THANK YOU from Grandma Clara's.
2015 has been a very busy year at Educandário Creche Comunitária Sonho Vovó Clara or Grandmother Clara’s Community Creche in Mata Escura, on the outskirts of Salvador, Brazil. As we approach Christmas, we can reflect on some fantastic successes.
Our school teacher Andrea, has completed her first 2 terms of a teaching degree. Andrea was born and bred in Mata Escura and this qualification has long been her dream. She is understandably very tired, running classes at our school in the day and studying in the evening, but she is loving every minute of the course and discovering so many new ideas and techniques to use with our students. She says that every day she feels energised and more confident in front of the kids. We always thought she was fabulous, but it’s great that she is learning more and more ways to enrich her teaching. Your donations have helped fund Andrea’s course fees – and her successes not only help the children in the short term, but also give them a fantastic example and inspiration for their futures.
Another Mata Escura local who has benefited from employment at the school is Sonia, our wonderful cook – and in turn all those who study there have benefited from her incredible cooking. Your donations not only cover Sonia’s salary, but also provide 2 hot meals a day for our students, drastically improving their health and attention span in classes. This year we have expanded our fruit program to ensure that each student, and their younger and older siblings receive a piece of fresh fruit every day – with fruit to take home for the weekends and holidays. Sonia’s kitchen also underwent an overhaul this year, replacing the old cracked tiles, with new more hygienic ones and replacing some of the tired equipment to allow her to prepare food more efficiently for our growing intake. This again would not be possible without your donations.
There have also been some great successes in the classroom. Often these are gradual changes in a child’s behaviour that are difficult to articulate in a short text, but nonetheless vital to their development and future. One child in particular comes to mind – she was very withdrawn when she came to us last year – she communicated poorly, sat on her own and often refused to even attempt her school work. This year Andrea has made huge strides with her. Now when this child arrives each morning she has started greeting school staff with a hug, she has formed a solid friendship with another girl in her group and uncovered a love for drawing and craft activities. It’s been a gradual process, but the warmth, encouragement and nurturing that Andrea has shown her have paid off hugely.
We have also had lots of first time readers this term – children in Salvador start public school late, often at 7 years old – the schools are overcrowded and hours are short and erratic. If we can help our students start learning to read, write and count at age 4, 5 and 6 then we are giving them a fantastic head start – and hopefully igniting in them a passion for learning that will ensure they continue in the education system.
This week students are preparing for the annual Christmas party. They are making decorations, hanging hand made banners around the school and the older ones are helping Sonia in the kitchen. The Christmas party is always a great moment to celebrate the achievements of the year – none of which would have been possible without the support of our kind and generous supporters.
From the bottom of our hearts, THANK YOU, MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR! MUITO OBRIGADO, BOAS FESTAS E FELIZ ANO NOVO!