Roatan News About PIER
Roatan Dreams Do Come True
I'm actually hiding out right now contemplating how "Roatan Dreams Do Come True"! Today was one of those incredible, cant-catch-your-breath-days, with kids, parents and teachers coming and going all day. It's everything we dreamed of and more. Winter Camp (54 students). This week Tanyas English class Debate Teams argued before a panel of 8-12 year old judges. Then the judges got their chance for a spontaneous debate. In case you are wondering, dogs are better than cats. Cats may be able to climb trees, but dogs wait for the iguana at the bottom! Today Thelma s non-English speaking students completed learning their colors. Now John s math class I have to tell you, I don t understand a word they were saying. The Singapore Math, Level 5 is way beyond my expertise. But two kids, coming at the problem from opposite ends of the queston, came to the same answer. And could explain it! WOW!
The Girls Club met yesterday with volunteer leader Freida and started their journal Roatan Women s Life by the Sea , the story of the mothers and grandmothers. The Young Mothers Club starts yoga and the study of the brain and nutrition next week, thanks to volunteer Caroline.
This week was also the opening of the electricians course, a year-long professional program spearheaded by Vegas Electric. Next month we open English and math classes for all ages. Equally as exciting, we will be working with the local school district to help set up Rotan s first four bilingual schools and train their teachers.
All this is the result of Partners in Education Roatan s desire to help children graduate and qualify for a job. Only one on four children enroll in school; only 50% complete 6th grade. Less than 15% complete high school. Poverty, not enough schools, overcrowded classrooms, few textbooks and instructional materials, untrained teachers, lack of decentralization, and powerful labor unions are at the core of the problem.
If you are moving to our Roatan Island, finish unpacking and then give us a call. We are looking for volunteers in every possible area. If you are a visitor, pack school supplies, kids books in English and Spanish, and art supplies for us. If you are not here, you can still help. Three wonderful foundations are funding the three teachers for us, but we need $15,000 for the librarian s salary and annual operating costs. We have a 501c3 option for USA citizens.
Email me or check out our web site for more information. PIER has a wonderful Board of Directors, representing all parts of the Island. These folks are amazing in their support of the Island and PIER. I encourage you to shop in their stores, visit their law office, stay in their resort, or eat at their restaurants.
Hope to see you soon.
Article by: Cam O'Brien, President of Partners in Education - Roatan