After the pandemic we observed that some of the children were more easily distracted, a little more anxious and sometimes clingy. Now in post pandemic we have established better connections with the parents, working together keeping them well informed of their childs doubts or fears. We also have created more adult workshops. Consistency is so important!
Being an afterschool program our attendance can vary daily. For example, a death in a family is a loss for the whole community. The whole community attends the memorial. Our doors remain open. During a pilgrimage when half the population makes a sacred journey, our doors remain open. Rain or shine, we are open. By providing a safe and supportive environment we help in academic development, promote physical health and reduce risky behaviors to mention a few things but importantly, we create a sense of belonging.
In a small community such as San Miguel Viejo, your neighbors well being, is your well being. We thank you. With your support we continue moving forward.
Looking ahead and also reflecting back, we appreciate that, the academic life of a student is often filled with challenges and difficulties. We strive at Ojala Ninos to improve the extra curricular education to the children of San Miguel Viejo, in central Mexico.
While we improve our own standards, we expect more accountability amongst our kids. We encourage more parent involvement, which has increased along with our new adult workshops. We often have mother's working in one area and children learning or creating in another.
We offer many classes. As attendance increases, each child is finding his/her "niche". In December 475 children attended workshops and classes in tutoring, music, dance, English, art,as well as participated in soccer or gardening.
The community has at their disposal the use of computers and printer to help with homework and as a social service to the community. Learning is not just about grades but also about well-being.
What is social well-being?
"an end state in which basic human needs are met and people are able to coexist peacefully in communities with opportunities for advancement". It is a sense of belonging while valuing diversity, becoming engaged with other people in your community.
With much gratitude we appreciate your continued support as we continue to serve and build our community Center.
We wish you all a happy, healthy 2023
Even before the pandemic, our children's health and mental health was a concern. Worries about sickness, finances, lack of education and isolation, were all part of the parents and our concern. We worked to remain in contact with the families all the while improving our program. Over the past few months, as we return to a new normal we have worked to establish better connections between parents and our program. We have weekly routines, the kids know what to expect. We now have tutoring 5 days a week.
Our psycologist has met with each of our children and their mother or guardian to make them aware of the resources Ojala-Ninos has to offer, as well as facilitate workshops in Social Emotional learning.
Mexico celebrates Independence during September! That is what we strive to help our children achieve. Independence! We provide opportunities. We want them to be curious, self motivated, become critical thinkers, manage their time and be accountable.
In the state of Guanajuato where we are located, we have the second highest amount of people seeking immigration to the United States. Most families have at least one family member who sought a better life in the United States. We want to provide the children with skills and tools they need to make a life here without the need or feeling of desperation.
With your support we offer free afterschool tutoring, english clases and workshops, lunch and now a safe well- lit space for the kids to come use our resouces such as computers and printer for their formal clases and projects.
Betty Lopez, Ojala-Ninos and the community of San Miguel Viejo
We are so excited and happy to be back in person with our kids!
Studies have shown over the past two years that remote learning had a negative impact not only on childrens academic achievement but the childrens social, emotional and mental well-being as well. The shift to remote learning in our small community was full of educational inequities.
For almost two years we managed to stay in touch with our community by distributing at home activity kits. This kept us in touch but did little to help the kids with the lag in their normal education. We are happy to say the children are back in school full time and at Ojala-Ninos we are back in person guiding workshops.
English, Dance, Music and Singing are among a few. We have formed a soccer team which teaches sportsmanship, team work, strategy and technique. Futbol (soccer) is the national sport in Mexico so its only fitting we have a team. We have two energetic volunteers who come once a week with the kids.
Tutoring classes are two days a week with very committed teacher, Diana. Tutors play an important role in the learning process and often can offer the individual attention a child might not get at school. We are very lucky to have Diana on our team at Ojala. We plan to start working with a psychologist and educator to enhance the educational part of our program.
Next week we are starting a painting class, facilitated by a board member/artist and hope to create a 2023 Calendar. We have a sewing workshop and of course, what started it all, Recycled Art , in staying ecologically friendly.
We appreciate your continued support
Please Be Well
Greetings from Central Mexico,
The whole world is facing new norms. At Ojala ninos we have managed to continue with our after school program and workshops by facilitating smaller groups and using open air spaces. The children in the community of San Miguel Viejo still are only attending their formal academic classes two (2) days a week. Our afterschool programs along with our tutoring classes twice a week are helping our kids "overcome the educational lag" this pandemic has caused.
We started out the new year with the traditional celebration here in Mexico of The Three Kings, Los Tres Reyes by distributing each child a new back pack! We served hot chocolate and the Rosca de Reyes brought smiles to everyone.
Wednesday's we continue distributing our at home activity kits. On average 50 children come to pick up their activity and lunch. Other days we offer Dance and Movement, Ballet, Music, Choir, English and very important, the tutoring. We have started a garden and soon hope to have a computer literacy class.
Follow us to see the progress made on our lot where we hope to have even more activities.
We are fortunate to be in an area with many foreigners who often volunteer their time and expertise. The kids are use to visitors and are happy to share their work and participate in new workshops. That's what we do at Ojala Ninos. We offer space, guidance and opportunity.
Our team of guides are dedicated to the well being and development of the community we serve. Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.
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