Making new bonds through education
"Hello everybody my name is Laura. When I grow up I want to be an actress because I like having the camera in front of me. Maybe the next year I will enter a theater school". Laura is a former student from Colegio La Fontaine, a school we help to support through Fundación ABLE. She is 11 years old and just finished fifth grade. She is one of the children who benefit from learning one hour of English every day in an underserved community of Cali Colombia which does not have access to bilingual education because they cannot afford it. The school provides preschool and primary education to 87 children enrolled for the year 2017.
This year we decided to bring our impact to another level and reach out to the community in different ways. This is why we started an afterschool program that would provide a safe environment for primary school children (who do not attend our school) where they could expand their knowledge, invest their time positively and develop their potential. Given the situation that it is totally funded program, we started with a group of 20 children who are taking sixteen hours of English instruction and one therapy session every month. The program is being run twice a week in the afternoons when they do not have school (they attend public schools in the morning) and they have a healthy snack every time they attend. The project has been named UP English because we see the classroom as a place where we can enhance Cultural Understanding and Peace Building. Our curriculum contains units on the subjects of leadership, citizenship, peace, progress, life planning, values and critical thinking. Every week our children learn a new song related to these subjects and we play games that open an opportunity to know each other and build bridges of communication.
On March 2017, staff and students from SUNY Oneonta visited the project site where we kicked off the program by planning two English immersion days in order to motivate the children to join us. The event was a success and starting April everyone was eager to start. Unfortunately, funds were not enough to enroll all the nearly 100 children in the program and decided to start with a pilot group of twenty children. On September this year, we will start a new group of 20 more students, this time children aged 6-8. By January 2018 we will have a new group of teenagers which will make up to 60 children enrolled in the after school program. They are all very enthusiastic about it! We look forward to GlobalGiving's Rewards Bonus Day on Wednesday, July 12th when all donations will be matched at 30%!!
We encourage you to continue being a part of this story.
During class teaching handcrafts
Our children love playing games in English class
Laura Camila graduated from fifth grade last year