Karen, Irene and Katherine in the exhibition
The focus in this last month of the project was placed on life goals and motivation. The teachers and students went into deep meditation and breathing to discover what they really, really want. Once their vision was clear, we practiced the process of PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Action) for them to continue with their own growth using all the Brain Education tools we have given them, and also teach the rest of the staff and students in the School. Some of the teachers already started using the methodologies in their classroom, observing the difference in their students’ attitude to learning and their level of focus. One of the students in our class has also started teaching little kids in her community. Every day, she finds a corner in the street and gathers 8-10 kids. She has really taken ownership; as she helps her community, her own energy and confidence is growing.
Last week we carried out the post-education research. The research will be published by the end of the year. Already through the raw data from the surveys and the focus groups conducted jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, we could start to see scientific proof of the positive impact of the program on the groups’ health condition and energy level, capacity to manage stress, motivation and focus. Some evidence is an increase in the average academic achievement of the class we worked with from 6 to 8 (out of 10) and a reduction of their average absenteeism from 9 students per day to 4 students per day (out of 39).
We celebrated the success of the program in an Exhibition at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It included artwork by a renowned Korean artist, Jeseok Yi, reflecting what Brain Education is and does, as well as 50 photos of the project with explanatory text capturing the essence of Brain Education. People from Government, NGOs, Universities and private sector attended the exhibition. The Director, two teachers and a student of Distrito Italia all gave powerful testimonies of their experience. And a group of children sang a Korean song we had been practicing in class called “Arirang” (literally translated as “the joy of knowing myself”), expressing the core philosophy of Brain Education. They were accompanied by student violinists from the School itself.
In the last weeks, we have set the ground for our expansion to 8 more schools in 2012 in the San Salvador area, 4 in the center and 4 in the outskirts of the city. We will also continue reinforcement education in Distrito Italia. The first reinforcement workshop will take place in November this year.
We want to thank once again all of you for making this project possible. You can be proud of pioneering with a new culture, a new way, in this vulnerable community of Tonacatepeque, El Salvador. These three months of Brain Education have changed their lives and the lives of those around them. Please keep supporting the expansion of this opportunity to more children in El Salvador!
Singing Arirang at the exhibition
Marisol giving her testimony
The violinists playing arirang
Children writing their life goal and dreams
Dahn Mu Do training
Evaluating the results in teachers
Declaring goals and purpose
With the boys
With the girls