Kelvin and his family at the father's day party
Our fourth year as a registered secondary school has been quite a whirlwind. The school year is half way through, and we just finished midterm tests. This year we are offering tutoring for the 5th and 6th grade students from the primary school in Joconal. The kids come after school hours and get extra help with their school work from our teachers. This has been a great opportunity to develop relationships with our future students. Our hope is that the tutoring will give them the support they need and will ignite a love for learning that will continue through life. It has been wonderful watching as these students grow while supporting the primary school in Joconal.
Although some of our programs are the same as years past, we continue to improve and make changes to them, so all of our students, new and old, can grow. With that, we have another community garden this year, but this year our teachers have added a value lesson to the project, compost. Our students live in the middle of the jungle; so much of what they use is just thrown away outside their door. On earth day, our students learned how to set up recycling and compost in their homes. Afterwards, they went to other homes in the village to help families do the same. Now, they use the compost in their garden. They’ve grown quite a few radishes with the compost as you can see in the picture.
With all the planning we do, the most incredible things happen when we just aren’t expecting it. When we started the school in January 2015, we knew that each of our students was going to need some level of remediation. The two areas that we saw the most need were reading and math. For our students, math was a nightmare. They grew in reading, but most of them hated math! One of our students in particular struggled when he started school that year. Kelvin was failing most of his subjects. He wasn’t doing well, and often skipped school to earn money working with his dad. If he wasn’t going to do well in school, he might as well earn money to help his family today, right?
Karina talked with Kelvin and his father, and they decided Kelvin should stay in school. Since then, Kelvin has had regular attendance and is one of our best students. He is in 10th grade now and is taking chemistry with our senior class. We were shocked when Kelvin told us that he loves chemistry. He was nervous that it would be hard or that he wouldn’t understand, but instead, he finds it extremely interesting. He loves learning about the basis of matter, especially as it relates to medicine.
Karina asks each of our students what they want to do when they graduate, so they begin to consider the possibilities. Kelvin never knew what he wanted to do until recently. He wants to go into medicine, and become a doctor or pharmacist. Kelvin is extremely bright and will excel in this area if he continues with his dreams, but just think, this student almost dropped out! We are so grateful for all the supporters that have given to our school. It is those gifts that have allowed us to encourage Kelvin to continue. Thank you for all of your support!
Our 8th grade computer class
Radishes from the community garden