There has been some progress made in the past few weeks for Andy. Andy has signed up with Centro Rahabilitacion Renacer. It costs 700 pesos ($18) to sign up and 200 pesos ($5) each time he goes. He will work with a psychologist there who has experience with kids with learning disabilities. Sonia is VERY excited about this opportunity for him and is confident that it will make all the difference. She was able to hire a psychologist to work with him about 2 years ago, and she said during that time she saw huge changes in him. He was calmer, able to focus on his work, and his grades improved. She wasn't able to continue as she didn't have the money.
They had their first session on Tuesday from 3-4, and will return next Tuesday from 3-4. The woman, Yadira, is going to focus on his reading. Andy's main problem is that he struggles with reading, and thus doesn't understand the material being taught. She is going to teach him how to read with greater ease.
The cost of all the sessions leading up to his exam has kindly been covered by Leigh. Thank you Leigh!
Caitlin of Project Esperanza offered generously to work with Andy this past Saturday for 2 hours at a greatly reduced price. She, too, has been invested in his future and wants to see him succeed. We have booked 5 more sessions for Caitlin to work with Andy leading up to his exams in May and I think this one-on-one tutoring will really help him.
Caitlin and Andy focused on his Lengua Española class. He brought his text books so Caitlin could go directly off that and make sure she was focusing on what he is learning in class. They went over what a verb is and how to conjugate verbs. He learned the following vocabulary straight from his notes and book: first person, second person, third person (in reference to pronouns), singular, plural, past, present, future (he already knew but they reviewed how they conjugate), indicative (declarative), subjective, and imperative. They conjugated verbs according to different pronouns and finished with an activity in his book.
The activity was set up as a table with three columns: verbs, person, and number. Each row had a different conjugated verb. Andy then had to look at the verb, “salen”, and think which pronoun it was conjugated with. In this case, it was ellos. Then he had to think if ellos is first, second, or third person, and write that in the second column. Then he had to think if ellos is singular or plural and write that in the third column. He did quite well with all of this, proving that he is a bright kid, he just needs some one-on-one support as he improves his reading skills.
While visiting the family last month, I recognized a need for transportation support. Earlier in the school year, Sonia texted me telling me that the Director told her the kids can't walk to school anymore, as their uniforms were getting dirty during the 30 minute walk (much of which involved the kids jumping over puddles of sewage water). At that time, Sonia and Juan purchased a motoconcho. The way it works is, they make a payment on it every month until it is completely paid off. If they are not able to make a payment, the motoconcho is taken back. They use this to drive the kids to school, tutoring, and volunteering.
A huge thank you to Jessica, who has offered to become a monthly sponsor for transportation. She is going to be donating enough money to cover the cost of their gasoline, which will be a huge weight off their shoulders and will allow for continued access to education. Thank you Jessica!
A big thanks to my Mom who has sent the funds needed for Yoandi's uniform! I will have a picture soon of him with his new uniform for next year.
We are getting SO close to having their year funded. We have raised $2900 of $3400, which means only $500 left to go! This is so do-able, I am thrilled.
Easter (Semana Santa/Holy Week) is a huge holiday in the Dominican and the kids are off school this week. One sponsor kindly offered to pay to help the family out with food during this holiday. Pictured below is Andy with the food that was purchased for them, and a list (and price in Dominican pesos) of what they received.
10 lbs. of rice - 289
2 lbs. black beans - 67
2 lbs. red beans - 86
28 oz. bottle Sazon Liquido (a sauce/seasoning) - 76
1 gallon oil - 144
2 cartons of milk - 80
bag of chocolate easter eggs - 100
bag of easter egg bubble gums - 125
box of chicken boulyon - 214
box of strawberries - 199
I will leave you with a video of the kids and I in Parque Central. This was when we were celebrating Andy's 17th birthday. We went to Parque Central and played checkers and chased the birds, and then went out for a celebratory dinner. In this video I am trying to get the kids to practice their English. Andy and Yoandi don't speak much English yet. Andrielis speaks quite a bit, but was nervous for the camera! She is actually quite good.