Magical Classroom

by Lets Be Ready
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Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom
Magical Classroom

We hope this letter finds you and your family well and secure. This has been a trying year for all of us in the U.S. and around the world. We are so fortunate to have the resources to protect ourselves and our loved ones.

In 2020, life has changed dramatically for the people of Guatemala, where resources are scarce. With the COVID-19 pandemic, loss of income for day laborers, and climate change resulting in two hurricanes, the marginalized communities we serve have been hard hit.

The needs and challenges are greater than ever.

 As you might know, classrooms were closed across Guatemala early in March. However, we are extremely proud that our Guatemalan staff of teachers, coordinators, and directors have successfully responded by adapting their program to home visitation, which is providing students and their parents with activities in which students can continue their academic progress, and also receive their Mathile nutritional supplements. This has been so beneficial, that we will continue to use these homework activities after we resume our regular program, to augment the classroom learning. We see the added bonus in providing resources that easily involve parents in their children's learning.

In addition, food has been distributed to those families most in need. All of the staff is receiving their entire salary for the year.

Our mission of providing pre-school education through employing local women as teachers is on track, despite the epidemic. We will be testing the children academically and taking measures of height, weight, and levels of anemia to follow their wellness. 

The plan for 2021 is to continue serving our 52 established communities with an expansion of 10 or more in Quiche.  There is a strong possibility that classrooms can resume in February. or the Spring. So as you can see, we enter 2021 a stronger and more dynamic organization.

How honored and grateful we are for your continued support! Because of you, we can continue this important work, and expand our program to reach more children and families in rural areas of Guatemala. You are helping us to positively impact the lives and futures of many, and for this we are so thankful to you. 

Thank you so much for your generosity on Giving Tuesday, from all of us at Aula Mágica. May you stay safe and healthy, and enjoy the holidays with loved ones!

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This is an opportunity to share with you the achievements and happiness felt by our Community Coordinator from Chiantla, Huehuetenango, Guatemala.

He is called Arcadio and is 38 years of age. The community where he lives is very rural and it is in one of the colder regions of the country. Recently, Arcadio achieved his university qualification for teaching at middle school level.

Arcadio has been part of our Aula Mágica since 2017, and has been responsible for coordinating and ensuring that everything runs efficiently in the Huehuetenango region.

Arcadio has shared with us his journey, which has brought him to where he is now:

‘When I was 25 years old, I returned to my studies as I had only previously studied until the third grade at primary school. I completed my primary school education through receiving distance-learning classes via the radio. I then continued my education and studied to teach at primary school level. In 2014, I went to university to study to enable me to teach at middle school level.

To study at university was an considerable struggle owing to my lack of the necessary financial resources. I had to leave my community at 5:30 in the morning and had to walk forty-five minutes in order to catch the bus and to arrive at university at 7:45am. Classes started at 8am. I only studied on Saturdays so classes finished at 6pm and I would be home at 9pm.

I want to express my appreciation to all the people who supported me throughout my studies and who made this possible. All of the effort and perseverance that I have put in has been worth it and has certainly resulted in success.

My message to all children and youths is that they continue their studies whatever their age. Education is very important, and if we study, we can change our lives for the better and become better people. If we set our own objectives and goals, we can achieve these with effort and perseverance. Anything is possible and we must dream big! We all have the ability to achieve what we want as long as we apply ourselves and fight to achieve it!

Many thanks in particular to Fred, Mrs Lili, Aula Mágica and to my family for all your support, generosity and faith in me.

Arcadio,

We are all extremely proud of Arcadio and delighted that he is part of the Aula Mágica team.

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Dear friends,

Over the past seven months, everyone at Aula Mágica, including each of our 27 Facilitators, has been working from home. During this challenging period however, the Facilitators have been using their time profitably. They have created new teaching materials and studied a great amount of material including children’s books and audio resources that will form part of our educational programme. This has been a valuable opportunity for our Facilitators to strengthen their knowledge and teaching skills, which will definitely benefit our children once we return to provide formal classroom based education to our children.

A number of weeks ago, we assessed the situation in each of the communities where we work, and fortunately, we were able to confirm that some of the communities were not affected by Covid-19. In these communities we decided to resume our education provision, taking into account the fact that Facilitators live within the same community, and ensuring that all the necessary hygiene precautions were in place: using masks, washing hands and using sanitising hand gel. The resumption of our work involved one-to-one teaching, with the Facilitators visiting each child and providing them with a lesson of at least one hour.

Unfortunately, over a period of more than seven months, our children had not been able to receive any education. The communities where we work are very rural and remote and therefore do not have access to the Internet, meaning that they are not able to study online.

Our Facilitators have now been visiting our students for five weeks, and we have received considerable support from their parents who are appreciative that their children can receive their classes. Equally, our children are delighted to be studying once again with their teacher. All of us at Aula Mágica are very happy that we can support our children during these turbulent and challenging times.

Our commitment to support our children is as strong as ever, and the plan is for our Facilitators to visit each of our children until the 18th December, 2020. This will allow us to catch up on some of the time that we have lost with our children. We know that the most important things are our children and their education.

In the communities where we work and where there have unfortunately been cases of Covid-19, our Facilitators continue working from home, creating new teaching materials and generally preparing themselves for when they will be able to provide classes to our children.

The schools in Guatemala have remained closed since March, and the Government has said that in-person classes have finished for 2020 so children will not be returning to school.

We will keep you up to date with how things progress regarding our new approach to education brought on by Covid-19.

We hope that you are keeping very well and we send you our best wishes!

 

Aula Mágica Guatemala

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Gophilanthropic and Magical Classroom

This August we again delivered food to the families of our children, thanks to the emergency fund of Gophilanthropic. In total we provided food to eighty families who were in need. All of our Facilitators and Coordinators also received food and they live across the different departments of El Quiché, Sololá, Huehuetenango and Retalhuleu.

The mothers of our children were very happy and grateful when receiving their food. This has been a great support for them as many of their husbands have been left without employment, putting their families in very difficult situations. Each of our Facilitators and Community Coordinators also expressed their delight and appreciation towards GoPhilanthropic for the food that they received. They continue working from home and creating excellent teaching resources.

At Magical Classroom we are really pleased that we have been able to support our families who all have considerable needs due to their vulnerable financial situations, and are now experiencing even more pressures due to the current pandemic. The communities are remotely located, and have always struggled to access basic health, education and other basic services. Most of the families rely on agricultural for their income, and are dependent on land owned by other landowners. Some also sell animals in the markets in their local town squares. Over recent months, due to the pandemic, families have encountered difficulties as the markets have been closed, or if they have been open, they have only been open for a few hours.  

 Many thanks to Gophilanthropic for all the valuable Support!

 

Aula Mágica Guatemala

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Chispuditos and Magical Classroom!

Chispuditos is not only a common slang term in spanish for bright students, but is also the name of a fortified corn-based drink. This drink was created by our friends at the Mathile Institute to tackle malnutrition, anaemia, as well as deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. These are all frequent diseases that affect Guatemalan children up to the age of 6 years old. The corn-based drink, Chispudito provides 21 important vitamins and minerals. Here’s their Facebook if you’d like to take a look: Chispuditos. 

Why is Chispuditos important for Magical Classroom? Easy - because when talking about young children, nutrition goes hand in hand with the brain’s development and therefore academic performance. We want our children to develop both physically and mentally, to reach their potential and to succeed. It is also been shown that Chispuditos has significantly improved the immunity of children, making them less susceptible to repeated episodes of illness.

Chispuditos has been supporting us since 2017 in the departments of Huehuetenango, Solola, El Quiche and Retalhuleu. During this year, 2020, 250 pre-school children have benefited from their support. Owing to the disruption of Covid-19, our activities have unfortunately been forced to stop in all of our Magical Classrooms. However, we have tried to ensure that our children have had uninterrupted access to Chispuditos throughout this period at their home, prepared by the mum or the person who looks after them.

We appreciate the great support that Mathile Institute provides to our program through the Chispuditos drink. It is vital that each of our children has the opportunity to benefit from drinking Chispuditos so that they can enjoy better health and be less vulnerable to falling ill.

If you would like to support our work and allow us to continue the provision of Chispuditos to our extremely grateful children, feel free to support us via our GlobalGiving page; your money would be really appreciated by us at Magical Classroom as well as the children and their families: https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/innovative-rural-preschool-led-by-guatemalan-youth/

We send warm wishes to everyone and we hope that you all keeping well.

Magical Classroom, Guatemala

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Lets Be Ready

Location: Longmont, CO - USA
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Project Leader:
Fred Zambroski
Longmont, CO United States
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