Santa Claus visits Picaflor House!
Christmas party fun and games…
Happy New Year from everyone at Picaflor House! As mentioned in our previous report, at the end of last year, the staff and children of Picaflor House were looking forward to our annual Christmas celebrations. Christmas is an important holiday in Peru however our chocolatada (Christmas party) is the only chance to celebrate for many of the children who attend Picaflor House.
With special guests in attendance, including the man himself, Santa Claus, the children performed traditional dances, Christmas songs and poems, all of which they had been learning throughout December in classes. As well as core academic subjects (maths and literacy), Picaflor House provides the children of Oropesa with arts based subjects, such as traditional dance (an important element of Peruvian culture), music and arts and crafts. Indeed, in arts and crafts lessons (which are taught in English, to promote the use of English language in cross-curricular learning), Christmas decorations for the tree and to be worn on the day of the chocolatada were made with the help and creativity of our amazing volunteers and interim English teacher.
Speaking of English teachers…
At the start of 2018, Picaflor House welcomed a new English teacher into the fold. Diane, from the USA joins the Picaflor House staff team for six months, having taught English to immigrant adults in her home city of Portland, Maine, and as far afield as Morocco, Diane has got stuck into life in Oropesa and Cusco.
We currently have many new children attending Picaflor House for our summer holiday programme, many of whom have never had the opportunity to learn English, certainly not with a native speaker! Being able to speak English in Cusco is an extremely useful and important asset, and so Picaflor House hopes that by providing the children with this opportunity, we will be increasing the children’s chance of future employment and success in further education, should they choose a career or studies that require English.
We are very pleased to be able to report that one of our former pupils, who left Picaflor in March 2017 to attend secondary school, has won a great achievement in English at a regional level. José (not his real name) attended Picaflor House for many years and is a very bright and studious boy who is keen to learn English. As such, José took advantage of the teacher’s instruction in the classroom and advanced well whilst at Picaflor.
José took part in an English competition at his school and won. He then went on to represent his school at regional level, competing against winners from all of the state schools in the Cusco region. We were exceedingly pleased to receive the news from his mother that José won the regional competition, beating all his fellow students. He has since informed us that he was commended on his excellent pronunciation and his mother has been to Picaflor House (where her two younger children still attend) to thank us for providing him with the tools with which to learn English.
We would like to thank our staff, volunteers, supporters, and donors with their help with the English Programme.
A great start to 2018…
January to March in Peru marks the awaited summer vacation time for Peru’s students. In Peru, parents popularly put their children in summer programmes, be it so that they can learn a new skill, improve their sporting prowess or to simply get a boost to their academic skills. It is the latter that draws parents to enrol their children at Picaflor House. By providing academic and extra-curricular activities throughout not only the summer vacation but throughout the whole year, children are able to gain good results at school and get ahead of their classmates before the school year even starts!
Sign up for our summer programme began on the first working day of January and this year it proved to be extremely popular. With 65 children registering to attend from January to March within a week of the sign up period opening, the teachers and management of Picaflor House are thrilled to be able to improve the learning and quality of life of so many children this summer.
Thank you for reading and of course thank you for your continued, invaluable support. If you would like to donate, and we hope you do, please visit our page to do so!
With best wishes from, Laura, the staff and all the children at Picaflor House.
Wearing Christmas hats with our volunteer!
Some of the smallest children enjoying Christmas!