Written by Alex, La Mariposa Intern
Many thanks to all of you who fundraised and donated money to help improve the educational experience at Ruben Dario Primary School in our community of La Concepcion, Masaya, Nicaragua. With the generous donation of $2 500, La Mariposa was able to successfully complete the construction of a retention wall, place canals to prevent future erosion damage, purchase books and school supplies for the library, and ensure the continued employment of a teacher at the library in the afternoons. See the pictures below of the erosion damage and the newly built retention wall – this project (including the canals) took over $1500 of the original donation, but it was definitely necessary!
Since the library opened last November many children from the school and other individuals from the wider community have enjoyed the resources of the library and the services of our teacher, Fernando. Keeping the libraries in both Ruben Dario and Panama primary schools open during summer vacation time (Dec-mid Feb) proved to be great success! At solid group of students experiencing difficulties in school came to the Ruben Dario library to receive extra tutoring during these months, and in Panama kids from the community attended nearly every day to enjoy the library there.
The lending program at the Ruben Dario library has been one of the project’s greatest achievements, with over 30 people borrowing books. We continue to push the program in order to reach more students and people in the community. Very recently, the teacher we support at the after-school reading project in Santiago just by chance was placed by the Ministry of Education to act as a temporary director at Ruben Dario school. This allows for better organization of the afternoon project since she will work with the teachers to create a schedule for the afternoon students. Those students experiencing difficulties (grades 4-6) will be sent from the classroom to the library to work with Fernando, providing them with more individual attention. In addition, a small group of children who attend the morning classes and a few secondary students from the community regularly come to the library in afternoons to make use of the books, educational games and school supplies. This project is still new to the community, so we carry on working to improve its capacity and we hope that more people will come to benefit in the future!
We continue to accept donations for all of our educational projects and other schools in the community. Here is a reminder of materials we can always use:
- Books in Spanish – story books (sets are best, and also Latin America content is great), and educational books for children (animals, encyclopedias, atlases)
- School supplies – paper (white, lined, colored), notebooks, pencils, markers, pens, scissors, erasers, pencil sharpeners – everything!
- Crafts and educational toys – coloring books, paints, puzzles, flash cards, games (Spanish!)
We can also use cash donations to buy many of the materials listed above here in Nicaragua! You can now donate money to our projects using PayPal via a good friend of ours Reverend Brian Peterson at Ascension Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. See our how you can help page for more information and the link to donate through PayPal or contact Paulette at firstname.lastname@example.org.