Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Staff Voice - Off And Running

Written by Clint Ballinger - GVI Manuel Antonio Community Coordinator
After being away for a few weeks over Christmas and some days of preparation, getting the new volunteers here and settled in, the day finally arrived for the first day of “summer school”. The normal school schedule does not start until February, but of course we want to keep the kids active and learning, and keep the volunteers busy as well. 
 As we arrived on the first day of summer school, the new volunteers may have been nervous, and I had never run a summer school either. Furthermore, we were working in a different school and neighborhood than where we usually work, so I didn’t know most of the kids.
When we arrived, there were 10 or more kids, so we were happy kids had voluntarily shown up during their vacations. We had a nice calm “get to know each other” activity planned, making one page biographies writing their names and favorite things in English and drawing them as well.
The kids were so happy to see us, focused on the exercise, and lovely with the new volunteers. It was a nice moment for everyone, a peaceful morning hour laughing with the kids, learning their names, favorite colors, favorite animals etc, and teaching them a little English along the way (not to mention the new volunteers began to learn some simple Spanish straight away as well). A moment that had all of us a little stressed turned out to be relaxing and rewarding. We then moved on to some sports, and the new week and new year is off and running.