New Paths

Group Work!
I can’t believe we have already finished one JumpStart Camp and we are in the second week of our second camp! The month has flown by. The students have been a blast to have in class and we have laughed a lot. This summer camp has been a unique opportunity for them. When I asked the students what they normally do during their summer vacation, their answers ranged from picking coffee to help with their family earnings, to visiting family members in nearby towns, to watching TV at home.

Learning Numbers in a game like "Musical Chairs"
In our first JumpStart camp, the students came bounding off the buseta (minibus) after up to an hour and fifteen minutes of transport from their homes, ready to learn. When I asked if they were having fun during the camp, they all exclaimed, “YES!” One of their favorite games was learning numbers and walking around circles on the ground similar to “Musical Chairs.” We had a final count of 14 students who finished the JumpStart camp. They learned how to present themselves in English and ask each other basic questions. Hellen, Jay, and I were incredibly proud of the progress they made over the course of two weeks and only three hours a day. We went from having some students not speaking a word of English to all of the students being able to present themselves in front of the class in English for over a minute on graduation day. They told us they felt ready to enter high school. One student, Estiven told us after JumpStart he felt, "more prepared to enter high school and experience new paths."

Camp A Graduation!
Our second group of different kids has presented a different dynamic in the classroom. We now have 18 students in our camp and I am working with a different co-teacher, Diego. This time, our students’ favorite game has been learning professions with charades. They loved acting out the professions in front of their peers and guessing, “He is a doctor!” while the student acting would respond, “I am a doctor!” I told them, “You are all actors!” For this camp, we also have the opportunity of having a teacher-training expert from PAUTA (“Programa Adopte Un Talento”), an incredible Mexican organization that does science training for talented high-school students, to come to Costa Rica and work with our JumpStart students. The teacher-trainer, Richard, will be here for the week helping incorporate science into our English language learning. Today he led the students in a math and English activity strategy game with buttons and the students loved it. It will be fun to see what he has in store for them for the rest of the week!