COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia

by Fundacion ABLE
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COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia
COVID-19 emergency online education in Colombia

Dear friends and supporters,

We hope this message finds you well and healthy. Many things have happened since the last time we wrote back in March but we're glad to let you know that we are safe, our children and their families are OK and our community keeps moving towards CHANGE.

Four months ago we had to shut the school doors and move 100% to virtual teaching. It wasn't a fast change because we had to add extra training to our teachers, make sure that all of our 174 students- or most of them- had internet access at home and technological devices and also set a culture for online learning among the families. And we did it!! 

First we communicated with families using WhatsApp and Facebook because at the moment it was pretty much the only platforms that they were ready to use. Then we created student emails and trained our teachers in the use of Google Classroom and all the features of the G Suite. At the beginning we only communicated through voice calls or 2-3 student + teacher video calls and sent worksheets to be done at home.

Now we have set an ONLINE SCHEDULE to meet with our students THREE TIMES A WEEK on online classes through Google Meet. We have been doing this for over a month and it has helped tons with student motivation and engagement. They participate, talk to their classmates, get real-time feedback from their teachers and more than anything ADVANCE THEIR LEARNING! 

In spite of the good news, we have had 6% of school dropouts (which thankfully is lower the rate that has gotten up to 50% at some schools and nursery homes around us) and we have other 24 students who are experiencing learning loss whether it is for a lack of internet access and technology at home, because they are struggling students with learning disorders or have special learning conditions or simply because some families have found it difficult to deal with financial wellness plus extra study time at home withe their children.

We have had cooperation of local people and organizations through which we were able to supply 12 students with tablets and 3 students with internet connection for a year. But we need more in order to make sure that every single student in our school has ACCESS and that no DIGITAL GAP can get between them and their learning.

We thank sincerely all of our donors, both the one-time and recurring donors, who make it possible for us to invest in our children's future. 

THANK YOU!!

It is because of YOU that we can continue to MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!

We are aware that this is a global crisis and you and your communities might be living under similar circumstances so we really appreciate the fact that you take your time to read and give.

¡Muchas gracias!

Bendiciones para todxs,

Fundación ABLE

5 in 20 students have a computer at home
5 in 20 students have a computer at home
Students doing LIVE videos to share their skills
Students doing LIVE videos to share their skills
Food kits for 6k families from March to June
Food kits for 6k families from March to June
Dance class at home
Dance class at home
English class with kindergarten
English class with kindergarten
Prizes for students to keep motivated and engaged
Prizes for students to keep motivated and engaged
Class on the phone
Class on the phone
Home visits. We lent students desks to take home.
Home visits. We lent students desks to take home.
Students stop by the school to borrow books
Students stop by the school to borrow books
Online classes with international volunteers
Online classes with international volunteers
Pets are good companions for learning :)
Pets are good companions for learning :)
Students enjoy ART class
Students enjoy ART class
Gardening projects to learn at home
Gardening projects to learn at home
A smile for you :)
A smile for you :)

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Hearts and stars from first grade students
Hearts and stars from first grade students

In times of global turmoil this project report feels like a message of hope and strength to you, to us, to the GlobalGiving team and to all the children who are being affected by the crisis.

The last time we wrote was December and we were excited to tell you about the new construction project that was about to start. Well, it is now a reality! We have a second floor with three new classrooms that can turn into an auditorium and an improved kindergarten space. Thanks to this we grew 45 students this year, welcoming 174 children enrolled in the school in grades K-5. 

On February 1st we started classes with many new projects going on: music lessons, afterschool program, the inauguration of the computer lab and new partnerships for the wellbeing of our students. We share here some pictures of the different things we were able to do in this month-and-a-half period. Unfortunately last Friday we had the announcement from the government of Colombia that children wouldn’t be allowed to return to school until April 20th for now, and the possibility of extending that period if the situation worsens.(?)

We had heard before similar news from Europe and the United States but it hit us so fast it is surreal. This week the staff met and launched a plan to help children study from home. Since the population we serve is not highly trained in technology skills, we are using free, easy to use platforms that everybody knows: WhatsApp, Facebook, Youtube. Our teachers work hard everyday to plan the activities that children will do day by day and share it via WhatsApp. We also offer parents the chance to stop by the school to pick up a printed copy since most of them don’t have a computer or printer at home. By the end of the week we will send books from the library home so they can read individually for the next month. 

In the midst of it all we thank our children are safe, with loving families. We thank our teachers are healthy and that we live in a country with enough fruit and vegetables to keep us strong. We thank that in times of crisis there is always time to reinvent, discover, create… and get ready for go time later. We thank that this is forcing us to finally admit that technology is out there to help our teaching and expand children’s knowledge. We thank for the fathers, mothers and grandparents who have now the chance to become teachers. 

We would like to also announce that the Little by Little campaign starts next week! It is a great opportunity to maximize donations from unique donors and new monthly donations:

  • All eligible donations up to $50 per unique donor per organization will be matched at 50%
  • New monthly donations set up during this week will be eligible for both matches: the immediate 50% Little by Little match (up to $50) and, as long as the donation remains active for a minimum of four payments, the 100% monthly match (up to $200) https://www.globalgiving.org/march-2020-little-by-little-terms/

Can you please help us share the news and bring more people to support us, especially now that we need support to cover operational costs and keep creating strategies to help students learn from home.

We send you all our love and prayers.

Sincerely,

Lilibeydy Manrique

School director

We can see the hill from the second floor
We can see the hill from the second floor
Construction looking pretty as today
Construction looking pretty as today
Loving our wooden stairs
Loving our wooden stairs
Maria from fifth grade giving the school tour
Maria from fifth grade giving the school tour
Getting ready for painting
Getting ready for painting
Our students teaching English through stickers
Our students teaching English through stickers
PE class at the community park
PE class at the community park
International food fair in English Class
International food fair in English Class
Donations of shoes and school supplies for them
Donations of shoes and school supplies for them
Our volunteer was forced to return to the USA
Our volunteer was forced to return to the USA
Environmental project: vertical gardens
Environmental project: vertical gardens
Studying from home with the worksheets we send out
Studying from home with the worksheets we send out
Home school
Home school

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Fifth graders presenting their final project
Fifth graders presenting their final project

It's the end of a school year and we want to say THANK YOU!

It was a beautiful year full of surprises and new goals achieved. Our students had a wonderful time sharing with partner schools, welcoming new international teachers, taking swimming lessons, programming and more! We can't thank enough for all the organizations who joined us this year to amplify our impact.

On December 8th we celebrated the graduation ceremony for students in fifth grade who are now moving to middle school in other schools. We make sure they continue their education by keeping in touch with their families and by opening English courses on Saturdays for our them. They leave our school well equipped in terms of skills, knowledge and personal development. We are so proud of them! As part of their final projects, they presented a research about their community where they told the history of their neighborhood as well as thought about the main problems that surround them and ways to solve them.

We close this year with a big project that launched today! WE WILL BUILD 3 NEW CLASSROOMS FOR 2020! It is a fact that we are growing and we need to open room for more students who want to attend our school. In this new area we will have classrooms and an auditorium for our cultural activities and students meetings. We are so excited that we can't wait to write again and share what the new spaces look like! We also want to acknowledge that thanks to your support we were able to fund 30% of this construction project. 

If you want to support us and spread the word in this time of the year we would really appreciate it. Up to December 31st, Global Giving's Year-End Campaign has Bonus Prizes totaling $12,000. There are many incentives such as Matching funds to 100% to new monthly donations, prizes for projects with the most unique donors, and more. Please tell your friends and family, all of our students will be thankful.

We wish for you a wonderful time of the year, surrounded by loved ones and receiving blessings from above. Have a great 2020 and let's keep making the world a better place for all!

¡Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo!

Familia ABLE- La Fontaine

Girl power
Girl power
Farewell party
Farewell party
Students from partner school give presents to Gabi
Students from partner school give presents to Gabi
3 new classrooms for year 2020
3 new classrooms for year 2020
Construction starts to welcome 170 children in2020
Construction starts to welcome 170 children in2020
Graduation ceremony- Fifth grade
Graduation ceremony- Fifth grade
We wore our pijamas on the last day of school
We wore our pijamas on the last day of school
Goodbye to teacher Jasmin from Germany
Goodbye to teacher Jasmin from Germany
Thanksgiving day with partner school- Kindergarten
Thanksgiving day with partner school- Kindergarten
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Kindergarten students singing
Kindergarten students singing

With an attendance of over 200 family members and 2-hour show we celebrated English Day!

Every year we gather along with families, students, teachers and sponsors to celebrate English Day. During the event our children share their progress in the language and also prove their creative skills through dancing, acting and singing. Families participate in the planning as they design and make their child's outfit for the big show. We had fish, elephants, food and many more costumes. 

Teacher Katie, one of our international volunteers helped prepare students with their songs and plays.

Some of the main achievements with English Day are:

- COLLABORATION: Students develop team-work skills as they collaborate to put together their show. For example, Fifth grade did Romeo and Juliet. The girl who played Juliet did not want to share the stage with Romeo at the beginning because they had had some conflict in the past but during the rehearsals they came closer, had fun and had an opportunity to rebuild their friendship.

- CREATIVITY: The process of making their own costumes helps students and families to bring out their creative skills and the result is just gorgeous! Moreover, students gain confidence when they go on the stage to face their fears to speak or dance or sing in public.

- CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING: While students prepare for the show they study the different contexts in which that story or song takes place. Second grade learned about healthy food and how precious our Colombian fruits are! Fourth grade reminded everyone of the importance of friendship thorugh the song "Count on me" and fifth graders taught their families about the important author William Shakespeare. These are just examples of how English helps promote cultural understanding among children and their families.

Finally, we would like to share that the school was donated software for 20 computers in order to support the teaching of English with technology. The students will be using the software February next year.

We want to thank you again for believing and supporting this mission that brings not only quality education but also EQUITY, making it possible for low-income families to have access to English language learning which in the past had been a priviledge of the rich.

¡MUCHAS GRACIAS!

Fundación ABLE

Juan Pablo from third grade wearing a Kimono
Juan Pablo from third grade wearing a Kimono
Kindergarten students dancing to the rhythm
Kindergarten students dancing to the rhythm
I have a pet, it is a dog. Pitufa joined us today!
I have a pet, it is a dog. Pitufa joined us today!
Our big audience
Our big audience
Count on me by fourth grade
Count on me by fourth grade
Our superheroes from third grade
Our superheroes from third grade
Little Red Riding Hood- 2nd grade
Little Red Riding Hood- 2nd grade
Food song
Food song
B I N G O
B I N G O
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Final show with BABY SHARK!
Final show with BABY SHARK!

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David Mobley, cofounder of Mango Languages
David Mobley, cofounder of Mango Languages

Dear friends,

We would like to start today with a big THANK YOU! It is because of people like you that we are able to maximixe our impact for the benefit of our children and youth.

This term we launched a new project to develop skills in leadership, entrepreneurship and English with 24 senior students from a public school in our community. We all know that at this stage in life many young people wonder what their future will look like given the fact that they don't have the best academic or professional opportunities. Matter of fact, only 2,2% of youth in our community can complete a college degree and many just take on a job after finishing high school.

In order to carry out this pilot project, we invited 24 students (selected out of 300) who demonstrated a will to learn English and who want to be involved in leadership roles in the community. Some of them are artists and the others are very talented as well but have no clues on what path to choose for a career. That is when Fundación ABLE helps them envision a future and develop skills they will need to excel in life. These skills involve leadership, entrepreneurship, communication, public speaking, emotional literacy and English. Throughout the program they get to reflect on their community's strengths first and then come up with ideas on how they can contribute to the progress and development of their neighborhood or city. We also invite guest speakers from all over the city who share their story and make connections with our students. Moreover, in partnership with Mango Languages, a mobile App company, our students can learn English independently.

In the future, this program might evolve into an opportunity to create a tourism industry in our community where young people can be part-time self-employed while pursuing their university degree. Right now they are already volunteering as tour guides for tourists in the stations of the community's cable car.

On the other hand, by the end of June we had the Global Giving site visit by Viktorija Noreikaite. She got to be present at our school facilities, learn from our programs and hear our story. We also took a ride through our neighborhood in the cable car. It was fantastic! You will be able to read her visit report soon.

Last but not least we want to call your attention on the Little by Little Matching Campaign which starts on August 12 and ends on Friday August 16 at 23:59 ET. This campaign will match donations up to $50 at 50% with $60,000 in matching funds and $8,000 in bonus prizes. So if you can contribute during this week it will be really awesome! Remember the African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

So... we're all in this together!

Muchas gracias

Yours truly,

Lilibeydy

Global Giving site visit in the Siloe cable car
Global Giving site visit in the Siloe cable car
Ikigai reflection: "the reason for being"
Ikigai reflection: "the reason for being"
We see potential in their eyes
We see potential in their eyes
Global Giving visiting our school
Global Giving visiting our school
Opening opportunities to volunteer as tour guides
Opening opportunities to volunteer as tour guides
Creating strong links to grow together
Creating strong links to grow together

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Organization Information

Fundacion ABLE

Location: Cali - Colombia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @lafontainecali
Project Leader:
Lilibeydy Manrique
Cali, Colombia
$20,214 raised of $40,000 goal
 
295 donations
$19,786 to go
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