Sunday, March 2, 2014

DR Day 2 - Prep For The Children

Sundays in the Dominican Republic are quiet. Coupled with the rain, the country seemed asleep as we woke up. After a great breakfast, our group set off for our 30 minute drive to the Abreu school, but that drive turned into an hour as many roads were washed out.

We met the group leaders from the Dream Project. Jon, the Director of Development, gave us a great orientation about the school, area, and projects we will be engaged in. Marsha, also with the Dream Project, answered our questions and told us about the ESL classes we will be teaching and murals we will be working on. As it was Sunday, we were at the Aberu school without students so it was a calm before the storm.

We had lunch at a great spot that was a five minute walk from the school and doubled as a botanical garden. After lunch, we headed back to the school to plan ESL lessons and design the murals we will later be painting.

The Abreu school that we will be working in is an extremely nice school compared to others around the DR. The school houses the only Montessori on the island, as well as an elementary and high school. Education in the Dominican Republic averages only $900 spent per student each year. Only about 1/2 of Dominican children will graduate 8th grade. The Dream Project works to supplement, not replace, the education system.

Additionally, a local resort is beginning to invest money into local schools to bring in ESL program to help the local population gain skills that will help them gain employment in the future. This presents a great opportunity to discuss local development and how it affects the Dominican Republic.

We finally had a chance to enjoy the beach 60 feet from our rooms.

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