Today I have no idea of where to even start. So much information and so much to learn.
Today we had the pleasure of visiting 3 different private schools that are run by the YMCA of Peru as well as one very unique afterschool program.
The schools we visited were in Pueblo Libre, La Victoria, and Rimac. The children range in age from 3 to 17 and their day goes from 7:30am to 3pm. (the 3 and 4 year olds are done at 1pm) At 3pm, they are able to take all of the YMCA activities (dance, music, karate, etc.) at no additional charge. The children were all incredibly well behaved - the kindergarteners pushed in their chairs without being asked and enjoyed their time today dancing with Krishma! I had fun talking about Sonic the Hedgehog with a group of children, being serenaded by a boy playing the recorder and singing songs in English class. As a native Peruvian, Eva was busy translating, taking it all in and coming up with some new ideas for her TLC students.
The Y School starts with a foundation of the core values which for them includes amistad “friendship” at a very early age. Bullying is never accepted and immediately corrected. They do not punish but they have one on one conversations and sometimes include parents. The behavior is immediately corrected. At no time, all day, did we see any child act out or be disrespectful in any way. If I didn’t see this, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t believe it. We all enjoyed the class “Self, Family and Human Relations” – a really interesting course in how to interact with others and bring your personal strengths to working relationships.
• The students stood up to greet us when we walked in the room. They did not sit until the teacher gave permission. This is the case when the principal or teacher enters the room.
• The lunchboxes and backpacks are neatly arranged in every grade – it’s hard to believe that the students do this themselves!
• There was much less clutter and information on the wall so as not to be distracting.
• The students were very inquisitive about us. We were asked questions such as “How do you feel about Trump” “What is your favorite Peruvian food” “What’s your favorite sport” and “Do you know Guns N Roses”?
• 3 year olds were getting formal Peruvian dance education and at the end of the year they have a performance.
• The students in all grades tried to greet us in English and some were excited to try their English skills.
• The staircases have one railing child height and one railing adult height - so smart!
• The preschoolers were brushing their teeth after lunch.
Afterschool Service Project
This is a program to prevent Child Labor for at risk youth. Prior to being accepted to the program, these children work side by side with their parents most selling products on the street. The goal is to assist them in getting into school and then have a safe place to go afterschool. There are currently 35 students in this program.
To help the parents of these children, the social workers help them develop a business plan to expand their business. The Y will give small loans to be paid back monthly. This is not a new project, it has been going on for over 20+ years.
The original funding was sent by the Germany YMCA, in fact, today there were two 20 year olds from Germany. For their gap year between high school and college (August to August) they were teaching the children in afterschool. They came over speaking very little Spanish and now they are fluent. Such a great opportunity.
We look forward to sharing all of our new information with our Ys!
Phone: (908) 273-3330 ext. 1134
To learn more about various upcoming events at the Summit Area YMCA, please visit www.thesay.org/calendar
About the Summit Area YMCA
The Summit Area YMCA is one of the area’s leading 501(c)3 charitable organizations. Founded in 1886, the Summit Area YMCA has a history steeped in working side-by-side with our neighbors to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, income and background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. Each year, we serve more than 10,000 individuals with our free and fee-based programs and services in an area spanning the communities of Berkeley Heights, New Providence, Millburn, Springfield, Short Hills, Summit, Gillette, and Stirling. Through the generosity of our members, donors, and partners, we are able to offer financial assistance for our programs and services to those with demonstrated need. To strengthen your community and provide others with the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive, make your tax-deductible donation today at www.thesay.org/give