We’ve been able to do a few more things for the school since our last update in March. Once the construction finished and supplies were given to the students, we decided to look at the smaller issues affecting the school.
First of all, we hired a technician to clean and fix the computers in the school. All 15 computers are over 10 years old and have been having serious issues. Five of them were completely dead. The tech was able to fix a few of the dead ones. He also installed new educational programs on all of the working computers. This was done over a long weekend in May.
Since the teachers have to pay for copies and printing out of pocket, we decided to create an account at a local stationary store for the teachers. The COP$100,000 lasted through August, which is almost ⅔ of the school year. They were able to print appropriate material for each class without having to budget or force students to share printouts.
There was a reception for the parents and guardians of the students to introduce them to the new and improved Andrés Escobar School. They were given an explanation on how we raised the money, where the money was spent, and why it was done. They were all very grateful for the project and were happy with the results.
We also had a pizza party for the students for Children’s Day. We had a few pizzas delivered and bought some soda and snacks. They were surprised by the party and had a great time.
Tablet for a Deaf Student
A deaf student transfer to the school in April. She was having a very difficult time communicating in her previous school because nobody knew sign language, and this was causing behavioral problems as well. When she arrived at our school, the teachers immediately made her feel welcome. The other students began to learn some basic sign language to communicate with her, and the decision was made to purchase a tablet for her. With the tablet, the teachers are able to download lessons in sign language so she is able to learn the material with more ease. She’s much happier, she’s doing very well in every subject, and her behavior has been excellent.
Finally, we were featured on a local TV program for our work. The program ran four times and lasted 20 minutes. The students were interviewed and gave their thoughts on the project and how it affected their lives, and the teachers talked about the difficulties in the community and how they need as much support as possible. I was asked how and why the money was raised and where the donations came from. The filming was done during an entire school day and was on the air the next week.
We still have about US$100 to spend. We will decide how to use it near the end of the school year in November.