Volunteering for a morning with Jane Fellows and KinderAide was a highlight of our week-long vacation in the Jaltemba Bay area. While researching our first-time trip to La Peñita, I had read about KinderAide on the wonderful Jaltemba Bay Life Blog and was able to contact Jane Fellows, who arranged for us to accompany her and Cathy Goodwin to Jardin de Niños: Luis Pasteur in La Peñita. It’s a small one-room school in a poorer side of town.
Our family (my husband Mark and I and our two adult ‘kids’ Sarah and Erik) enjoyed our quick tour of the school grounds and the improvements added by KinderAide and then watch Jane go through her English lesson of numbers, colors, and “head and shoulders knees and toes” with the very enthusiastic kids.
Then we helped Jane pass out foam animal puppet kits that had been donated, and we each had a table to help the kids make their own animal puppets. Sarah and Erik had studied years of school Spanish so they had fun and imaginative conversations with their students: Where does your lion live? “At the beach.” Mark and I speak much less Spanish but enjoyed being able to reinforce the English words the kids had just sung about: eyes, ears, mouth, nose. The children’s eyes lit up as they made the connection.
We left inspired by the children’s energy and enthusiasm, grateful for a real connection to the local culture during a vacation.
We’re very impressed with what KinderAide has done and is doing!
Submitted by Jan Peterson, Mark Hammarlund, Sarah Hammarlund, and Erik Hammarlund
About KinderAide: KinderAide was established in January of 2011 by Jane Fellows. It is an independent, non-profit group of volunteers whose primary goal is to help children attending kinder schools in La Peñita in their quest to learn English, with the assistance of volunteer teachers and donated school supplies. To learn more, visit the KinderAide community website.
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