Bare with me on the bulleted list but this is something that I think will help us be proud of what we have accomplished and help us take little steps forward in the goals that we have left to accomplish–
- Christopher has lived here since 2015 (well with a brief spout in Andes) but the great thing is all the connections he has made. At first I was surprised but I’m used to it by now….. most Jardineños know Christopher. This is great because it opens up the door to so many connections and support webs. People have seen him out in the park for years teaching kids for free. Adults as well have gotten lessons from him and know his methodology works (last week he was helping someone edit their application to a master’s program at Harvard… no big deal….).
- We have a group of kids that return all the time (and a group of kids in Andes that we were regularly teaching for months that miss us and we hope will want to get in on the project when we’re able to expand it more…. this could be well into the future). These kids are improving their pronunciation every class and show up pretty regularly. This is important to us because the outdoor classes are like a test for those we will actually invite to the Explorer program…. The kids have to be able to behave well in the outdoor class and seem focused and dedicated. Also of course, having kids return so regularly makes us feel like we really are accomplishing something and that we have support.
- Christopher has such a well-developed methodology. I truly feel lucky to be included on a project where so much of the hard work is already done. I’d suggest checking out his posts on the ACA methodology to find out what I’m talking about. Not only does he have the methodology but also has all these amazing graphics that explain it in laypeople’s terms. The graphics for the gallitos de la roca (the 4 red birds- scholar, philosopher, scientist and explorer) are also amazing and having those physical representations really help us brand our program, create flyers and handouts and give people a physical representation of who we are and who we hope to become.
- We met with the mayor of Jardin as well as the Secretary of Education and various other important figures. They were incredibly supportive and I expect nothing but support from them as we continue with this project. They invited us for a meeting and took us to the Casa de la Cultura which is a great public space for children and adults alike to learn and explore. We definitely hope to collaborate more with the Casa de la Cultura but we also want to continue the classes in the park because they are fun and a different environment that also gives us a lot of publicity. We also plan to give a variety of classes in our own house in 2 of the 4 rooms that will be a classroom and an exploratorium.
What we have left to do- (I mean so soooo much since our dreams are to take over the world with ACA Explorers buuut the closer goals)
- Make vests for us and the kids (blue vests with the ACA logo and Gallitos de la Roca, our logo)- we also want to make shirts, mugs, coasters, signs, stickers… EVERYTHING eventually so we can sell it online and to locals and tourists in Jardin. I’m going to get prices here and in Andes to see which one is more cost-effective.
- Think of more lesson plans for the outdoor classes– new songs and games to introduce
- Think of lesson plans for the indoor classes and more explorer activities– science experiments, excursions to cascadas/rivers/maybe otr, community service activities, getting to know oneself activities, meditation activities and activities to help us learn about geopolitical relations in Colombia, South America and the world at large…. all while incorporating English.
- Make up a schedule of activities we will have at the house (and make the house presentable for this)- yoga classes for kids and adults, dance or fitness classes, holiday activities (?) and how they will be broken down age wise.
- Make the GoFundMe page and publish it.
- Arrange visits with the colegios
- Make speech that can be taken to colegios and different places.