(Top: Seymour Smith explains a game of catch to reinforce conversational skills. Bottom: autographs by our JumpStart scholars.)
It was so exciting to see 24 kids begin the first-ever edition of JumpStart Costa Rica this week. Making it all possible were donors from Costa Rica, the United States, Canada, England and China; local in-kind supporters (details to be provided here shortly); and, of course, teachers, parents and community leaders in Los Santos, a beautiful, mountainous, coffee-growing region south of the nation's capital. Starting this past Monday, thanks to all of those people from far and wide, the elementary school in Carrizal de León Cortés filled with the sounds of hopscotch, Cops and Robbers, lessons and conversation, all in English! Volunteer teachers Seymour and Cameron Smith, of Massachusetts, had kids who've never taken an English class conversing and introducing themselves in no time at all. There's no doubt that by the end of a full month of classes, these kids will knock our socks off. Stay tuned for more on their progress. We still have a way to go before we meet our $5,000 fundraising goal, which will allow us to secure the rest of the supplies for the camp and provide academic support to these kids throughout their seventh-grade year. If you'd like to help us, please check out the column at right, and spread the word!