Dec 5, 2013

A smile says more than a 1000 words

A smile says more than a thousand words - I literally experienced that every day during my time working with La Esperanza Granada. Even though teaching was tough sometimes and it was hard keeping the kids under control, I always came home with a happy face on. Once the kids realize that you like working with them, they will give you so much in return.

It feels really good to know that you can actually change something in those little people's lives and you can see them appreciate it. Every day my students would say 'Hola' and 'Adiós' to me with a hug and a big smile on their faces. This picture really stays in my memory.

Chrissi - Germany

Nov 13, 2013

Eva talks about her experience

My experience working with the kids at José de la Cruz Mena has been rewarding but also sometimes a struggle. First, I had to get to know the children, see what they already knew and what not. Some of the second graders couldn't read a short sentence in a book because they didn't know the difference between the capital and the lower case letters. So I practically had to start by teaching them the alphabet and go on from there.

Eva from Germany teaching her students at José de la Cruz Mena

Building a relationship and getting to know the kids better helped a lot to know how to keep them interested and motivated. Playing games, doing puzzles or coloring was fun for the kids and for me too. By doing this, they were improving their practical skills without even knowing. And they improved a lot! Some children need to be encouraged more than others but once you see the smile on their faces when they realize that they can do it, it's a great feeling.

Never stop encouraging and supporting the kids, even if work might be hard and exhausting sometimes, because you get so much in return!

Jul 17, 2013

Vacation classes

The past week was dedicated to vacation classes instead of normal classes. Due to a break, La Esperanza Granada took advantage of the opportunity to lead reading classes, mathematics lessons and, above all, stimulate the kids and give them a will to learn.
All the volunteers and ayudantes together created groups which would be in charge of a bunch of kids for the whole week. It is at the school Pablo Antonio Cuadra that the classes took place every morning from 8am to 12am. 

The principal aim of this week was a better tutoring for each kid as the number of volunteers and ayudantes was bigger. After having mathematics in the morning, the kids worked on a story throughout the entire week. First of all, they had to imagine it and create the characters. After that, they had to write the story all together in their respective groups. On Friday morning, each group presented its story in front of the whole school. Some groups named one kid to represent them and read the story while others decided to act the story as if it was a small theater play. 

Thanks to these classes, the kids learned how to work in a group. They received special attention from the volunteers who could help them more individually to work on their difficulties. During this week, several volunteers and ayudantes could see a real progress in the kids’ proficiency and especially for one of them who, at the beginning of the week, barely knew the basics (like MA, ME, MI …) and who, on Friday morning, managed to read some sentences. 

It is exactly for this kind of things that our volunteers and ayudantes work hard every day with their classes. When such a thing happens, we realize that all the effort, patience and love with which La Esperanza Granada works are not vain.
We do believe in giving a hand up, not a handout!

Mar 30, 2013

How time flies.....

How time flies - doing updates on our website and see that we haven't written a blog since July last year.  So many things to remember, update our volunteer listings websites, keep up postings on Facebook, write a monthly newsletter, keep in touch with donors, keep in touch with sponsors etc. etc. etc.  However rest assured, we may have fallen behind on the blogging, but we haven't fallen behind on our main goal - helping improve the future for the children through education.

Here in Nicaragua life does run at a different pace.  We have so many volunteers who come, and so many who go, sometimes it is difficult to maintain the continuity of all we are trying to do.

But the continuity of working with the children is not lost.  It is right up there at the top of our page every day.  I have a note on my screensaver that I see each morning when I turn on the computer:
When a child learns to recognize the significance of letters and numbers, a gateway to the whole world opens up for them.

Never has this been more true than now with access to the internet increasing at a great rate here in Nicaragua and changing the face of communication, education and lifestyles.

So we will try to keep up the blogs, we will try to keep up the social media and all the other things, but we promise to keep up the effort to help local children learn to read and write and understand numbers.