We hope this report finds you well! A lot of changes for the project are coming up. We are excited to build a new classroom for the kindergarten and plan on a fundraiser to help with the building costs. We also have two volunteer teachers who are pregnant, which is very exciting! So we have been busy the past couple of months interviewing international teachers and we are happy to welcome new members to the team very soon.
2013 is going to be an exciting year! This year we are focusing on raising funds to help a non-profit bilingual school in Cobano, where by we will be donating a water tank and helping them raise funds to build three much needed classrooms.
The Mal Pais pre-school program has been very successful with many donations helping to sustain the project and we also hope to sponsor future graduates to attend the bilingual school in Cobano. We already have several students from the pre-school program who have graduated and now attend the Mal Pais School, and they are doing very well.
We are looking to organize a large fundraiser mid-year to help us on our way with this focus project. The project is still not self-sustainable, so we do welcome and appreciate all the international support from everyone at GlobalGiving. We believe this project has not only helped academically but it's also united the community and gives hope for a brighter future. Thank you for all your support.
The last few months have seen some great developments in Mal Pais, so we thank you once again for all of your generous donations, you can clearly see the difference that they make.
Back in August, the Art students of Mal Pais Public School had the opportunity to show their work in a real Art Gallery which really was fantastic and very exciting for the students. Tom and Christine of the Art and Soul/Synergy Studio organised a fundraiser for the local schools. They provided art supplies to the schools and the children created their masterpieces which were auctioned off and all proceeds were exchanged for more art supplies and divided between the local schools. The event brought the community together to celebrate the young artists and creativity in general, with good food, drinks and live music. It was such a success that the gallery has promised to make it an annual event.
Unfortunately September gave Costa Rica an earthquake of magnitude 7.6, causing structural damage to the main school house in Mal Pais and gave everyone a fright. Luckily all students and teachers were unharmed, and classes resumed a few days later, however repairs will take a lot longer!
Moving onto October, we sponsored more children for the 2013 enrolment of our pre-school program which has been expanding to meet the demands of the community and has been showing promising results in English and Spanish. Actually, the director of the local school has thanked us for making the transition to 1st grade so easy for his new students coming from the program, which is brilliant to hear.
With the rains almost behind us and the year drawing to an end, we look forward to celebrating in December with our pre-school graduates with sunshine and our second graduation party. The bilingual education project is now a complete reality and hopes to continue the good work for many more years to come.
We thank you again for helping us to make all of this possible, every single donation makes a huge difference to helping us continue our work in Mal Pais.
We are pleased to be able to share with you a recent donation report that we have received from the field, showing the extent of the difference that your donations are making - we can't thank you enough!
The ESL and Art teacher have had a huge impact on the school and the community and we will continue this program in 2013. The students have made remarkable progress not just in the English language or artistically, but also socially and emotionally. The adult evening classes are popular and the community are grateful for the opportunity to learn English, which has helped many to access the bustling tourism trade - increasing their family income and creating a higher living standard.
The school supplies and Art supplies have also been invaluable - many children had never held a paintbrush or used paint, many students were without a pencil, let alone a pencil-case - now they have the proper equipment to learn and express themselves.
Finally the infrastructural repair - this has had the most impact, the school was in a very bad state when we started the project. All roofs leaked, causing huge pools of water in the classrooms and wetting the children, the leaks also caused electrical problems with a fan sparking and a computer being blown up. The classrooms were hot and uncomfortable - we installed blinds and fans, painted the interior and built shelving units, fixed electrical and plumbing issues. The school kitchen had rats eating dry food products as there were no cupboards or shelves, the gas tank was housed in the kitchen which was very unsafe and the floor was broken cement which was a breeding ground for bacteria. We now have a very happy school cook and a hygienic kitchen for her to work in, as well as new cafeteria tables for the children to eat at. The landscaping is ongoing, branch control of hazardous trees - that have fallen on the school roof in the past as well as the grounds, also keeping the grass at a safe height as the area is popular for coral snakes.
With the school flag now flying proudly and the school freshly painted and repaired, the staff, students and community are very proud of their beautiful school in Mal Pais and the community is very grateful for all the donations and support. With ESL, Art and the new bilingual Pre-school program already up and running we can now really start making an impact in the locals life's - allowing mother's to go work and their children being offered a quality learning program that will stand them in good stead for the future.
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