students

First Semester Highlights: A Look Back at NDG’s Activities

We are nearing the end of the first semester of the school year, and it has been an exciting journey so far. Students are eagerly looking forward to their well-deserved mid-year break during the last week of June. The first months of the year have been packed with activities. We asked our Executive Director for their thoughts and perspective on this semester’s events, and they expressed great enthusiasm for the vibrant and enriching experiences that have marked the school year so far.

On March 14, we celebrated International Pi Day in all schools, a special day for reminding students of the importance of Math. International Pi Day is observed on March 14 (3.14), recognizing the Mathematical constant π and honoring Albert Einstein’s birthdate. To observe this important day, all three schools prepared logical reasoning games and math-related activities to have a joyful and enriching experience highlighting the excitement and relevance of mathematics in everyday life. The objectives were to promote mathematics literacy, encourage problem-solving skills, connect math to real life, and create a positive mathematical culture.

Another vital celebration was Book Day on April 29. We had storytelling, book readings, book cover creations, and a theater show. These activities promoted literacy, enhanced imagination, and creativity, and encouraged a love for reading. Students were engaged and had fun while strengthening their reading skills.

During the first week of May, we celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, a special moment to recognize and thank our teachers for their essential role in shaping individuals and society. We are very appreciative of their hard work and dedication, and for the extra mile, they always put in. This week, we had different activities to honor our teachers, including a meditation and relaxation activity. We are thrilled to have officially started the robotics program for all students from second to sixth grade in the Primary schools. Robotics will help develop essential skills, such as logical reasoning, problem-solving, creativity, programming, and technical skills. The robotics program also helps strengthen mathematical skills, engineering principles, spatial skills, and computer science foundation by exposing students to programming logic and coding. Our students love their robotics class!

On another happy note, the internships for the Hospitality Certification have started. We conceived the NDG Hospitality Certification Training Program as an optional program for our graduated students in response to a perceived demand in the region of Antigua for well-trained individuals who can enter the hospitality job market and as a last step to closing the cycle of poverty. Students have the opportunity to learn the necessary skills for entry-level jobs in the hospitality industry. Through our partnerships with the most reputable hotels and restaurants in Antigua Guatemala, they perform a 7-month internship in them. Eleven of our graduated students enrolled in the program, and thus far, 42% of our graduates have undertaken this certification. Once they finish the program, they can get entry-level jobs in this vital industry in Antigua Guatemala, responsible for nearly 80% of the job opportunities.

Not everything has been happy moments. In late March, we had the sad news that one of our young students from Nuestro Futuro Primary did not survive his hemodialysis treatment due to dual-kidney failure. He lived with his grandmother, as he had previously lost both his parents. This was a sorrowful moment for the NDG community. May he rest in peace!

The moment for major repairs arrived, and this year, we foresee the need to change the complete roof of Nuestro Futuro Primary School. The roof has cracked, and due to crystallization caused by the sun and heat, it is beyond repair; experts have advised replacing it. We have undertaken fundraising efforts to raise the $25,000 needed for this project. If you would like to contribute, you can do so through https://www.ninosdeguatemala.org/donate/

 

As we approach the end of this vibrant first semester, we reflect on the enriching activities that have marked the beginning of this school year. From celebrating the wonders of mathematics and the joys of reading to honoring our dedicated teachers and launching our innovative robotics program, our students have engaged in many experiences that have broadened their horizons and deepened their skills. The pen pal program has opened doors to cultural exchanges and global friendships. At the same time, the NDG Hospitality Certification Training Program offers our graduated students valuable opportunities in Antigua’s thriving hospitality industry. Amidst these highlights, we also shared moments of profound sadness, reminding us of the strength and compassion within our community. As we look forward to a well-deserved mid-year break, we remain committed to supporting our students’ growth. We are grateful for the continued support from our community, mainly as we undertake necessary repairs to ensure a safe learning environment. Thank you for being a part of our journey, and we look forward to the exciting months ahead.

Sincerely,

Adolfo Yarhi

Executive Director