The 2013-2014 school year has started for most! In Cuesta Arena, school will be starting in September. The school year was slightly delayed due to Kendys’ daughter being sick in the hospital (please continue to pray for her recovery). Not only are we starting a new school year, but thanks to Next Community Church and Monique, the school will be opening with new and exciting things for the students to explore. In July, we brought Monique down to help Kendys transform our simple little classroom into a Montessori room. For those of you that do not know about the Montessori style of learning, it is a hands on experience where the kids are able to explore their environment. They learn life lessons such as folding, pouring, and picking up. They have centers such as math, language, culture, and tactile. The children determine their own rate of learning and experiencing by determining what they want to learn for the day and how much time they spend learning it. The program allows the teachers to have more one on one time with the students, while the other students continue learning on their own. We are excited to see how the kids like the new program!
This summer Sairy and Kendys and I also sat down to write out what our mission and vision for the school are in Cuesta Arena. We have always said we don’t care if the children leave our programs learning to read and write. It is more important that they know that God loves them and created them. Our vision states: Forming a new generation focused on personal growth with Christian values. Our mission statement reads: To be a center of education that teaches Christian education and values. Guiding the person in their reality and helping them toward the future through education. The values we hope to teach are hope, personal growth, and Christian education.
The 2013-2014 school year has 11 returning students to our preschool and 9 new students. The returning students are: Anyelina, Arap, Angel, Gilbert, Juan David, David, Miguel, Kiuni, Yhoan. The new students are: Anyelo, Julio, Rafeli, Raulin, Wendolis, Yefri, Yunior (a few names missing).
This year we will also be starting a tutoring program. Though the second floor is not quite complete, we will begin our “Sala de Tarea” or tutoring program with 15 children in the afternoons three days a week. The program will consist of homework help, reading and math help, Christian education, and health education. Kendys will run this on her own and even be available between the morning and afternoon classes for counseling with the parents. Since we were limited to only 15 students, the children must be enrolled in school in the morning (there are many that attend in the afternoon), be in grades kindergarten to 8th grade, and they could not be part of Children International (a program in the Batey that does the exact same thing and more!). We then gave preference to the family of Herman, then the children who recently graduated the preschool program, then those that lived closest to the school. We were literally full before we reached the bottom of the hill! The children in this program are Argel, Braylin, Cristian, Daniela, Estefani, Josue, Juancito, Maria de Carmen, Yordanis, Yordalis, Odaili, Orisleidy, Heidy, and Winso (one name missing). Please pray about helping to support the program (we need about $3,000) a year or our teachers’ monthly salaries (Kendys- $375, Daisy- $100).
Construction on the second floor of the school continues. As soon as I have pictures I will share them on the website and on Facebook. Please continue to pray for the ministry and what your role is in this partnership. I am getting lots of requests to set dates for next summer. We are already booked through July 2 and filling up quickly. Please contact me if you are interested in bringing a group this next summer or this next year. Please know as well that since I am back in the states (Orlando) I will be available to talk with any churches.