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Posts Tagged ‘teacher’

Educational Accomplishments in 2015

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Teacher Lucky with a couple of the children at Dori'es Promise

By Lucrecia “Lucky” Perez  –

Lucky in the classroom at Dorie's PromiseHow do you fundamentally change a society? Education. It is a fundamental human right and will be the basis for building a better future for Guatemala. Education opens doors to being a better person, a person who will help make our world better. It helps us develop our strengths and improve upon our weaknesses. That is why we believe that with a good education our children can change the pattern set by previous generations who were stuck in a cycle of poverty.

This is our approach at Dorie’s Promise, we believe that greater education will make our children better people. It also allows the children to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy ways of living and to make wise decisions for their future.

During this school year, we saw impressive progress in most of our children. We have several students who were already excelling at school. Some others started school this year, and gave it their best, despite hardships along the way. Attending school has helped our children feel safer, learn to share with others, to speak more clearly, and a host of other benefits.

We are so excited to share with you some of their accomplishments:

Several students participated in a science fair this year. Jennifer and Ana both did group projects that won prizes. It was an unforgettable experience.

Abraham and Nayeli Soto started primary school at El Shaddai this year. Abraham found it hard to adapt at first. During the year we worked together with his teacher to get positive results in his ability to follow the classroom routine and to get along with his classmates.

Lucky helping Jennifer with her homework.This year was a challenge for Ingrid, math is her least favorite subject and this year she had to do more than she’s done before. However, she stuck with it and we worked with her to improve her skill at mathematics. By the end of the year, her teach told us that she had improved and was a very responsible student.

Finally, let me tell you about Lucia- her teacher told us she takes initiative to learn and is interested in improving her reading. Lucia is a girl with clear goals and if she continues working hard there is no limit to what she can achieve. She has already overcome so much in her life (read her story here) it’s great to see her taking a positive approach to her education.

The school year in Guatemala runs from January through October. We currently have 15 children who will start private school in January.

The average cost of sending a child to private school is $1,700 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. Help us continue to give our children an exceptional education experience through your kind giving. Our goal is to raise $55,600 by December 31. These accomplishments are just the tip of the iceberg. We have seen education do so much for the children of Dorie’s Promise.

Please consider a special gift to enable us to continue to provide these opportunities for our children.

Minds At Work

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

Maria Jose, 11, has studied at El Shaddai for four years

What a difference a few years can make in the life of a child. Now just multiply that change by the number of children at Dorie’s Promise whose lives are changed daily through the gift of attending a private school! The transformation in their young lives is truly amazing. What started with only three of our children attending private school has multiplied to 15 in just a few short years.

Thanks to you and your generous support these past few years, we see and experience firsthand what it means for our children to have an opportunity to attend a private school.

Here is what Maria Jose, 11, who has studied at El Shaddai for four years, has to say about her education:

“I love to study at El Shaddai School because I have two teachers who are very smart and help me a lot with my doubts. I love my teachers and I admire them because they are smart and show me gratitude. My favorite classes are Arts, Spelling, Math, Computer lab, Robotics, Bible Studies, and Sports. In my school I have learned many things, but especially God’s love and how He takes care of us. I would like to keep going to this school because one of my dreams is to be a good teacher, pastor, and gymnast.”

Brayan doing homework.A private education means better teachers, positive influences, spiritual guidance, and the opportunity to see what life is like outside of Dorie’s Promise. Our staff tells us time and time again how these children’s lives are being changed and how much interest and enthusiasm they have for school today — how it shows not only academically, but also in their spiritual and emotional lives.

The only time we will send a child to a public school is when they first arrive at Dorie’s Promise, so we can get an idea of how they perform in a school setting. We have experienced firsthand how poorly the public schools operate and therefore do our best to get our children integrated into a private school setting as soon as possible.

Our Child Development Director takes great care as she creates individualized education plans per child. She takes into consideration their natural talents, academic strengths and weaknesses, and whether they have learning disabilities. Based on this information, children are placed in the school setting that best suits them.

Take, for instance, 12-year-old Ana Lucia, who arrived at Dorie’s Promise July 2014 with her sister, seven-year-old Fabiola. The girls’ older brother was caring for them after their mother died of cancer. He was then arrested for drug dealing and murdered while in prison. This is when they came to live with us. Fabiola was enrolled in public school and was thriving even with class sizes close to 40. This January will be her first year attending private school.

Here is what Ana Lucia has to say about her new life and education…

“Living at Dorie’s Promise means a lot of things to me; I have many mothers taking care of and concerned about me; I have food every day; I have a beautiful bedroom to sleep in. The good thing is that my little sister is with me and we are very happy. This year I again started school and I have good grades. I would like to learn English to speak with the missionaries and also would like to learn computer skills … I would like to go a school where I can learn more.”

12-year-old Ana Lucia, arrived at Dorie’s Promise July 2014 with her sister, seven-year-old Fabiola. As you can imagine sending 15 of our children to private school and providing onsite child development, tutoring, and school does not come without a cost. Would you be willing to invest in our children’s lives in this meaningful way? To give our children the exceptional education they deserve, we need your help.

As I shared in the letter I wrote to you in July, we have had less mission participants this year, which has lowered the amount of income we use to run Dorie’s Promise. Giving our children an exceptional education experience will be the first thing we will have to cut if we are not able to raise the funds to keep it in place. Of course, we want the best education we can possibly give our children … but that can’t come at the expense of feeding, housing, and caring for them.

The school year in Guatemala runs from January through October. We currently have 15 children of school age who are excited to start private school in January.

The average cost of sending a child to private school is $1,700 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, after-school activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation. The total cost for the 15 children ready to attend private school this January is $30,600. The cost to continue to employ a full-time Child Development Director as well as preschool teacher is $25,000 per year.

Imagine being able to give your child a life-changing private education for only $140 per month.

I would like to invite you to help us give our children an EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION experience through your kind giving. Our goal is to raise $55,600 by December 31.

Jennifer loves going to school.The children are growing so fast and we understand that someday they will be leaving us and try to find their place in the world. Our goal is to give them the tools to have a full and meaningful life outside our home.

These are children who have come from the city dump, off the street, or abandoned by family members who are unwilling to give them the care every child needs and deserves. We shelter them, feed them, love them like they are our own — but we also want to continue to give them the gift of EXCEPTIONAL EDUCATION that will impact their lives in so many different ways … both now and for many years into the future.

Again, thank you for all you do for our children. It is your heart and passion that drive this ministry forward and allow us to change the lives of the children in our care. I hope to hear from you soon. Everyone on our team would like to see us meet our goal of raising $55,600 as quickly as possible so we can make sure our plan for 2016 is solid and ready to execute. Help by giving today.

God Bless,
Heather Radu
Founder

Education is Part of a Life-Changing Experience

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Our teacher helps a student with his writing.

By MJ Zelya –

Our teacher with several of the older grils from Dorie's Promise.God has blessed us with having had more than 200 children in our preschool classroom throughout the years. We give them the opportunity for not only education, but the chance to experience positive attention from teachers as well. At Dorie’s Promise, we try to educate our own children with love, understanding, tolerance, and logic. We try to make children happy while they are learning.

Our children typically start preschool at three years old; some of them at a later age because they entered Dorie’s Promise without any other schooling. In that case, we adjust their schedules so that all children can learn at the level they are currently at.

Lucky Perez started at Dorie’s Promise as a Special Mother and has been the teacher since April of this year.

She also teaches the four- to 12-year-old kids who come to Dorie’s Promise without any schooling, supports the other children with homework help, and works with the teens who are doing distance school.

“It was very difficult for me to get used to all the different needs of each system of school,” says Lucky. “It was a challenge for me. As I met more of the kids and they received support/tutoring with homework or activities at school, I have seen the fruits of the work. I like being a part of their lives. It’s rewarding seeing them happy and fulfilled in school activities.”

Teaching basic skills and helping with homework.The children of Dorie’s Promise need to feel loved and supported in school. As they do, they excel. Their skills improve, and their schools even offer their congratulations on the way we take care of the children. In addition, we love the way El Shaddai, the private school most of our children attend, takes such good care of them.

“For as much as I’ve used my knowledge to help their lives, they contribute in a special way to my own life. They have taught me to listen more and to see life in a new light,” Lucky continues.

“A story that filled me with great joy was one time at the science fair. All our children had to attend with costumes as scientists. I think just getting one costume is difficult, but six kids was a bit tricky — thankfully not impossible. With the materials we had on-hand to complete all the costumes, they were happy … but none of us ever imagined that the teachers and the other students would be so surprised and excited to see everyone dressed up. It was indescribable to see their happy faces — and that fills me with satisfaction.

It’s exciting to know that our children receive such personalized attention in their education. That, in addition to the opportunity to attend private school, means many of our children are preparing for the future — a different, better future than they would have had without Dorie’s Promise … and without the help of supporters like you.

 

Make an exceptional education a reality for our children…

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Ana studying at school

By Heather Radu-

You can feel it in the air … School is back in full swing. The big yellow buses are on the road, high school sports are in the paper, and no matter your age or stage in life you’re probably being invited to see children perform in all kinds of activities.

As I got my own children ready for the new school year, I was thinking about our little ones at Dorie’s Promise. I asked Alej Diaz, our director, to give me an update on the education strategy we introduced to you last year.

The results of what we are doing will warm your heart and remind you of how you are part of something special in Guatemala.

You may remember Ana. You may remember Ana. She is the third of five siblings who came to live with us in 2009. When Ana arrived at our home, her sadness and uncertainty were undeniable. You can tell by the picture of Ana and her siblings when they arrived.

Ana could not enroll in the public school system in Guatemala because she did not have the proper legal documentation required. To try to make up for the school she was missing, she began a home schooling program at the age of 7. Our team at Dorie’s Promise worked diligently with her to get her ready for school.

When she was finally able to enroll in kindergarten, it was difficult for her. She was older than the other children, and she struggled to adapt and make friends.

I remember her saying one time, “I cannot do it.” And it broke my heart. Alej and I and the whole team in Guatemala prayed for her and asked God to change things for Ana.

Her frustration with school continued. Our onsite teachers were always helping her get her homework finished on time. Imagine it … a little girl floundering in a school system that was setting her up for a pattern of failure.

Today things are different. When we didn’t know exactly what to do to help, God stepped in and took over.

Ana started attending El Shaddai last year. The opportunity to partner with the school has been a Godsend for our team — and even more than that for our children. Your giving and prayers have changed things in Ana’s life.

Our staff members will tell you that where they saw frustration they now see unmatched effort. Where they saw a pattern of negativity, they now see Ana growing into a thriving young child. She is motivated to learn. She is excited about her future!

Ana's happy now and succeeding in schoolNow Ana says, “I love my school. They teach us about God. I like going there every day. The teachers are nice to me. I have learned so many things. And my favorite subject is English.”

What a change! Thank you for praying and giving to make private education possible for so many of our school-aged children. Because of what we did TOGETHER last year, our children have the privilege of receiving an exceptional education.

Today I want to ask you to join me again. The school year in Guatemala runs from January to October. We currently have 18 children attending.

Twelve of these 18 have been tested and accepted into El Shaddai. We have found other private school options for the remaining six children who have significant academic challenges, preventing them from attending El Shaddai at this time.

The average cost of sending each child to a private school is $1,500 per year. This amount covers tuition, books, uniforms, afterschool activities, tutoring, supplies, and transportation.

Imagine being able to give your child a life-changing private education for only $125 per month.

The total cost for all 18 children to attend private school for the 2013 school year is $27,000. So far we have commitments of $6,900 — which covers the cost of about five of our children.

Preschoolers play with staff at Dorie's PromiseAs a result, we need to raise $21,100 so that 13 more children can have the opportunity to receive the education they need and deserve this coming January!

Please help us raise $21,100 before December 31, 2013, so our children can be given the gift of a private education this Christmas.

I don’t know what you could give between now and the end of the year. My job is to simply ask that you give — and to do so with a joyful heart. Every gift matters as we work to make sure the children in our care are given an exceptional education.

You may be able to give $1,500 or $750. Maybe $125, $75, or $50 is more within your budget. Whatever that amount is, I want to ask you to give it today. Together, let’s give our children the opportunity to grow spiritually and academically through private Christian education.

Thank you again for all your prayers and support. Thank you for telling your friends and family about Dorie’s Promise and the work we are doing at Forever Changed International. May God richly bless you for all that you do!

P.S.  Think back to when school was brand-new. When the first day there seemed like the whole world was changing. Many children face school, not as a hopeful and exciting time, but as a frightening and uncertain time. But together, we can give our children at Dorie’s Promise something different….

 

Educational Opportunity Overcomes Tragic Circumstances

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Children from Dorie's Promise Heading to School

By MJ Zelaya-

Working to teach the children at Dorie's PromiseUntil recently, our children didn’t have the opportunity to get an education in a school that wasn’t public. Guatemala public schools can be overcrowded, and the education is sub-par. Now, thanks to El Shaddai Christian School and some generous donors, more and more of our kids are getting quality education.

When they first started, it wasn’t easy for them. Most of our children have tragic backgrounds — ranging from neglect to abuse. Until they came to Dorie’s Promise, they didn’t have good structure in their lives. When they arrived, they were introduced to some structure and certainly more stability … but still many of them struggled to socialize.

“Right now we are working with our pre-school kids,” says one teacher, Beverly Humes, who started at our home in May. “We want them to have the natural abilities that some of our earlier kids had to work hard for.”

These abilities are:

  • Personal and social development: which focuses on how to socialize, solving conflicts, and how to relate to other people both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Pre-mathematics: focuses on early math processes, mental agility, and reasoning.
  • Relationship and knowledge of the environment: reflective thinking — the ability to recognize the peculiarities of the environment they occupy and the rules to work within it.
  • Communication: working on developing basic communication skills, learning to understand the importance of dialogue, as well the basics of reading and writing.
  • Fine and gross motor skills: stimulates the sensitive capacities for a better management of their movements, to obtain control of one’s body and space.

Doing homework at Dorie's Promise GuatemalaThese five abilities combined with behavioral modifiers (reinforcement) and rules will not only make it easier for our kids to fit in an educational system, but it also enhances their current learning process, giving them the structure they need in everyday life.

“Our kids are motivated,” Beverly says. “There has been great progress from the first weeks — our kids have acquired a working structure, and they know their routine inside the classroom. They are showing great progress in creativity and their capacity to express themselves.”

While they play games, focusing on all of these aspects, our kids develop a sense of affection, friendship, fellowship, and, in general, a sense of independence and autonomy that is necessary in becoming independent and functioning adults.

“It has been a great ride,” remarks Beverly. “It is inspiring to see how our kids develop and become better people.”

Education for A Better Future

Friday, November 30th, 2012

For so many children in Guatemala, a future of unlimited possibilities and dreams fulfilled will never become their reality. When you are trying to survive with your family on the streets, school does not become a priority — finding your next meal does.

The children of Dorie’s Promise were once children without hope. They came from living within the garbage dump … the streets … from shacks in the ghettos. However, through God’s grace and love, they are now a part of our family!

It is our goal to see that we give our children every opportunity to see their personal dreams come true!

We currently have 37 children in our care. Until this year, we have always had all of our children enrolled in public school. The public schools in Guatemala have up to 40 children per classroom. The education they are receiving is below average. The teachers are unprepared to handle such large classrooms with little to no resources.

My dream … my prayer … is that every child at Dorie’s Promise has the opportunity to attend El Shaddai and that those who struggle academically will be able to get a similar education at other private schools specializing in helping children with special needs.

An education at El Shaddai means better curriculum, prepared teachers, positive influences, spiritual guidance, extra-curricular activities, and opportunities to experience “regular life” outside of the orphanage. Going to El Shaddai means a better future. It means hope for our amazing children.

The total cost for all 18 children to attend private school for the 2013 school year is $27,000. So far we have commitments of $9,000. That covers the cost of only six of our children.

So we need to raise $18,000 in order for 12 more children to have the opportunity to receive the education they need and deserve this coming January!

Please help us raise $18,000 before December 31, 2012, so that our children can be given the gift of a private education this Christmas. Write "Education fund" in the comments when giving online.

UPDATE – December 4th: Thanks to some generous giving, we now need to raise $14,700.

Dedicated to Education

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

By Pablo Villagran-

With the children in Guatemala on their annual school break, at Dorie’s Promise we are looking forward to the new academic year that starts in January. One reason is the improvements in our children’s grades during 2012, which prompted a celebration recently at Dorie’s Promise.

There are many factors behind this, starting with God’s help—not only in school subjects, but in health, socialization and other areas.

We can’t overlook the supernatural aspect of some kids doing unusually well in certain courses and others showing amazing progress with their learning abilities.

There is a human element, too, starting with the great job that our teacher, Claudia, and her assistant are doing. In addition to teaching preschoolers, Claudia supervises homework of older children and attends meetings with their teachers to get updates on their progress.

She has invested more time and effort to make sure they are doing well and completing their studies. Claudia also offers students incentives to make good grades, such as small gifts.

The teachers at the various schools our children attend also deserve a share of credit for giving them extra support.

The significance of these achievements? Many of our children are lacking an educational background when they arrive at the home. Here they are able to develop normally, with the education they receive helping them prepare for the future.

This groundwork starts early. This year’s preschool program for ages 4-5 included 10 kids. All showed admirable progress.

Claudia says they learned such things as social skills, how to internalize work routines and complete tasks, counting from 1 to 50 (including some numbers in English), and develop better comprehension and memory skills.

The teacher supervises a home school program for Mirna, too. A young teenager who lacked any education when she came to the home, in 2012 Mirna completed the first two grades and started grade three. She learned to read and write, add and subtract, and assimilate knowledge in other subjects, such as science and social studies.

Claudia has designed an occupational program for her as well, with Mirna acting as an assistant in our educational and reception areas, the kitchen and our health program.

“As coordinator of the educational program, I am very happy to see children doing so well,” Claudia says. “There are many accomplishments this year that make me feel so proud.

“I am happy to see them growing up and enjoying the progress they are making. I love it when they overcome a challenge like a dictation test, completing various tasks, getting recognition from their teachers, or growing in maturity and confidence.”

This kind of educational and personal growth helps boost their self-esteem and emotional well-being. Our children are inspired to get good grades and learn that they have worthwhile talents and gifts.

Such progress is worth telling others about. If you have friends or family members who have a heart for children, we invite you to share the story of Dorie’s Promise with them.

New Teacher at Dorie’s Promise

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

By Alejandra Diaz-

Two months into Guatemala’s new school year, the children at Dorie’s Promise are excited to be learning under the direction of their new teacher, Claudia Roncal, age 27.

Claudia’s educational background includes certification as a bilingual teacher for elementary grades and studies in psychology, with training in language therapy.

While school didn’t officially start until January, Claudia started working with the children in December.

Although this is her first time teaching in an orphanage, she believes that different work, academic and personal settings prepared her for this position. That included serving as a speech therapist at one of Guatemala’s most prestigious schools and five years working in a social project with children from marginal areas.

“I believe that education is one of the more significant and personal tasks that human can develop,” Claudia says. “It’s the opportunity to accompany children in their process to discover and grow. I think that to create a real educational process, there should be a positive bond as a basis of the teacher-student relationship.”

In the morning, Claudia teaches seven pre-schoolers. In the afternoon she home schools 14-year-old Mirna, as well as supervising homework for older children.

This is the first time for formal instruction for our three and four-year-olds, who learn to adapt to the classroom and how to accomplish different activities.

Among topics they study are colors, numbers and shapes. Claudia has a program set out for the year, divided into different subjects she will emphasize each month.

“Every day I work different areas of the children’s development, especially the skills that are expected for their age,” she says. “The children who live here need the experience to perform in healthy models that show them how to communicate, play, and interact with others.”

I can see how much the youngsters love their classes. Doing different things daily takes them out of their routine. They are learning new rules, how to pay attention to complete various tasks, songs and games.

Claudia’s work represents a huge boost for the staff. We are sure that the children are receiving the quality of learning they need according to their age and personal development.

And, she is the best person to provide older students necessary supervision and help with their homework.

Claudia says the opportunity to work with each child at Dorie’s Promise has shown her how the Lord allows her to imprint memories of love on their lives and become a resource in their development.

“I give infinite thanks to God for this opportunity,” she says. “I have seen that Christ’s words that ‘whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me’ (Matthew 18:5) are real. As He allows me to bless the lives of these children, He blesses me abundantly.”

New Teacher

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

By Desi Stephens

We were thrilled to welcome a new teacher to Dorie’s Promise in mid-August.

Ana Lucia Padilla Fernandez is a native of Guatemala. In recent years she has taught a variety of subjects to children of all ages.

“I firmly believe that as God’s instrument, He places you where you can make a good change,” she says. “I want to be where I can touch lives and complement His perfect work. Children are not just ‘the future,’ they are the seed of hope. They can be guided to be lights or corrupted. The choice is up to us.”

Ana earned her teacher’s certificate in 1997 at the Monte Maria School, operated by the Maryknoll Sisters. After that, she studied architecture for two years and social communication for three years at the Universidad Rafael Landivar.

Among her many experiences is teaching English to children from 2 to 11 years old. Ana also taught fourth and fifth grade students the subjects of math, science, social studies, Spanish and art.

In 2006 she joined the social welfare secretariat of the presidency, where she helped support government homes by working with boys and girls ages 13 to 17.

At Dorie’s Promise she will helping preschoolers prepare them for their formal education, and assisting other children with their homework.

Although the school year ends in mid-October, Ana has prepared an educational plan that runs until December. She believes in a unified educational method that will help children develop necessary learning skills.

“Having a teacher means following a specific educational line,” she says. “Everyone using the same approach—including volunteers—provides more mental stability. If the children receive different methods and ways of learning, they won’t develop the
necessary skills and logic they need to respond to specific situations.”

Ana also plans to help improve internal communications and socialization of each child, the latter through setting goals and helping them where needed.

A single mother who calls her kids “my treasures,” Ana sings in her church’s choir. She loves to write and take pictures; she was a professional photographer for two years. She also likes organizing events and managing social networks.

The thing that impresses Ana most about our orphanage is the stories of each child.

“They didn’t have the best beginning in life,” she says. “But they do have the advantage of sharing a big, clean love with everyone.
“They all deserve the best chance to grow as loved kids, sons and daughters.”

Welcome, Ana. We’re glad you’re here.