January 26, 2010

Winter Vacations

After School Program Update-

The rainy season has come to Arbolito, bringing in the mud, grillos (giant crickets that fly), and heat. The change in climate has coincided with the start of school vacations (until April). At Semillas, our attendance which has been a consistent 40 children has now risen to about 80-100 everyday. With the kids out of school, we have a new sense of purpose for the program. We are becoming more academic. Instead of helping with homework, we can now make the lesson plans to help the children with reading comprehension and math. We still want to have fun with the kids, but we want them to improve their basic skills. An example is that we have written an article about Guayaquil´s soccer team, or Che Guevera and challenge our kids to read it and respond to questions. Literacy is not taken for granted here.

On a lighter note, we have really begun to fall in love with the children at Semillas. There is about a pool of 200 kids that come, and we are now very familiar with names, faces, and especially, personalities. Every Friday we have been having games and competitions that have been fun for the kids where we give out prizes. Obstacle courses, soccer competitions, relay races, and capture the flag with the kids 4-7years old is always amusing to watch. We have also had field trips, taking the kids to Downtown Guayaquil, Local parks, an Iguana Park, and Cathedral. Next Friday, we are plannign to take them to a local pool.

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