Posted by In Nica Now
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.
On Tuesdays we would walk a few blocks to the library and read books together.
And on Thursdays we enjoyed playing in the park.
When we weren’t at the library or playing in park we were dancing, making crafts, reading books, playing games or singing songs.
The kids always enjoyed playing with sidewalk chalk. And they had tons of fun playing memory games on my iPAD.
Just like any typical preschool program in Canada or the United States we had circle time and enjoyed cookies and juice at 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.
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.
To learn more about this non-profit organization and how you can make a difference click here.