemployed teachers and offer to put them to work in their communities as preschool teachers. Our sponsors’ donation gives them a stipend each month and provides the classroom materials. They have to find the space to hold the classes and manage all the relationships with parents and leaders in their community. 

They are social entrepreneurs. 

 
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.