Day 3: Monday, June 11

Today we woke up at 7:30 and went downstairs for breakfast at 8. After eating, we prepared to head to school for the first time. My group had two third-grade classes at Colegio Monte Cristi. Upon arriving, we had a thirty-minute recess where we were greeted by tons of kids who would run up and hug us and take us to play various games with them. After this, we were responsible for teaching two forty-five minute classes. The kids were so energetic and fun! After these classes, we headed back to the Outreach center for lunch.

After eating lunch every day, we are given an hour siesta. However, many people didn’t nap today and instead played cards downstairs. After the siesta, we lesson planned for our next activity: the learning center. The learning center is where the kids voluntarily come to us for extra practice with English. We had extra time after lesson planning, and we went to the park where we played soccer with some of the kids as well as ultimate frisbee. Heading back, we saw some of the kids who would be attending the learning center for the afternoon. We then got ready for them to come inside. Once they did, we individually read to a child for thirty minutes and then broke up into groups for different activities. My group had the level one students who were the least fluent. However, they knew more English than most of the kids from colegio. Following this, we had dinner and are now lesson planning for tomorrow’s school session, and after that, we have free time when we can play cards and go to different stores nearby. –Avery Pierce

We began the day with a delicious meal consisting of cantaloupe, pineapple, cereal, and hard-boiled eggs. Afterwards, we traveled to the school and arrived right before recess began. We were greeted by smiling children who wanted to meet us. We played tag, wall ball, learned hand shakes, and even had a dance battle. After recess, we traveled to our classrooms for the first day of teaching. We learned a lot about teaching, especially lesson planning. Some of our curriculum ideas did not goes as planned, but we were able reorganize our plans between classes. We reflected on what worked and what didn’t during the classes, then came back to the Outreach360 building. For lunch we had beef, beans and rice, and hard-boiled eggs. After lunch, we went to the park and engaged in a game of ultimate ball (like ultimate frisbee). A bench jumped out of nowhere and hit David’s shin, but no serious injury occurred. We came back to our building and prepared for the learning center. This is when 80 children come to our building, and we continue to help them learn English. We began with 30 minutes of reading. In most cases, friends coming tended to stick together in pairs, and the outreach volunteers paired up and read with them. Most books were bilingual, and we would read in Spanish, and they would read in English. There were various levels of English, ranging from 1-4. In our case, Mary had been learning English for 7 years and 3 years at Outreach360. Her mastery of English is near to perfect. Then we divided into different classrooms. Our group worked with level 1. We practiced colors and articles of clothing, which was exactly what we reviewed in the public school earlier that day. We created a lesson plan that consisted of individual teaching and group games. We had a small classroom with 13 teachers and only 6 students. We drew pictures and labeled them, and played a fun game in which the 3 girls and 3 boys were on different teams and raced to the board. We drew articles of clothing on the board, and the children had to race and point to the right article. For dinner, we had lasagna, rice pudding, fried plantains, and hard boiled eggs. Lesson planning and free time followed dinner. Many went to Lilos (the local grocery store) to get juice or to get ice cream. Those same people partook in an impromptu Zumba class while passing through a local park on their trek back to headquarters. This gave everyone a good sense of the culture while learning a few dances in the process. Others stayed back to play cards. We said our roses and thorns of the day as a group, then continued to play cards. The group seems to be clicking well, and we seem to be growing closer every night. Thanks folks. Tune in tomorrow for another riveting recap of our day! –Peyton Hope and David Byler

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