Finally, after months of planning and preparation I have arrived in the beautiful city of Arequipa with plans to spend the next four months volunteering with HOOP Peru. I had initially planned to take on the role as the “assistant” in the newly created Mother and Toddler Class. However, once I arrived we began discussing re-structuring the classes as it quickly became apparent that the class needed to be split up, as it had grown so large. We decided to move the older/ more advanced children up to the “Parrot” class and the younger ones stayed with me in the “Butterfly” class.
We have started implementing a new curriculum in the Parrot and Butterfly classes. One of the volunteers, Mariette, helped to develop the curriculum based on 26 weeks of teaching, focusing on activities to teach specific colors, letters, numbers and shapes each week. We are also working to focus on developing the children’s motor and social skills through arts and crafts and cooperative play games.
The kids have responded really well to the new class structure and curriculum. In just a few short weeks I have watched them learn to recite new English words, say please and thank you and to grow more comfortable using tools like scissors and glue. The best part was hearing one of the kid’s mother say that her daughter has been reciting the words she learns in school when she goes home at the end of the day! It’s such an incredible feeling to see their little smiling faces every day and to watch them learn and grow.