A Day in the Life of a Honduras Child Alliance Volunteer . . .
Honduras Child Alliance provides morning and afternoon classes to accommodate students in grades 1-6.
The PEP+ classes follow the same general schedule for each group and run in morning and afternoon sessions Monday-Thursday and also on Friday morning. In El Porvenir, elementary-age children go to public school either in the morning or afternoon, so those who go in the morning come to HCA’s classes in the afternoon, and vice versa.
International volunteers and Honduran 'facilitadores' work together as the 'Education Team' and are assigned in blended groups to work at the PEP-Centro, PEP-2, or PEP-3 classroom. Preparation for class is key! Regular planning meetings and arriving at class 15 minutes before students get there is crucial to making sure each class goes smoothly.
Class activities are always run in the same order: Free-Time, Circle-Time, English Immersion, Snack, 2-3 subject-specific activities, and then Final Circle.
The first fifteen minutes is ‘Free-Time’ and is dedicated to playing games and building rapport with students. During free time, members of the Education Team should be taking attendance, determining groups (if needed), and spending time with the students.
Following Free Time is ‘Circle-Time’. Everyone sits on the floor in a circle and introduces themselves by saying their name and age (in English) and then answering a question of the day. Once everyone has introduced themselves, the children are asked to review the class rules about how we treat each other, including the three behaviors that are absolutely not tolerated: racism, sexism, and sexualized behavior. After the rules are reviewed, the plan of the day is explained before transitioning to English Immersion with our “changing the language” routine.
English immersion requires big hand motions and exaggerated facial expressions!
Next is ‘English Immersion’. During this time, volunteers lead an activity (a game, vocabulary review, etc.) speaking only in English. Speaking slowly, while using big hand motions and exaggerated facial expressions is encouraged during this time in order for the children to understand what is being said to or asked of them. English Immersion is not to introduce new vocabulary to students, but rather to allow them to become familiar with hearing words in English and connecting the dots.
After English Immersion comes snack time! Snack time is part of HCA's Healthy Snack Program. Each day, students receive a snack rich in protein, iron, and calcium. Snack time is a great time to read a story and talk with kids! Snacks are prepared by Education Team members and community members following the schedule of the in-country nutrition intern and under the guidance of HCA's Nutrition Advisor, Lynda Lawerence.