Children enter their new pre-K classroom.
On Monday, September 5th we reopened the Learning Center for the 2016-2017 academic year, welcomed an increased attendance of over 140 students, and celebrated the opening of our new preschool classroom! This year we decided to expand the location of our education programming to include a building dedicated exclusively to our preschool students. In order to do this, we converted the building that housed our Food Program into a preschool classroom. In the weeks leading up to our reopening, Yspaniola staff and Batey Libertad community members gathered to repaint, decorate, and furnish the new classroom with teaching materials for our preschool students. In this way, the younger children are able to benefit from a space adapted specifically to meet their needs. Now, preschool students are in a space with smaller sized chairs, tables, and colorful rugs spread around the room to provide them with a comfortable area for learning. This adjustment has allowed us to hold different classes at the same time in both our main Learning Center building and this new Preschool building providing extended classroom time for all students. This new addition has been an important step towards our ultimate goal of providing tailored educational support to students from pre-K through university, so that they may have the practical assistance needed to pursue higher education and break the cycle of poverty.
This year we are also excited to announce the newest addition to the Learning Center teacher staff: Mayra Rodriguez! Mayra Rodriguez, an Yspaniola University Scholar graduate, recently obtained a degree in Natural Sciences Education from the Universidad Tecnológica de Santiago (UTESA) in Santiago. Mayra is currently working with Classes 2, 4, and 6, comprised of elementary school and high school students. We are deeply touched that Mayra has decided to join our team as a full-time teacher, and more importantly that she has decided to return to her home for the purpose of giving back to the community she grew up in. Just as Mayra was able to graduate from university and accomplish her goal of teaching, she hopes to share her experiences with her students and inspire them to believe in the fulfillment of their dreams through hard work and the pursuit of education.
LC teacher, Ronnie, reads story to pre-K students.
Mayra Rodriguez reviews vocabulary with students.