Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria

by Programa de Educacion Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, Inc.
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria
Resilience tool for children after Hurricane Maria

We just got the numbers from our report for the 2018-2019 school year, with great results -- thanks to all our donors and allies!

The project managed to provide tutoring services in the areas of English, Spanish, Mathematics, and Science, as well as offering workshops, counseling, therapies, and recreational activities. For the Monday to Thursday extended hours, we had an attendance of of 116 participants from 77 families of the Municipality of Humacao.

63% of participants invested at least eight hours per week in mentoring activities that encouraged positive behavior, academic enrichment activities linked to multiple intelligences, sports activities and personal enrichment activities.

The Program reached out to  students and their families to help strengthen family relationships. Academic enrichment activities were offered with different learning opportunities, integrating recreational activities, sports, fine arts, technology, educational trips, plays, etc. As part of coping with the trauma of a natural disaster, children and youth participated on daily activities during the year in maintaining the school spaces clean, such as classrooms, surroundings, and interior and exterior courtyards. This activity allowed the children to become aware of the importance of keeping their school and community clean in order to live in environments that are pleasing to all and to be protagonists in the creation of the future from their own hands.

As for academic achievements:

  • 100% was promoted to the next grade level.
  • 60% of the participants demonstrated progress in the subject of Spanish
  • 53% of the participants demonstrated progress in the subject of English
  • 30% of the participants demonstrated progress in the subject of Mathematics
  • 48% of the participants demonstrated progress in the subject of Science

The children have shown improvement with better academic achievements, and also contagious enthusiasm. We have seen positive relationship developments among  the children, parents and the group of young mentors.

Again, this is only possible because of your help. So please continue to support this project so we can celebrate another successful school year. 

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The arrival of summer means it is time to measure how we are doing. We can say it has been a busy semester: our Social Work team carried out  27 individual, 5 group and 6 family interventions. The Psychology team performed 9 interventions with parents individually, 3 workshops with parents and 20 individual sessions with participants. 

Topics discussed with parents included: 

1. Promoting good mental health in our children. 

2. Managing my emotions. 

3. Preparing our Emergency Backpack before, during and after a natural disaster. 

4. How to teach resilience to our children. 

5. Identifying the location of rainwater drains in my community. 

Additional topics covered 

  1.  How to maintain rainwater drains in my community. 

2. Values. 

3. Fostering affective relationships. 

4. Fire Prevention. 

 

We have noticed that combining practical topics related to preparedness with more personal topics on emotional resilience is a good practice that allows us to address resilience in a more holistic way.

Again, thanks to all who have contributed to this effort. We look forward to taking the project to the next level. Have a happy summer!!

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Children flying their kites by the ocean
Children flying their kites by the ocean

The beginning of 2019 has been very active in the process providing resilience tools to Punta Santiago's children. Our goal is for participants to have a better understanding of what it means to take care of themselves and of each other, and how that helps them become a more resilient person and community. We want to reach as many children and families as possible before the next hurricane season, so there is a lot of work still to be done!

Some of the tools we have used:

-116 children, aged 6 to 14, have received psychosocial services related to their family situation after Hurricane Maria;

-67 families benefited from different services, including group workshops about resilience and support regarding their children's academic progress; 

-Our Social Work and Psychology Services teams have served both adults and children through individual interventions and group counseling;

-Families have engaged in community service events as an experience on how to express solidarity with their neighbors;

-Children have also enjoyed several recreational activities, like kite flying by the ocean (the same ocean that flooded their neighborhood more than a year ago); book readings; theater and others.

-Preparedness has also been a topic discussed with families and children, with visits from first responders (like the local firestation); and workshops on how to prepare an emergency backpack.

The combined effect of these tools, and other we have put in place, is that the children in our community appear to be calmer, happier, and more willing to participate in preparedness processes that are part of community life. We believe that this transformation will carry them to a better future for them, their families and Punta Santiago.

Firemen visited the community's elementary school
Firemen visited the community's elementary school
Art is one of the tools for healing and resilience
Art is one of the tools for healing and resilience
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Clowns W/O Frontiers visit to elementary school
Clowns W/O Frontiers visit to elementary school

We are happy to report our prevention programs have been very active this semester, and we have been noticing more smiles among our participants. 

Friends and allies were key in this process, by collaborating with events like the visit of Clowns Without Frontiers (they came back to Punta Santiago to visit specifically the elementary school in our neighborhood), and the recent Christmas parade and toy drive.

During the semester, we had laugh therapy sessions for parents and tutors, and workshops on managing emotions -- also for adults, as we know parents and teachers need these tools in order to teach children how to cope with life's challenges. All this happened while our social workers kept on their work with children through our programs.

We look forward to a Holiday season that our children will enjoy -- since so many of them did not have electric power and other services at home for last year's Christmas. 

Thanks to the Global Giving team and to all our donors for helping us teach local children about resilience.

We wish you a blessed 2019!

Laugh therapy for adults
Laugh therapy for adults
Christmas parade and toys delivery
Christmas parade and toys delivery
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The Perez Family - a theater experience
The Perez Family - a theater experience

There are so many experiences that can help our children and youngsters learn about emotional resilience when facing a disaster. 

The arts are particularly relevant. That is why one of our recent events was a theater piece about the Perez Family -- a family like mine or yours that faces the challenge of getting ready for a hurricane. The parents, the grandmother, a boy and a teenager made us laugh and also think about our own experience. The show was enjoyed by children and their families, who gathered at our basketball court on a Friday afternoon to watch the story and learn something about how the disaster has transformed their own families.

The students of our alternative high school also had a unique opportunity to reflect on Hurricane Maria's anniversary. They were invited by the local Center for Investigative Journalism to listen to community leaders and journalists talk about what worked and what went wrong in media coverage one year ago. After listening to panelists, students were challenged to design the newspaper cover and headlines they would have liked to see the day after Hurricane Maria. A news editor guided them in recalling the stories and the images they remembered, and stating the ones they would have preferred to see in the news as a reflection of their communities.

We continue to look into diverse and creative opportunities to teach our children about emotional resilience. Please donate to this project so we can help them grow into healthy and emotionally strong adults.

Thank you!

Students at journalism event about Hurricane Maria
Students at journalism event about Hurricane Maria
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Organization Information

Programa de Educacion Comunal de Entrega y Servicio, Inc.

Location: Humacao - Puerto Rico
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @pecesinc
Project Leader:
Nancy Madden
Punta Stgo, Puerto Rico

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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