Amigos en Accion is off to a great start with 30 students participating actively this year! In January, we held a week-long summer camp for the students who participated in the program in 2016, as well as other children from the community. Four volunteers from Buffalo State in New York joined us: Lou and Carole Colca and two of Lou’s Social Work students, Teela Gajewski and Tara Petty. They jumped right in, helping to lead English classes and self-esteem and teamwork building activities and sharing with our students.
Since we had both past and new participants, we split the students into two levels for English classes. Lou and Carole led an excellent introduction to English, helping the kids to learn numbers, how to present themselves, and body parts. Teela and Tara assisted in the level two class, emphasizing conversational English, talking about things we have in our houses, and daily routines.
The self-esteem and teamwork building activities helped us to develop some incredible relationships both among the students and with the volunteers. They worked on developing their trust in each other through a series of trust falls, and learned how to work together to solve problems to go on blindfolded walks with guides, travel across a “desert island” using magical “carpets” (pieces of cardboard boxes!), get safely across an “electrical fence”, and much more. We even had time to jump rope, play tug-of-war, and soccer with visitors from Keuka College, and have a party with cake and soda to thank our volunteers for all that they shared with us!
The regular school year started in February, and we began our normal program during the month of March. The returning students have done a wonderful job of welcoming the new participants and teaching them how things work in the program. We are falling into our rhythm of working together to do homework and study for quizzes and exams, taking a breather for a healthy snack, and learning something new in English class. Check out our Facebook page to see some videos of our students speaking English!
If you are looking for something to do this summer (or at any point in the year!) and would be interested in volunteering with us, please contact Ashley Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
In order for the program to keep functioning, we are always accepting donations to cover our running costs (water, electricity, etc), daily snacks, supplies for our English class and other activities. To donate, please visit: http://journeysofsolutions.org/make-a-donation/ and designate Amigos en Accion.