After School Program Report for October-December 2012
During this quarter, our beneficiaries of the afterschool program in Zenica started their new school year, facing new challenges and opportunities. As last year, we continued again with classes held 3 (three) times a week for two hours. Classes vary based on students’ needs and they are: math, English, German, Chemistry, physics, computer and Bosnian language.
The best indicator that this project is successful can be seen in the students’ grades and their improved behavior with the start of this new school year. For example, one of our beneficiaries, a 16-year-old boy, received a D grade in English last year; however, this year he started the school year with a B. Seeing how happy and proud he was and the joy that he shared with his Afterschool instructors was well worth all the efforts that we have put towards this program. There are also a number of students with special needs and learning disabilities who still struggle with basic multiply/divisions yet they are already in 7th grade. Last year it was very hard to get them to start listening and cooperating, yet this year we can see that they are excited to come to the classroom. To assist them more, we have allocated instructors to work just with these students to give them an opportunity to learn and engage.
In November, along with the regular instructions, the volunteers also worked with the students on preparing them for the Annual Fair that included organic products, handmade designs and fresh produce. We purchased raw materials and gave our students to make picture frames, quilts, jewelry boxes, jewelry, blankets, etc. The Fair lasted for a week and the three main students who made the majority of the items made close to 300KM (approx. $200). One of these students is a 15yr old girl who just recently came to the orphanage. She was extremely shy and not very social. Including her in this Fair was so beneficial to her as she opened up and truly let her amazingly creative talents shine. They were all so ecstatic and happy to be included in this event, especially because they made some pocket money to have close to the holidays.
For December, the focus of the instructors was geared towards preparing the students for the end of the semester exams. We asked all the students to bring a letter from their teachers to show us where the students improved and where they could improve even more. Naturally, we also saw an influx of more students coming to the instructions so managing all of them and making sure to use the time most effectively was a challenge. Also, since it was the end of the school year, we wanted to reward and give them some additional entertainment. The volunteers organized a famous comedy called “Audicija” (Audition) that all the students really enjoyed. We gave acknowledgment letters to the best and the most improved students, treated them with candy and had a little party for everyone to close this school year. During the holidays, we plan to continue our program, but focused more on learning through fun and taking the students to the movies.
Greatest challenge this quarter remains lack of textbooks for the students living in orphanage. are given one book per orphanage per subject so if there are three or four students same age and in the same classroom, they have to share that one book. This becomes a difficulty when they need to study for exams, but also when they come to our afterschool program as they are all using one book. We would like to purchase few additional books that would remain a property of the program and that the students next year would be able to use them.
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