News for February 2013

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News you can use

The following websites provide free information and activities for children. They were researched by Susan Schaefer, Librarian and Sylvania Rotarian: This is a partial list. With each Newsletter we will include additional websites that will give you access to free children’s programs and English as Second Language programs.

Activity TV: http://www.activitytv.com/

Brain Pop: http://www.brainpop.com/

Brain Pop Jr: http://www.brainpopjr.com/

CIA World Factbook: http://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html

Discovery Kids: http://www.kids.discovery.com

Fact Monster: http://www.factmonster.com

Seussville: http://www.seussville.com/

SFS Kids, The Music Lab: http://www.sfskids.org/templates/musicLabF.asp?pageid=23

Smithsonian Education: http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/students/index.html

Starfall: learn to read with phonics: http://www.starfall.com/

Storyline Online: http://www.storylineonline.net

WebKinz: http://www.webkinz.com

WorldlyWise3000: http://www.worldlywise3000.com

The World Almanac for Kids Online: http://www.worldalmanacforkids.com/

Yahoo! Kids: http://www.kids.yahoo.com/

Job Opportunity

Resource Centers International is forming an operations committee to help lead its expansion into new directions. If you would like to become involved in a rapidly expanding International Initiative the following positions are available for those interested:

Position Duties
Fundraiser/Promotions Find money! The 2013-2014 RCI budget will be about $22,000
Preschool Education Research Programs and go on missions conducting workshops/training sessions
Procurement of Computers Find Computers! RCI will need approximately 300 computers in fiscal year 2013-2014

For more information contact Mel Honig 419 843 4459(h) 567 686 3406(c) email: gailmel75@yahoo.com.

 

Donations and Purchases

Equipment and Supplies

Item Donor Facilitator
Cartons of Books Books for Buddies John Fedderke, Rotary Club of Toledo
MESA Truck filled with Toys, Games, VHS Tapes Brookside HS Interact Gina Eschke Rotary Club of Avon/Avon Lake
2 Gaylords of Games & Toys Gail Odneal
12 Boxes of Wooden Blocks Mel Honig
4 boxes books/ 1 bag VHS tapes Friends of the Library, Detroit

Monetary($230 total)

 

Donor Facilitator
Rotary Club of Avon/Avon Lake Gina Eschke
Larisa Kryachkova

 

Purchases

 

Items Seller Cost
Sporting Equipment Glenwood Middle School (Findlay) $ 15.50 at Auction
Tables and Computers Crestline High School $100.00 at Auction

 

 

Brookside High School Interact Club Collects for RCI

 

The Brookside High Interact Club (supported by the Rotary Club Avon/Avon Lake) for the second year in a row conducted a drive to collect slightly used toys, games, books and VHS tapes for Resource Centers in Jamaica and Belize.

The Brookside High Interact Club (supported by the Rotary Club Avon/Avon Lake) for the second year in a row conducted a drive to collect slightly used toys, games, books and VHS tapes for Resource Centers in Jamaica and Belize.

The Interactors were all smiles as they loaded the MESA truck with life changing tools that bring communities together in play. This is only the halfway point as we nearly filled the entire truck.

The Interactors were all smiles as they loaded the MESA truck with life changing tools that bring communities together in play. This is only the halfway point as we nearly filled the entire truck.

At the Auction

Mansfield Rotarian, David Daugherty, PDG and MESA Steering Committee Chairman lends a hand at the Crestline High School Auction… Unfortunately there was not much available for us at the auction and we only purchased several tables and computers.

Mansfield Rotarian, David Daugherty, PDG and MESA Steering Committee Chairman lends a hand at the Crestline High School Auction… Unfortunately there was not much available for us at the auction and we only purchased several tables and computers.

Reaching their final destination… Resource Centers in Belize

Everything in this picture are just a fraction of the equipment and supplies sent to the village of San Juan and 8 other sites during our just completed mission to Orange Walk District, Belize. (0250)

Everything in this picture are just a fraction of the equipment and supplies sent to the village of San Juan and 8 other sites during our just completed mission to Orange Walk District, Belize. (0250)

Mission Trip to Belize

by Jane Heringhaus; Ottawa-Glandorf Rotarian

Last spring Mel Honig, Project Coordinator for Resource Centers International (RCI), and Rotarian from Sylvania, Ohio, did a presentation about his service and work in Belize promoting Early Childhood Education in the poorer villages. Judy Riggle, Rotarian from Oberlin, Ohio also spoke at our club. Both Mel and Judy have been to Belize many times to help establish Resource Centers; consisting of pre-schools, small library and computer centers in the Hurricane Shelters in many Belize Villages. I became very interested in their missions, which promoted early childhood education, language and literacy. I decided to give of myself and service; since I was a retired Kindergarten/first grade teacher, and make my first Mission Trip to Belize; along with Mel, his daughter, Elana; computer expert Justin and my partner Judy.

Much preparation was done before the trip. I had the opportunity to help pack, weigh and label materials that would be sent to Belize. I also helped to load the semi truck full of educational materials, books, toys, games, puzzles, computers, televisions, VCR’s , videos, file cabinets, tables, chairs, etc. Mel Honig is to be commended for his efforts getting all of these materials through donations, auctions or purchases. It is truly amazing to see the amount of “goods” which were sent to Belize. When the supplies arrived they were stored, sorted, and delivered to the villages we would be working in.

Jane and Findlay Rotaractors helping at the Mesa warehouse, Findlay, Ohio

Jane and Findlay Rotaractors helping at the Mesa warehouse, Findlay, Ohio

 

What an enlightening, humbling, and gratifying experience!!

 

On this trip we worked in villages in Orange Walk District, helping the community members set up Resource Centers for their young children; 2, 3, and 4 year olds. We provided them with educational resources and materials and had a training session in the afternoon to share ideas with the mothers and work with the children.

A total of nine villages were involved. I had the opportunity to visit most of the villages, but Judy and I worked in three of them; San Juan, San Lazaro, and San Luis. I worked with Elana in Carmelita. The other villages were San Estaban, Pine Ridge, Trinidad, San Palmer and San Filipe.

 

I would like to share with you my day in the village of San Luis; most days were similar, but just in different villages.

 

Jane and Judy Riggle (Otterbein Rotarian) conducting a reading workshop with mothers with preschool age children in San Luis. Prior to being converted into the Resource Center, this room was used for storage. This half of the room was for preschool students and the library, while the other half was for the computer lab. (0384)

Jane and Judy Riggle (Otterbein Rotarian) conducting a reading workshop with mothers with preschool age children in San Luis. Prior to being converted into the Resource Center, this room was used for storage. This half of the room was for preschool students and the library, while the other half was for the computer lab. (0384)

Traveling to the villages was quite a bumpy ride down semi paved, dirt roads; full of large pot holes, and past many cane fields where the village men were working. When we finally arrived at the village it was amazing; beautiful trees, some flowering; chickens, goats, and dogs walking around in the yards, and homes that looked like small huts. There were approximately 350 people who lived in San Luis; 32 children were 0-4 and eleven children were of preschool age; 2-4. The village people were somewhat shy at first, but very interested in all the materials that had been delivered.

 

The smiles of Javier and Filipe indicate how happy they were to be chosen as one of the Resource Center sites. Filipe said that ‘we have never received such a valuable donation as this in the past’. (0336)

The smiles of Javier and Filipe indicate how happy they were to be chosen as one of the Resource Center sites. Filipe said that ‘we have never received such a valuable donation as this in the past’. (0336)

 

The Principal of their primary school was Filipe, and the Chairman of the Village, Javier were at the center. They were very helpful translating to the mothers who did not understand or speak much English. Judy and I were fortunate in that respect since neither of us spoke Spanish. The elementary age children, high school students and many women did speak English quite well so we were able to carry on a conversation with most of them. We spent most of the morning cleaning the shelter where the center would be set up and sorting the materials, games, toys and books. The large heavy cardboard box that contained the materials was turned into a playhouse. The children enjoyed decorating the outside and playing while we cleaned, organized and sorted. Mel built shelves for the library in the morning, while Justin wired and set up the 6 computers for use in the center.

There were many different tropical fruiting plants everywhere. (0353)

There were many different tropical fruiting plants everywhere. (0353)

 

At noon the community people brought lunch to the center consisting of fresh squeezed orange juice and chicken tamales wrapped in plantain leaves: quite different and but delicious.

At noon the community people brought lunch to the center consisting of fresh squeezed orange juice and chicken tamales wrapped in plantain leaves: quite different and but delicious.

After lunch, Judy and I had a training session with the mothers and their children; we sang songs, did finger-plays, read stories, discussed, did an art activity, (made paper plate puppets which went along with one of the stories we read), and then the children played with the toys and games.

 

IMG_5466

The adjacent classroom was used for this play activity. One of the many advantages of co-opting with schools is the mutual use of facilities when appropriate.

The adjacent classroom was used for this play activity. One of the many advantages of co-opting with schools is the mutual use of facilities when appropriate.

While the children played, we assisted in helping the mothers set up their schedule as to the days and times the pre-school center would be open and which mothers would be in charge of the “lessons”, stories, songs, etc. for that day. All mothers were expected to attend with their preschoolers, but two mothers would be basically in charge. They also discussed rules and expectations of the children. The mothers gave suggestions as to what they wanted their children to learn; prayer was to be a part of their day. This part took a lot of discussion, since they had never done anything like it before and a commitment had to be made. The Principal of their Elementary School, Filipe, was very helpful in the discussion. Once they had a basic schedule, days and times established, we sang a clean-up song while the children put the toys and games away and suggested they end the day with a goodbye song. I had brought along a booklet of songs that could be sung to familiar tunes which many of the mothers knew; Twinkle, Twinkle; If You’re Happy, Are You Sleeping, etc. That was very helpful to them and they appreciated having the book for future reference. It was a very constructive meeting and the mothers realized they would be the ones to keep the center going. Around 4:30 (or later) each afternoon Mel and Justin would return from another village that they were working in and we would go back to our “Resort”.

It was truly a gratifying, enlightening experience and one which I feel very fortunate to have participated in. The excitement seen on the faces of the children was priceless as they explored the new materials, toys, played games, sang and interacted in the activities with us. It was a wonderful, self-fulfilling experience and I am thankful to have been part of such a great team.

 

Schools in Belize are either government or religiously affiliated. The primary school at San Luis is Roman Catholic, although in practice there is not that much difference in actual operations between the ‘RC’ and government school.

Schools in Belize are either government or religiously affiliated. The primary school at San Luis is Roman Catholic, although in practice there is not that much difference in actual operations between the ‘RC’ and government school.

 

Revisiting Silver Creek

By Meredith Casper; United States Peace Corps Volunteer

 Fortunately and unfortunately Silver Creek Village has been expanding in population and has a great potential for growth.

The preschool in Silver Creek community has seen a great amount of growth since it’s opening in 2005. With inadequate space to house all things that make preschool great the toys, books, games, etc. that Resource Centers International provided, the preschool teacher has created an additional space in the proposed Resource Center to enhance her student’s play and lesson times.

 

Meredith working with preschoolers… yes starting on computer training!

Meredith working with preschoolers… yes starting on computer training!

 

Silver Creek has also seen an increase in its secondary student population. Many villagers are choosing to attend high school or university in town and the addition of a computer lab has been a vital asset to assisting them academically.

 

The school’s computer lab has been in existence since the fall of 2010 and as of January 2012 we have expanded our hours for the students in the community that attend high school and the University of Belize. We have approximately 140 users during the school hours, educating preschool to Standard VI on how to use computers. In the evening, we average 7 to 8 adult users a night. The lab currently has 12 computers online that are also used for their Microsoft Office software, research tools, and computer literacy programs. We also offer printing, scanning, and copying services as well. A committee of dedicated volunteers has already been extremely successful in establishing and managing the computer lab that currently operates within the school building and has shown immense commitment to the project.

The Community Library is being expanded to house the computer center, which is currently housed in one of the classrooms of the primary school. All the computers, preschool games and toys and books were donated to Silver Creek during Resource Centers International Mission 4, conducted in March 2011.

The Community Library is being expanded to house the computer center, which is currently housed in one of the classrooms of the primary school. All the computers, preschool games and toys and books were donated to Silver Creek during Resource Centers International Mission 4, conducted in March 2011.

 

The community strives to support the education, entrepreneurship, and employability of its residents we seek to embrace the technology necessary to compete in today’s global economy and has chosen to expand the current lab. With constraints on size and ideal environmental conditions to operate a lab, the village leaders with support of the Peace Corps volunteer residing in Silver Creek have campaigned to build a new facility. The site for the new computer lab is an extension to our community library supported by the National Library Service. The building has at this point been erected but needs windows and a door before the computers can be moved to the new site. Village men between the ages of 18 and 60 volunteered and the contractor was a village resident who was paid a small daily stipend.

 

During this most recent visit RCI donated four additional computers and a high speed laser-jet printer to the center.

During this most recent visit RCI donated four additional computers and a high speed laser-jet printer to the center.

It is probable that National Library Service will support the computer lab as we have demonstrated supporting the sub-library in our community with a part-time librarian and a very consistent following of students and adults. This past year the library initiated several reading programs to enhance student literacy and comprehension.

Silver Creek Village & Primary School would like to thank you for the years of assistance you have given to our school, library, computer lab, and community.

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