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BPP Preschool Toy Drive a Huge Success!

A couple of weeks before Christmas I reached out to friends, family and In Nica Now fans and followers for some help.  I asked people to purchase gifts for the Barrio Planta Project Preschool. (To view my original post click here.)

Donations immediately started pouring in.

I was – and still am – blown away.

Thirty people donated a total of $912.

Yes, that’s right, $912!  

We also received gift donations from an additional nine people.

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– Coloring books, crayons, princess dresses, play-doh, sidewalk chalk, scissors and glue. You name it BPP Preschool now has it!

With the money collected and gifts received we not only have enough coloring books, crayons, toys, games, puzzles and arts & craft supplies to sustain the preschool program for a year, we were also able to allocate $200 for supplies for some of the other programs at BPP.

Preschool classes were not in session when my sister, my Dad and I delivered everything to the school, but fortunately there were a few older students around who snuck out of class to help us unpack everything and share in our excitement. 

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– I’m not sure who was more excited the kids or us!

The children had huge smiles on their faces as we unpacked two large suitcases.

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– My Dad really enjoyed helping out with the delivery and organization of the toys and supplies.

They were wide eyed with excitement as they tried to make a decision on what to play with first. I kept hearing the words “Wow!” and “Mira! Mira!” [“Look! Look!”].

We colored for a bit, tried on a few of the costumes and we even had time for a tea party.

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– We now have coloring books for everyone!

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– And we even have dress up costumes for the boys!

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

The  girls really enjoyed the dolls and boys loved the plastic animals and dinky cars.

Barrio Planta Project Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– Huge thanks to my sister Sally for shopping for me and transporting the “goods” from Calgary, Alberta here to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua. I couldn’t have done this without you!

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– My sister Sally and I enjoyed the Tea Party!

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

Thanks to the generosity of donors from Canada, the United States and Nicaragua Barrio Planta Project Preschool program can now operate like a typical North American preschool.

I look forward to visiting the preschool kids next week once classes resume on the 19th. And I can’t wait to play a game of Snakes & Ladders!

BPP Preschool Program Toy Drive a Huge Success!

– From the bottom my heart THANK YOU!  Thank you SOOOOOOOO MUCH!

To learn more about Barrio Planta Project and how you can help make a difference in the life of a child in Nicaragua check out the official Barrio Planta Project website by clicking here.

BPP Preschool Program Wish List

This blog post was updated on December 13, 2012

It has been brought to my attention that some items on the Amazon Wish List are very costly to ship.  In order to maximize everyone’s dollars I’d like to suggest all donations moving forward are made in cash via Email Money Transfer or PayPal.  

My sister has already started purchasing some of the items on the list at Walmart and Toys R Us in Calgary. We definitely want to support the local economy, therefore items we can actually get here, will be purchased here.

We’ve received a a great response so far and look forward to even more donations coming in.  

Thank you so very much for your generosity and support and making a difference in the lives so many special children here in Nicaragua!

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Most North American kids I know have more toys than they know what to do with. Things are a little different here in Nicaragua. Actually…they are a lot different.

One doll, a wooden puzzle, a couple coloring books, some broken crayons and a few books are all that sits on a small shelf at the front of the preschool classroom at Barrio Planta Project.  

BPP Preschool Kids

This isn’t a single child’s bedroom I’m talking about, it’s a classroom for fifteen to twenty children. 

I’d like to change this.

And that’s why I’m reaching out to you – family, friends and In Nica Now fans and followers – to help out this holiday season by purchasing a gift for the Barrio Planta Project Preschool Program.

Because how cool would it be for the kids to be able to sit down and play a game of Snakes & Ladders with their preschool teacher or a volunteer?

Or for a little girl to dress up in a pretty princess dress and have a tea party with her friends. 

BPP Preschool Program

I’d especially love for these kids to have their own glue sticks, scissors and paper to get creative with at Arts & Craft time.

To view our Wish List and purchase a gift click here!

Or if you’d like me to do the shopping you can donate cash via PayPal by clicking here!  (The account email address to use is elishaannemackay@gmail.com)

Cash donations will also be used to cover the baggage fees to get the items to Nicaragua.  

All gifts will be shipped to my sister in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.  She will pack everything safely into a suitcase and deliver it to me on December 26th when she arrives.  

I will stock the shelves and have everything ready for the kids when classes resume in February. I’ll also be doing a follow up post with photos and video so that you can see first hand the impact you’ve made.

Thank you so much for your support and making a difference in the life of a child in Nicaragua!

Note: With only 15 days left until Christmas it’s important that purchases are made this week. Thanks again!

Volunteering with Barrio Planta Project

Volunteering my time and making a difference in the lives of local children has been on my “Nicaragua To Do List” since arriving here twelve months ago.

Recently I joined forces with Elizabeth Renner of Barrio Planta Project and had the opportunity to do just that. For a month I worked along side Liz as an assistant teacher with the preschool program at Barrio Planta Project (BPP).

Liz has designed a curriculum that focuses on basic English including ABCs, primary numbers, the days of the week, greetings and more.

The children who participate in this free program range in age from three to seven. For most these classes are a supplement to their regular school program.

BPP Preschool Program

On Tuesdays we would walk a few blocks to the library and read books together.

San Juan del Sur Library

– San Juan del Sur Biblioteca

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– Story time with their stuffies

And on Thursdays we enjoyed playing in the park. 

Irsa

Anahy

EJ & the Kids

– Everybody loves EJ!

When we weren’t at the library or playing in park we were dancing, making crafts, reading books, playing games or singing songs.

Dancing

Jack O' Lantern

Reading Books

The kids always enjoyed playing with sidewalk chalk. And they had tons of fun playing memory games on my iPAD.

Valentina

Sidewalk Chalk

Just like any typical preschool program in Canada or the United States we had circle time and enjoyed cookies and juice at snack time.

Snack Time!

As I helped the kids with their English they taught me a few new Spanish words and phrases including en la fila (in a line), cuidado (be careful) and orinando (the direct translation is “I’m peeing”, but this phrase actually means “I need to use the bathroom”).

When I walked through the classroom doors for the first time (and every time there after) Liz always made me feel welcome. The fifteen to twenty students that attend classes twice per week adore their “Profa Liz”.  She really is great at what she does and it was a pleasure to work with her.

Profa Liz

Thank you Liz (and BPP) for allowing me the opportunity to make a difference.

This was my first volunteer experience in Nicaragua, but it definitely won’t be my last. I look forward to working with you all again when classes resume in February.

Me & the Kiddies

To learn more about this non-profit organization and how you can make a difference click here.

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