Monday, June 14, 2010

Inglés para Niños

Hello long-lost blogging world! Please excuse my extended absence due to coordinating the first session of summer volunteers... Jackie has been a blogging champ and has been picking up my (big time) slack. So, a big thanks to Jack.

This week we're trying to catch everyone up on what's been going on in programs - more specifically what has been going on in programs in which the first session of summer volunteers were most involved. Today's program is... drum roll... Children's English!

Since Day 1, Children's English has been one of our most popular programs. Last fall, we split the original class into two, in order to accommodate the number of kids who wanted to be involved. Most recently (well... more like in April), we started up a 12-week course for kids at the Centro. Shawn, Jackie and I chose to extend the class from 6 weeks to 12, so that we could have more time to teach and spend less time starting fresh with new faces. Thirty kids showed up on the first day, and we soon realized we had to split the class into THREE sections! Amy, a former neighbor of Bibi and a current volunteer at a local school, offered to teach our third section. So. Currently we're looking at Jackie and Shawn co-teaching the Advanced students, Amy is with the Intermediate kids, and I am still teaching the Beginners. Needless to say, Mondays and Wednesdays are quite busy at the Centro.

Claire and Sonia helped out Shawn, Jackie and I during their 4 weeks here. It was immensely helpful (especially with my rowdy 6 and 7-year olds...) to have an extra teacher in the room keeping kids quiet, helping during partner activities, and most of all, acting out hysterical scenarios. (Trust me, the scenarios in our textbooks are super funny.)

For each of the past three summers, we've reached out to the community of San Juan - located between our house and the Centro - to teach another English review class while we have twice as many volunteers. This class is almost entirely run by the summer volunteers, which is a great opportunity to see what it takes to be in charge of a class from start to finish. First session we had a great group of volunteers teaching the San Juan kids. Sonia, Steph, Lisa, Drew, and Jen trekked over to San Juan every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 2-5pm to teach a rowdy bunch of 10 and 11-year olds in San Juan's Casa Barrial. I got to tag along with them on Tuesdays and Thursdays (thanks to Shawn for taking the Friday shift!), and watch them progress in their teaching methods and their Spanish. By the end of the four weeks, the kids had not only reviewed and retained a substantial amount of English, but had also formed bonds with the volunteers.

The summer volunteers who helped out with Children's English, both at the Centro and in San Juan, were phenomenally helpful... the continuing 8-weekers and Session 2 summer volunteers have some big shoes to fill!

Here are some pictures of the San Juan class (thanks to Sonia for donating them!):

Steph teaches the kids "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes"

Some of the kids hanging out during Recreo

The class with Sonia on her last day

The whole class!

Here's to returning to the blog world,

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