Week One Complete!

Greetings all readers, fellow volunteers, and supporters of JumpStart! We are so thrilled to have successfully completed week one with almost no problems. It is amazing to think back on the first day when the students wrote their ‘classroom conduct rules’, we played games to learn each others names, and students looked blankly at me when I began talking in English. Although it has only been 5 days of class, students can now have an authentic basic conversation in English, describe information about themselves, present information about others, and use tons of new English vocabulary. Our room has transformed into a beautiful place with English posters, charts, and drawings the students have completed!

I have two favorite moments of this past week. The first was on Wednesday when we went out for an afternoon of games on the soccer field to practice numbers. We did jump rope with numbers, tag games, and soccer matches. The students were so thrilled to incorporate numbers into their playtime! One student came up to me and said he wished that Yilena and I were his teachers in elementary school because English would have been so fun! My other favorite moment was when we have 3 students from different high schools come to answer questions our campers have. While I thought it might be awkward and they would be too shy to ask, I was absolutely mistaken. The students were curious about everything from the schedule of the high school to rules about dress code to wondering if they will be able to make friends easily. It was a great moment to see older students help relieve the nerves of the new class of 7th graders!

We are so grateful to World Connect for their funding, as well as all of the community members who have volunteered their time and snacks to help out. We have been blessed to have 3 different moms help during snack time, 4 different camp “helpers” from high school rotate days, visits from the members of the Junta and our Director, and the wonderful co-teacher Yilena. Hope week 2 is just as great! Off to enjoy the weekend...

- Taylor Westfall