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Posts Tagged ‘education’

Give The Gift of Education

In Contributors, Family, Giving Back=Paying It Forward, Lifestyle, motherhood, News, travel on June 10, 2019 at 15:34

By Gea Schmid

Hi!

I’m Gea Schmid. I live in a rural community in Northern Nicaragua with my husband and 2-year-old daughter. We are a one-hour drive from the closest urban town with grocery stores and adequate schools. Our community is in great need of quality education for all ages. This Learning Center will benefit the local Nicaraguans who desire English classes, foreign visitors/residents who want to learn Spanish and families who want to provide an adequate education for their young children.

Due to the current political crisis in Nicaragua, one of the housing developments in our community, called Azul, has seen a dramatic decline in activity. What was a lively and promising development is now a neglected space with a quickly-decaying yoga platform. This vacant building has great potential to be transformed into a Learning Center offering superior education to empower and educate our community in need. 

I am organizing this campaign to raise money to fund a Learning Center for the community. The initial funds raised will be used to convert the building from a yoga platform into a proper classroom setting. The majority of the funds will be used to pay the qualified teachers we hire to work in the center. By employing a well-educated staff we can improve the quality of life in our community. I will withdrawal the funds as needed for the various expenses itemized below.

During the first year of operation, I will lead monthly advisory board meetings to monitor the interest and progress of the Learning Center. The goal for the future is to be a sustainable center in the community for years to come. We just need a little help getting things off the ground! Please consider donating here.

I am donating my time and efforts to spearhead and ready the space, hire staff and direct operations. We have already received the approval from Azul who has kindly donated the space rent-free to us for one year. Now we need external funding so that classes can start on August 5th, 2019.

 

Our first step is to fumigate the space for termites, ants and bats. Then, we will have a local carpenter add temporary walls, screens and a front door. After a deep cleaning, it can then be transformed into a classroom with tables, chairs bookshelves and curriculum materials. In the mean time, we will be interviewing applicants for the available positions and enrolling students.

Below you will find a list with the estimated initial start up costs and operating costs for one year.

Who else in your network could help? Please share this fundraiser with your family, friends and colleagues, thank you for your time, and check back here to see our progress! 

Structure Set-UP
Wood, Screen, Front Door, Labor, Cleaning & Fumigation $1250.00


Furniture for Classroom
Children Size Tables 4 X $25 $100
Children Chairs 16 X $10$160
Book Shelves 4 X $50 $200
File Folders/Hanging Folders 1 X $15$15
Folding Adult Chairs 25 x $17$425
Folding Adult Tables 4 x $60$240
Drawer Organizer 1 x $44$44
Storage containers 2 x $30$60
Filing cabinet 1 x $92$92
White board 1 x $40$40
Total$1376


Facility Supplies 
Mop, bucket, broom, cleaning supplies, cleaning towels, trash cans, stools etc$175.00


Ongoing Expenses 12 months 
Water, electricity, facility supplies$1680.00


Employee salaries for 12 months 
Facilities Cleaner, English & Spanish Teacher, Tutor and Teachers Aid$6336.00


Head Teacher salary for 12 months (preschool/kindergarten/curriculum operations)$6000.00


Total$16817.00

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You Can Read, You Can Help

In Giving Back=Paying It Forward, News on May 21, 2016 at 08:00

I live between Nicaragua and the United States since 2012. When I moved to Nicaragua, one of my goals was to volunteer for locals. That didn’t happen officially, as I got involved with personal causes. Now that I know that in the near future, I will not be in Nicaragua permanently, I feel the urge to volunteer again. This country has given me so much time, space and growth and I want to pay it forward before I leave. I started contacting organizations and that is how I met Ivania.

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Ivania Mena García, 38, is the single mom of two girls. Years ago, she didn’t have a job. Around the same time, her neighbor Darrell Bushnell and other concerned community members met to discuss the possibility of opening the first lending library open to the public in Granada, Nicaragua with the prime objective of bringing the pleasure of reading to the people of Granada. They started a Reading Corner at Hotel con Corazón and they trained Ivania to be in charge of it, from cleaning the space, to helping the children with their homework and reading, to being a librarian, and hosting members, volunteers and visitors.

From the Reading Corner they moved and became Café Chavalos for a couple years, until they started Puedo Leer (I Can Read), with a main focus on promoting reading and a love of reading among children, so that they can become lifelong learners, succeed academically and economically, and ultimately be instrumental in raising standards of education and literacy in Nicaragua.

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Puedo Leer took to the road, delivering books bi-weekly to elementary classrooms. As books made their debut in the public schools, enthusiasm passed from teacher to teacher and from teacher to student. For many of the teachers, holding a children’s book was a new experience. Children began to look forward to stories being read to them, then asked to hold the books themselves. As splashes of color and bold graphics jumped from each page and the ability to read became a reality, a new world began to unfold.

Puedo Leer has mushroomed into a major project with a profound impact on the children of Granada. They are now looking into the possibility of adding more libraries and reading centers in other locations in Granada since it is a neighborhood activity center. They are also adding other activities such as art classes and crafts which provides great experiences for the children here since they do not have much opportunity for hands-on activities. The schools do not have the time or resources and there are few community centers offering activities.

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The verb “to read” is averse to being put in the imperative, an intolerance it shares with certain other verbs, such as “to love” and “to dream”. -Daniel Pennac (French Writer)  (Photo taken at Puedo Leer Library)

 

Even though I have only visited the library a few times, I have witnessed the dedication of the team and the gratitude of the kids. It is beautiful and inspiring to hear Annaelizabeth Blandon and Carol Rea, Executive Director and Operations Manager respectively, share their vision for the library, supported by Ivania, the Board of Directors, and Volunteers.

We can help Puedo Leer Library:

Thanks for reading, and thanks in advance for helping!

With love and gratitude,

Laura

Note: Fragments of text from Puedo Leer’s website appear in this post.

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Choosing between career, motherhood is unnecessary

In Career, Entrepreneurs, Family, Great Articles Found Doing Research, Lifestyle, News on November 23, 2015 at 09:00

By Shelby Bradford

bizmom

As a woman pursuing a college degree, I am keenly aware of the disadvantages and choices I face. However, I do not believe that I, nor young girls should be told that they have to choose between having a career and pursuing motherhood.

To this end, I strongly disagree with the statements made by Vivienne Durham, the former headmistress of an all-girls boarding school, in a recent article from the United Kingdom. In the article, she claimed telling girls they can handle having both a family and a career is “lying” to them about the reality of the glass ceiling, which states women and minorities face barriers in advancing in their careers.

I do not believe we have to force young girls to choose one over the other in order to explain societal inequalities to them, and I certainly don’t believe that saying “feminism” perpetuates the notion that the glass ceiling doesn’t exist.

A large issue with the claims made in the article is that Durham’s definition of feminism is flawed. She claimed she is not a feminist because, by her interpretation, being a feminist means you do not tell girls the glass ceiling exists. This is simply not true.

To many, feminism is about acknowledging the social disadvantages in place and challenging them. It is about not wanting to settle with the way things currently are because you know they are unfair and should be changed. By Durham telling girls they have to make a choice between having children and having a career, she is perpetuating that inequality and therefore stopping her students from achieving their full potential before they even have the chance to try.

The next problem in her statement was there was no happy medium in having a career and having children. She implied women who did choose to pursue both were either “juggling” them or were pushed back several years in one or the other, such as either postponing having children or not accepting a promotion in order to have them.

I acknowledge I personally have not taken on a child, but I know a number of professors and faculty at this University, as well as in my personal life, who have had children at the end of their collegiate career or the start of their professional one. They do not seem to be struggling to balance the two or were negatively impacted by their decision to wait the extra years to have children. This is something I felt Durham also skewed out of proportion.

To say that women who wait to have children so they can finish their education and start a career are ignoring a “biological clock” is ludicrous. Most professionals complete lengthy studies in their late twenties to early thirties, which leaves plenty of time to start both a career and a family.

While science has confirmed there is heightened risk of pregnancy complications as women get older, this doesn’t become a concern until 35 or 40. Therefore, women in their early and even mid-30s should not be concerned about conceiving, and if they are concerned, a chat with the doctor should clarify any issues.

There is no denying that women face unfair stigmas and biases in areas like education and employment. Despite the recent advancements in gender equality, we still live in an age where women receive unequal treatment to men. Women are paid less on average than an equivalently experienced male coworker, and they are given fewer opportunities for promotion than men.

To me, this isn’t an excuse to tell young girls that they can’t be mothers if they want careers. This is a cause worth fighting for, not a means to simply accept the blatantly unfair standards set in place for decades.

If we want today’s young girls to succeed, then we should bolster a sense of pride in their abilities. Yes, we must be honest about the negative reality that persists, but we shouldn’t lead them to believe that obtaining the life they want is impossible in the same breath. This is where Vivienne Durham missed the mark in inspiring her students’ success.

Credits:

Link to Original Article

Photo: metro.co.uk

P.S. Know any women debating between career and motherhood? Show them your support forwarding this post to your family, friends, and colleagues!

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