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Plan Huerto gets underway with the planting of maiz at the schools, thanks to Mauricio. The longer-term plan is that we grow all the vegetables and herbs we need for the daily school meals as well as the eggs and the meat with Plan Pollo.
We welcome a new teacher to our staff on the ground in La Thompson. Fabiola Cornejo studies international relations at University and helps out with the small ones, voluntarily, because she wants to help the children and do her part, as a Nicaraguan.
The stark reality of life was brought to the fore recently. Two new children arrived in La Thompson, both their parents were murdered six months ago by their own brother to take the tiny inheritance their grandparents had left them. They escaped from where they lived in the mountains and moved to La Thompson, with their 18 year-old sister, and now they attend our school, albeit very traumatised. At least they are now amongst new friends and are safe.
Due to the extensive damage caused in previous rainy seasons these past few years in the communities, the children were taken out on a field-trip to learn about landslides, flooding and how to make sure they were well prepared for the imminent rainy season and what to do in emergency situations.
On Sunday 7th, the 5th Anniversary of our school in La Thompson, “Guardabarranco”, was celebrated, inviting all the parents together and talking about the advances in the children’s studies and to emphasie the need for parental help at home in their studies for a better and brighter future.
Classes have gone well in March and April, with the break for Semana Santa, with attendance still in the high 80s%.
This year, thanks to donations from RS Consulting, we have taken on Mauricio full-time to concentrate on “educación física” structured programs for the children in both La Thompson and Alexis Arguello. Apart from the usual football, he is concentrating aswell on other sports, including voleyball and baseball, as well as warm-up and down excercises, speed training and running, which the kids in Alexis shined! They are preparing for an inter-school competition in the next few weeks.
As part of Plan Identidad (our scheme to get the children and communities more familiar with their background, traditions and history) we are now including the parents more each month and including themes like family values and intra-family violence as well as traditional topics, currently talking about Rubén Darío, the Nicaraguan poet.
On 1st March, the topic was bullying in school and how this can effect children in their home lives, especially if there are cases of violence there aswell. Karla was surprised that many parents of the children didn’t even know what bullying was and they are keen to get more involved. A meal will be provided at each Plan Identidad with the parents, to push forward our plan to make education an all-family and all-community issue.
In La Thompson we have 38 children in each of the three levels of pre-school, with many new children joining in the reinforcement grades for primary. Mauricio has taken on the role of sports teacher for both schools. From colours with pre-school to “v” de vaca, vocales and times-tables being taught this month!
The new school year has started well in Alexis Arguello with 107 children; 50 in preschool, 15 in 1st, 13 in 2nd, 12 in 3rd, 5 in 4th, 4 in 5th and 8 in 6th. It all started, as ever, with a piñata! Diagnostic tests are being carried out to find out differing levels with the younger new children, with the higher grades concentrating on maths, reading comprehension and grammar. Attendance has been an excellent 87%. The full food program also continues.
Following from our last update, here is the latest photo from the Phoenix Project Nicaragua as we go Recylcing crazy! (profe Meyling-1st grade teacher / Karelia 2nd Year Scholarship Student ). Two great initiatives in one photo, from Monday 10th September, 2012, with recycling and also, of huge importance, secondary school education, thanks to scholarships earned by good attendence!
At the end of August The Phoenix Project conducted it’s monthly field trip for our students to the “Ladies Cooperative and Recyling Center” and to “El Chalet” to play football.
As our first destination was quite close to the barrio of Alexis Arguello, the La Thompson students were very excited to be picked up in the bus first, maximising their time to spend singing their favourite songs and just enjoying the adventure. We were recieved at the recycling center by Karla a leading member of the cooperative, and the kids recieved a talk about the work that goes on there, the importance of recycling and then were taken on a tour of the facilities. The kids and teachers were really inspired by this visit, so you might want to keep an eye out for future posts as the phoenix schools are getting the recycling fever.
After having their minds stimulated, it was time to get the students’ bodies moving, off to “El Chalet”, a fantastic little football pitch in the center of Esteli. We soon got 2 football games going, split between the younger and older kids, but mixed the boys and girls from both schools together. It’s been great to see the interaction between the students from La Thompson and Alexis as they get to know each other better and also just having a lot of fun playing football. Man of the match you ask? Well i’m going to choose Johanna ( grade 3, La Thompson ) for the younger kids match, she had really solid game in midfield, putting in some good tackles and not being afraid to get forward and have a pop at goal. For the older kids match, despite Karelia contributing a goal and Lester putting in a good performance between the sticks , i’m going to pick Dannier ( secondary school scholarship student, La Thompson ), he covered alot of ground throughout the match, but also provided good link up play and got the winning goal. A mix between Michael Essien and Diego Forlan one might say.
The field trips are great experience for our students who having been working so hard during the month in their classes. All the best – Phoenix Nicaragua.