Our Nicaragua Peace Corps Partnership

 

When the school year started in August of 1998, our class became a Peace Corps World Wise School Partner with Peace Corps Volunteer, Brady Hamilton.

Brady is a Peace Corps Volunteer in the village of Santa Teresa, Nicaragua. Brady grew up in our town of Pullman and his parents live here.

When Hurricane Mitch hit Nicaragua, Brady's Mom sent us email to tell us what had happened to the people and village of Santa Teresa.

The village was flooded. People's homes were ruined. Trees and roads were washed away. The children were sad and scared after the hurricane.

We wanted to do something to help.

When Brady's Mom told us that she would be going to Nicaragua during our winter holidays,

our class decided to make comfort quilts and picture books for her to take to the children in Santa Teresa, Nicaragua.

In the picture below, you can see the three quilts and four picture books that we made for the children in Santa Teresa.

 

To make the quilts, we colored pictures of our smiling faces and other cheerful things on paper with fabric crayons.

Then we ironed the pictures onto white squares of fabric.

Our teacher sewed the squares together to make three small quilts.

We felt happy when we made the quilts because of the smiling faces on them and because we hoped the quilts would make the children in Santa Teresa feel better.

Here are two of the smiling faces on the comfort quilts.

We made four picture books for the children in Santa Teresa.

First, we talked about what would be good story ideas that they might like. We decided to write books called:

The Quilt Story

Games for Children

Wonderful Things About Families

All About Frogs

Second, we worked in small groups at our classroom computers to do first drafts of the four stories.

Third, we conferenced with our teacher and the rest of the class to revise and edit our stories until we had the words just right. We used our new school dictionaries to get book spellings.

Fourth, our Spanish teacher, Senora Rivera, helped us translate the words from English to Spanish so that each book had the words in both languages.

Fifth, we drew illustrations for the stories. We used our digital camera to take pictures of the illustrations. We used our computer to publish the words and illustrations together as books.

 

 

 

 
When we had finished our 3 quilts and 4 books, we sent email to Brady's Mom to tell her we had the books and quilts ready for her to take to Nicaragua.

She came to our classroom and we gave her the quilts and books.

We took digital images and made a video of her visit so we could always remember that time with her.

We are using our computer to edit the videotape into a story about our partnership with Brady and the village of Santa Teresa.

When Brady's Mom came to our school, one of our classmates gave her one of the 9 patch comfort quilts that we made.

Here is a close-up picture of that 9 patch comfort quilt.

One of our classmates gave Brady's Mom another 9 patch comfort quilt.

Here is a close-up of the second 9 patch comfort quilt.

 

Here is the 16 patch comfort quilt we made for the children in Santa Teresa.

 

In December 1998, Brady' Mom traveled with Brady's Dad to Santa Teresa, Nicaragua.

The books and quilts were given to the children.

When Brady's Mom got home, she sent us an email message about their trip to Santa Teresa.

She said:

"Your wonderful comfort quilts and delightful Spanish-English storybooks were SO appreciated by the children of Santa Teresa, Nicaragua!

We invited all the first and second grade children and any teachers who lived nearby to meet us in the youth center.

I read them your stories and presented the beautiful quilts.

They all had a chance to look at them and hold them when we passed them around.

Now there is a comfort quilt at the Health Post.

Brady tells us it is comforting children who have to have shots and little ones who have to be weighed.

The other two quilts are going to refuges to comfort the children who live there.

The books will be at their school.

The children really love the stories!"

In exchange for the quilts and books, Brady helped the children make drawings to send to us.

The children drew pictures about how people care for one another.

Brady's Mom brought the pictures to our classroom when she returned to Pullman.

We are going to use the pictures about caring that the children in Santa Teresa sent us in our Global Art Project on I*EARN (the International Education and Resource Network).

This year the Global Art Show is called "A Sense of Caring".

Our school and other schools around the world are sharing artwork and writing about how we care for one another.

The schools exchange artwork with each other and then each school puts up a Global Art Show.

Then we send email to each other about the artwork and writing.

The pictures from the children in Santa Teresa show us how they care about their families, friends, flowers, trees, their animals, their homes, and their water.

Their pictures will be included in the I*EARN Global Art Project.

When Brady's Mom came back to our classroom, she showed us slides from Santa Teresa.

The slides showed us how families live in Santa Teresa, the foods they cook, and what they do for fun.

We saw slides of how houses, trees, bridges, and roads were washed away by floods.

We saw slides of rushing waters.

It made us sad to see what had happened to their village because of Hurricane Mitch.

It made us feel better to see the slides of how they are rebuilding their houses and replanting their village.

It made us feel better to see that they are able to fix their village.

 

Learning about the hurricane in Santa Teresa made us think we were lucky to have what we have here in Pullman and that we should share what we have with others.

We liked working on quilts and writing books when we knew we could share them with other children.

We learned Spanish when our Spanish Teacher helped us write and read the words of our stories in English and then in Spanish.

We have copies of the books we sent to Nicaragua here in our classroom where we can read them and share them with each other.

We are making more comfort quilts.

One will be here in our classroom and one will be given to the Peace Corps World Wise Schools office in Washington, D.C. where other people can see how comfort quilts make you smile!

 
We want to say a big "Thank You" to: The Peace Corps World Wise Schools Program

Peace Corps Volunteer Brady Hamilton

The Children, Teachers, and Families of Santa Teresa

Brady's Mom and Dad

and

Pullman friend Steve Spaeth (who told us about the Peace Corps World Wise Schools Program...

for helping us be friends who care about each other!!!

***All documents on our classroom web pages are copyrighted. The text and images are for educational use only. Please honor the integrity and original ownership of all text, design and images. We request that you not replicate the webpage designs nor publish the images and text without permission. For permission contact Kristi Rennebohm Franz at kfranz@psd267.wednet.edu

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