May sure has been a busy month at Starfish! We started the month off with some “exámenes de nivelación” or some grade-level tests to see what our students remembered after their long break from classes. A lot of the students found the material very challenging so we will be using these tests and other resources throughout the year to reinforce basic concepts and assure that our students are not just passing their classes, but also learning the material!
Our 6 part-time employees are adapting well to their new roles and forming friendships with each other and the kids. Our first volunteer of the year has assumed the role of “Profesor de Ingles” or English teacher and our newest volunteer Maria just got in yesterday.
May has also meant a crazy month of running back and forth to the center of the city looking for books for the students. Technically it is illegal for schools to require that students buy textbooks, especially since they are so expensive, but that doesn’t stop about 50% of schools from doing it anyway. Though we encourage our students and families to stand up for their rights, we don’t want the students’ grades to suffer in the meantime. In accordance with our mission to not give the families money but rather the supplies they need to be successful, Starfish buys the books. However, this is not as simple as going to the bookstore with the list of books you need. It means going from store to store around the city and maybe finding 1 or 2 of the 30 or 40 books at each store. Thankfully book season is ending soon so we won’t have to buy any more books – until next May!