Each summer since 2011, we run a summer immersion English camp, usually for six weeks. This year, that isn’t possible due to covid-19. Therefore, we have been bussing 10 kids each day to our volunteer house and “educational farm” in Muñoz.
First, the campers have a lesson with horses at our neighbor’s house. He teaches them about how to become friends with the horse and to build a trusting relationship. They get to go on a small ride around the ring.
Then, the campers walk over to the educational farm to talk about the three R’s and how to be friends with the planet. They eat some fresh fruit and also make a craft. The individual discussion about how we can use what we learn to make best decisions for the earth has been awesome!
They get to look at ants, their skin, cloth, leaves, and more objects under a microscope. They learn about the five groups of vertebrates and then find them each on the farm! After their search, they spend some time under the tamarind tree, snapping open pods and sucking the sour brown goo off of the seeds.
Everyone goes home with a sack of rice and bag of beans. We throw in some math such as, “If you give your mom this sack of 10 pounds of rice and she cooks half a pound each day, how many days will the sack last?”
Perhaps the best part is when we ask the kids which subject they have been learning about that day? It’s science. Do you like science? What kind of jobs can someone do when they study lots of science? Many report that they don’t really like studying science in school, but they really enjoy learning about it at the educational farm!
We are hoping to get each of our students sponsored this year. We’ll open up full swing when the public schools do, which has not yet been announced. In the meantime, we will continue to send lessons via whatsapp for those whose parents have smartphones with Internet.
Also in the meantime, we hope to open up the schools as drop-in centers with a few computers set up and teachers to guide. Limited kids will be allow to enter at a time. The computers will be set up for ABCMouse.com in Spanish, Code.org, and Typing.com. We will distribute reading workbooks for those who are learning to read, and math workbooks for students, depending on their levels. They will be able to drop in for help with these books. Once completed, the plan is that they’ll get a reward field trip to the educational farm! The idea is to also use field trips to reward kids for making progress on the three online programs at the center as well.
We are looking for donations of a few used, but still functioning laptops for this purpose. We can receive these laptops if shipped to Miami. We have a way to get them here from there. Please email Info@EsperanzaMeansHope.org if you have a laptop you would like to donate. And read more here if you would like to sponsor a student.