Lets Be Ready

by Lets Be Ready
Vetted
Margarita
Margarita

The following letter was sent to from a teacher to her sponsors who has supported several teachers for five years. She gets updates like this one through out the school year.

AUGUST 2016
Hello again, Marshon ...

It's good to write again and tell about our adventures and advances this month ...

We have been studying the theme of transportion and to achieve more effective learning. We visited the Naval Pacific Command of our country where children received an explanation of what they do there and some important facts about the boats. The children were able to see the inside of the boat and all the equipment it contains. It was a fun trip because at the end of our visit. We went to the beach, so that children could know" The Mar". The children were amazed and liked it so much they no longer wanted to go home.

This month we also studied plants and how to care for them. We listened to the Magic Classroom audios to learn more information. Also each child drew a plant with parts and painted them in their favorite colors. The students learned about various fruits and vegetables and the the differences between them. To finish the month, we studied the public and professional occupations that encouraged children to tell us what they want to do when they grow up. Many are quite sure what they want to be. Each child drew a picture of what they want to be on very large colored paper and decorated it, a portrait of them for the future.

We continue to strengthen our knowledge of numbers, letters, shapes and colors in every theme we study. Taking ideas that we learned in the teacher training we had in July, we are using the bottle caps or covers from carbonated water, to perform various activities such as to form figures, sequence numbers, patterns, and colors.

By the way, we are also working with each of these themes in the centers, especially in blocks, home & drama in conjunction with the imagination game, numbers and letters; and finally with the corner library, where lately many of our children love to take a book and read it alone. The students interpret images from the books, and they are expanding their vocabulary while we are reinforcing the theme of animals.

Finally, we work a lot with gross motor skills in PE class and outdoor games.

There are many things we have done, but better it is better if I show the pictures. I will write again next month, which will also have many new and varied activities ...

See you soon!!!

Margarita

Sailor
Sailor
Kids in class
Kids in class
Mothers and kids at the beach
Mothers and kids at the beach
All smiles on Mother
All smiles on Mother's Day!

It’s incredible that we’re somehow already in the fifth month of the year! Here in Guatemala, May is known as the Month of Mothers and as such a lot of importance is placed on the celebration of Mother’s Day in schools everywhere. This year we celebrated this special day in all of our classrooms on May 10th, where each teacher had students participate in different arts and crafts and other fun activities such as dances, skits and other games.

The objective of this day is to make sure that all the mothers have fun, and feel happy and proud of their children. While the kids had a great time amidst all the fun and games, they also were hard at work developing their abilities. During the arts and crafts portion of the day the children were honing his/her fine motor skills and putting their creativity abilities to work. During their dance presentation, the children showed off their balance, coordination and an ability to follow instructions and in the group skits they demonstrated an ability to get into their respective roles and act out different kinds of stories. All together it was an incredible day throughout the program!

We also were lucky enough to have a special visitor and good friend to the program drop in this month. Barbara Conboy is a university professor and speech therapist at the University of Redlands and has been bringing students down to Guatemala to observe Let’s Be Ready classrooms and students for the past few years.

This year Barabara brought down a good sized group of students whom were able to visit Cindy and Glorias’ classrooms in the community of Santo Domingo Xenacoj. They started the day off with Cindy’s class where they got to help them read the story of El Tico Tango before helping them reflect on the story and making crafts centered on the animal characters from the book. In the afternoon they went on to visit with Gloria’s group where they were met with the same level of enthusiasm from the kids as earlier in the day. Both classes loved being able show off for their special guests!

Overall, we’re more than pleased with our students’ progress thus far and are continually blown away by just how capable and intelligent they are.

As always, thank you to everyone that helps support Let’s Be Ready. We’re trying our hardest to be the best teachers possible and work together to improve the education of rural children in Guatemala.

Costumes made by students for their skits
Costumes made by students for their skits
This group went all-out with their costumes
This group went all-out with their costumes
These boys made some cards for mama
These boys made some cards for mama
One of our guests from the University of Redlands
One of our guests from the University of Redlands
Everybody got in on the day
Everybody got in on the day's arts and crafts
Shy student at a rural community classroom
Shy student at a rural community classroom

The new school year is underway with 22 teachers participating with over 250 kids being prepared for success in primary school

The school year began with a week long training session for 22 teachers. We distributed bluetooth speakers and tablets loaded with apps that the teachers are using to augment their curriculum. All of the teachers sent out emails to their sponsors telling about thier students and plans for the year.

We were fortunate to have on site evaluation from a Global Giving representative in April. The following is feedback from the visit:

Note from the In-the-Field Traveler
Fred, Nancy, and Sara were all incredible hosts and went out of their way to help me get to know Pequenos Pero Listos. I really enjoyed visiting schools around Xenacoj with Sara, and I was so impressed by all they have done to help prepare kids for long term academic success!

Recommendation for how to better use GlobalGiving
As we discussed, Let's Be Ready has some great story content (and of course visual content) that can be used in Project Reports, and they might consider altering slightly the titles of project pages to use "active" language reinforce donor impact. I noticed that they have already made it up to Superstar status! You guys rock!

Feedback on your programs
I hope that as Let's Be Ready continues to grow they can afford to take on more staff and dedicate more time to fundraising and organizational development. I would love to see them be able to provide these kinds of programs all around Guatemala!

Quote from the In-the-Field Traveler
Let's Be Ready (Pequenos Pero Listos) is truly setting the foundation for academic success in rural Guatemala. Their programs lay the groundwork for children to continue attending school while employing and empowering local teachers.

Photos from Daillen Culver's visit to Lets Be Ready are attached

Creativity with natural materials
Creativity with natural materials
Lining up for lunch
Lining up for lunch
Having a blast working with numbers!
Having a blast working with numbers!

Hi everybody! It’s been a busy start to the year, but it’s been a lot of fun so far. We’ve been working hard and diligently with our students trying to teach them in a way that’s understanding, fun and effective. Even though the number of days in the school year may seem daunting at the beginning of the year, time has flown by! Our kids have already learned a lot and are eager to continue to learn more.

In the different schools that we have, all of our teachers strive to come to class early and teach in a creative manner using our special curriculum. In regards to our “Star Book” series, each teacher works from our original activity guide, designed to get the most out of each and every book and spark a love for learning in our students. While these activities are outlined in a clear manner for the teacher to use, our teachers’ creativity is more than welcomed and often put to the test. If they think that they came up with a better activity than the one that put in the book, we want them to try it out and if it works we’ll add it to the program!

Aside from learning about numbers and insects with the help of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, or wild animals in From Head to Toes, or colors in Harold and the Purple Crayon, many of our schools have begun teaching the vowels. Our teachers also make sure that students develop their fine motor skills by either using playdough to for different hand exercises, making works of art out of balled up tissue paper, cutting with scissors and or teaching proper technique for writing and drawing. The progress is undeniable. Our kids are drawing outside of the lines less often and are more creative every day.

We’ve also spent time teaching about our bodies and the importance of taking care of ourselves. We’ve worked on discussing water and just how important it is to all of us. During the physical education portion of class, we try to hone our children’s equilibrium and overall coordination through different games and activities. We have a lot more to teach and more ideas that we’d love to discuss with you all, but we’ll save that for next month. Thank you for your support of our program and our children; they’re the future of our country.

We’d also like to give a special thank you to Dailen from Global Giving who recently came along for a visit to two of our classrooms in the communities of Los Izotes and San Antonio in Santo Domingo Xencoj. Thank you Dailen and Global Giving for your support!

Making a puzzle out of the human body
Making a puzzle out of the human body
Some children can already recognize the vowels
Some children can already recognize the vowels
Dailen from Global Giving at the Los Izotes school
Dailen from Global Giving at the Los Izotes school
During Spring Break this year, I traveled with my wife, Lisa, and two daughters to Guatemala for a family vacation and to visit the school that our family supports for the organization Lets Be Ready. We had a great  time! If you have never traveled to Guatemala- please consider it. Not only is it very inexpensive for Americans to travel there, the country is simply gorgeous with its mountains and Mayan culture. You would be hard pressed to find a prettier city than Antigua. 
 
That being said, our primary purpose was to both deliver school supplies that we collected and to pay a visit to our school in Patzicia. The teacher at our Lets Be Ready School, Nery, is fantastic. He writes us every month with an update and send pictures regarding what the students have been doing. He is making amazing progress with these rural Pre K Mayan children . We received a hero's welcome upon arrival (although I consider the Lets Be Ready staff and teachers to be the true heros!) and had fun interacting with all the students. Nery gave a short speech on the importance of the work and how grateful the community was for our donations. Next, some of the mothers gave a short talk , expressing their gratitude. Nery insisted that I offer a few word in my halting Spanish. 
 
My twin 13 year old daughters had grumbled earlier about going on a "cultural " trip, but I can assure you they thoroughly enjoyed themselves and "got it" that what they were doing was not only important for the  school but for their own personal development. 
 
 This is my  5th consecutive year to visit both Guatemala and "our" school. I look forward to the trip every year and enjoy some of the simple fundraisers we do back home to raise money. I am certain  that we (the Reed family) are   getting as much out of our trip as the Guatemalans are. If not more. 
 

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Organization Information

Lets Be Ready

Location: Longmont, CO - USA
Website: http:/​/​letsbeready.org
Project Leader:
Fred Zambroski
phoenix, Arizona United States

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