JumpStart Sepecue: a community story

JumpStart Sepecue is being held in Liceo Academico Indigena Sepecue, located in Alto Talamanca one hour up river from Suretka.

This camp is being entirely taught and coordinated by students from Sepecue High school. All of the student teachers studied the curriculum during their vacation to prepare for the camp. The PCV involvement was very minimal and only included a little bit of support in the vacation practice sessions, writing the grant and supervising the implementation of the camp (adult supervision was necessary). The principal student coordinators Kevin Reyes and Albin Morales participated in an exchange program to Oregon USA last December and January. They have helped support and train a total of 12 students as co-teachers in the camp. This is the third consecutive JumpStart Camp in this community and many of the student teachers have participated in the previous year's camps. The amount of work and responsibility they have taken on teaching this third camp by themselves is incredible.

Many students drop out of high school because of economic issues, drugs, an inadequate preparation for high school given in the elementary schools (generally elementary schools do not offer many subjects and may only have between 1-4 teachers- many times one of the teachers is also the principal) family problems, alcohol, a lack if parental support and adolescent pregnancy. Generally an incoming 7th grade class numbers around 50 students. About 2-8 of those 50 will end up graduating from high school despite Sepecue High School's continued effort to prevent students from dropping out.

Because of JumpStart, when they are enter the high school they will know more English and English class will be more fun for them because they will have reviewed the vocabulary in the camp. They will also be more social and less shy because they were sharing a lot of time with all the other new seventh graders. Also with the other subjects they might not be as shy because they practiced giving presentations in the camp. I saw that the students from JumpStart were active in the high school last year and I hope this year will be the same.

Kevin Reyes- Camp Coordinator and Teacher - 11th Grade student at Sepecue High School

Here are pictures of the first few days of JumpStart camp 2015!!

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