KinderAide Volunteer Teaches in a One-Room Schoolhouse in La Peñita

I am a returning volunteer English teacher for KinderAide. Last year I volunteered at a large, affluent school in the town of La Peñita. This year I have been assigned to a small, less advantaged rural school. Last year I taught all five-year-olds. This year we have four-year-olds. Yikes! They are active.

Last year I was in a school that had four classes of 30 students or more in each class. The school this year is literally a “one-room schoolhouse” with one teacher. There are a lot of pluses to this year’s school, however. The classroom is large and the class size is small. There are only 18 kindergarteners. Half of the students are five-year-olds and half are four-year-olds. There is a large yard and a cemented, covered area for parties and there are two bathrooms. The school seems to have the basics plus a young, enthusiastic teacher. KinderAide gave a big donation of school supplies to the teacher including a wall-mounted pencil-sharpener.

New volunteer Arlene Pratt on left, with Diane Simser.

KinderAide has placed two volunteers at this school. Our first day was on Wednesday after an introduction on Tuesday. What a day it was! Noisy comes to mind. The noise level was so great, I thought the little school would lift right off of its foundation! We were handing out pencil boxes that included: a pencil, a pencil sharpener, an eraser, a box of 24 crayons, a glue stick and a pair of scissors. The noise level immediately lessened when all the children started coloring pages given to them.

Giving out the new pencil boxes.

The little kindergarten may be located on a very rough road but it has a big, soft heart! Now it has two interested volunteers who will be there twice a week to provide an introduction to English and some extra attention.

Written by Diane Simser

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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