Number of volunteer instructors: 5
Average number of students: 32
Number of workshops held: 3 times a week for two hours
Type of classes held: Intro to Math, English, German, Bosnian, physics, chemistry, Agro & Eco math and extracarricular activities like a visit to movie theatre and a play.
During this reporting period, the instructions were geared towards helping student prepare for the end of the school year exams while also providing some fun extracurricular activities to balance the stressful period. The attendance was higher than usual as expected due to exams so this posted a bit of a problem managing all students; however, the results were very good based on students grades.
Program Activities in this quarter:
Since the month of May is full of final exams, the children at the Zenica orphanage expressed interest and need for the instructors to come more often than usual and to stay longer. The instructors agreed and made a committment to help them succeed during the exam period.
Those that came most often for the instructions and that showed the most improvement were treated to a book promotion event at the Town Library. Some of the children were there for the first time and some even said that they have never seen so many books in one place. It was a very positive experience for the children and the libarary staff who very warmly welcomed the students.
Ten best behaved children were also taken to a movie theatre on April 23 to mark the «Children's Day». The outting was filled first with a trip to ice cream shop, then a walk around the city and finally to the movies. After the movie, the children also attended a release party of the film.
On the way back to the orphanage, some of the children spotted a poster for a play «Queen of Laundy» and they expresssed interest to go see it. Adi, Program Coordinator, the next day arranged for complimentary tickets for 10 students to go see the play.
During another outting, students expressed interest to learn more about the correctional facility in Zenica where many of their peers were housed for bad behavior and criminal activites. This offered a great opportunity to speak to the students more about crime, doing good, staying in school, and appropriate behavior in school, at the orphanage and amongst their peers.
Most importantly, childrens' behavior has improved and their interest to come to our afterschool program even when they do not need so much help. We achieved this by including more fun activities and rewards for those that come and have good behavior.
A number of students have also improved their grades from Ds to Bs during the final exams in school. This showed that all the hard work during the school year has paid off. Seeing their grades improve, their interest for the program also increased.
For children attending special schools we have also geared our instructors to allocate some time for them to learn new things. One of the students was able to learn to count to 10 and now we are working with her to learn subtraction. One of the students attending special school has a great talent for drawing so we keep encouraging him to express himself more often in this way.
We also realized that some of the children have a problem with socialization; hence why we have focused in this quarter on extracurricular activities like going to a theatre, events, walks, etc to expand their outreach and interests. In addition to this, we have worked with children who show anger or intolerance towards those who do not think like them. We talk to them about proper communication, expression and tolerance. They are especially closed off to children outside of orphanage because they think that they will judge them or that they are better for having parents. This is a topic that we disucss often to help them better deal with this issue that impedes their socialization.
There are no serious challenges to report as students are showing great progress in school, interest in extracurricular activities and their behavior has drastically improved.