June 7 was a very beautiful day in Batey Libertad. The teachers and children of the learning center met to learn the story behind the book "Cat, the witches' nightmare."
We tell our students that this children's story was written by Federico Charles, born in this community. That Fede obtained a scholarship from Yspaniola thanks to his efforts when he was a student and that now he has managed to graduate from the university. One of his dreams was to write a story dedicated to the children of Batey Libertad and he was able to achieve it!
Words sent by Fede to the children: "Now, each one of you has your first book, which tells the story of a child, who was called "Gato", he is like you, a child from this community who proved to be very brave. I also want you to achieve your dreams, stay in school and keep learning every day."
Thanks to you and to each person who, with his contribution, made it possible for 43 children who are starting to read to have received a copy of this story. Now they have a reminder at home that it is possible to achieve what they set out to do.
Spring 2017: Update on New USP Selection Process and Ramon Begins Medical Internship
By Kayla Tamara Lemus | Princeton in Latin America Fellow
Yspaniola Scholar Ramon
For this April’s report update we will be highlighting stories related to our University Scholarship Program (USP). We are excited to announce that our new Local Program Coordinator, Julio Louis, a former University Scholar graduate himself, is now overseeing Yspaniola’s USP program. Julio, along with Jacob Phillips, our current Princeton in Latin America fellow, have initiated this year’s USP scholar selection process, with the goal to enroll a new scholar in the fall. In order to reinforce Yspaniola’s academic support and maintain an open line of communication, Julio and Jacob have created a list of requirements for current and new scholars in order to facilitate regular check-ins with staff members during their semester. This will not only allow students to frequently discuss their concerns regarding stress, grades, and challenging courses, but also encourages students to clearly understand their responsibilities and expectations of them as they pursue their higher education degrees. With these new additions to the USP selection process in place, Yspaniola hopes to continue to empower students to be independent scholars as they pursue higher education.
Since 2014, our University Scholarship Program has had three graduating scholars who have not only gone on to be educators, but a majority of whom have decided to return to Batey Libertad and work for Yspaniola in our Learning Center. One of our current scholars, Ramón Leonardo Sanchez, is studying medicine at La Universidad Teconológica de Santiago (UTESA). This semester he is finishing his fourth year in medical school, after which he will begin his rotational internship in Santiago this summer. Yspaniola has been able to support him as he transitions into this upcoming phase of his education by providing him with the professional clothing and medical equipment he will need for his internship experience. We wish Ramón all the best in his upcoming endeavors!
Yspaniola welcomes the New Year with revised curricula for students at the Batey Libertad Learning Center. With additional resources, including over 70 children’s books and interactive math tools, our new curricula will focus on problem solving, reading comprehension, critical thinking, and emotional intelligence targeted toward individual student needs.
Yspaniola will also be recruiting an additional teacher for the Learning Center and introducing a new and much larger space with additional classrooms, a library, and an office. All of these changes will contribute to a better learning environment for the students of the Center as they continue to improve their reading, writing, and math skills. With the help of students from the University of Rhode Island as well as community volunteers, who will be helping us clean, paint, and organize the new space, the Batey Libertad Learning Center is set to re-open at the end of January. With these changes, along with the increased consistency in attendance we’ve seen over the past two months, we are excited to welcome the students back and are enthusiastic that 2014 will be a year of success and expansion for Yspaniola!
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