English club is growing like crazy and we are excited to get to be apart of it. Beyond teaching in the middle school and getting to know the kids, I love having them to my house to play and get to know them a little better. Cathy and I often talk about how to make a lasting impact on the community. We want to do more than just give a handout. We want to change lives and English club gives us the opportunity to go deeper with the kids. We started the club with just middle school kids and we need to expand to the elementary children because they are sitting on our fence listening, hoping to be apart as well. A friend is coming in a few weeks to help me plan curriculum and design how the lessons can teach English while reflecting the love of our Savior. I am so excited to work with her and thankful that the Lord directed our paths together.
Teaching in the school gives me a good vantage point to view the education in Salinas Grandes. There are huge needs in the educational system. Many of the kids have been sponsored one organization or another to receivea uniform, school supplies, and the small tuition fee. But they are constantly out of school for various reasons and when they are in class they copy from the board without understanding much of what they are copying. They are not taught problem solving skills and only know what surrounds them in their small village. There are no books in their homes. I read the statistic that for a Nicaraguan to own a book is similar to an American spending $257 on a single book. In a survival culture there is no room for extras like books. Recently Parker read the book Clara and the Book Wagon. He immediately said, “Mama why don’t we take books around to the kids in our village to borrow.” I love that the kids inspired to meet the needs they see around them. We are beginning to dream with our kids about a lending “wagon” (the back of our car), a library and a story hour at some point. My parents are bringing the first load of Spanish books this week when they come for a visit.