School donations and contributions

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Posted by Candice from ( on lunes, septiembre 09, 2002 at 15:18:06 :

As the busy visiting season approaches, may I offer a few reflections on donations and contributions?
To answer Rico in PDX, the quality of the school supplies we can get in the US and Canada is much better than that available in Mexico, so if you can find a spot in the luggage, do.
Regarding supplies, there are lots of posts in the archives about what would be appreciated. Everything from first-aid supplies to markers, pencils, puzzles, books in Spanish. Laura addressed much of this in her post of 9/3/02. One thing I'd like to suggest regarding the children's Library of La Barra de Potosi: as Laura likes to do equitable giveaways to all the children in the village, our taking a lot of one thing to her rather than a few of a lot of things makes sense. For example, if 5 people each brought down 20 spiral notebooks (I know, they're heavy), she'd have enough to give one to each child. Same with pens, pencil sharpeners, small boxes of crayons, etc. If each of us takes a couple of children's books in Spanish, eventually she'd have enough for each child. I know lots of people like to contribute, and this board is a good place to make connections and arrangements with others on their way.

Regarding contributions, I offer this as something to think about. As those of you who have read this board for a while know, I gave a puppet workshop for the kids in La Barra last year. (The report is in the archives, maybe Rob can find it and post a link.) My husband Dick and I brought down the supplies and spent one of the most amazing afternoons of our lives helping the children make paper-bag hand puppets. Laura said the kids made puppets for weeks afterwards, using them to tell stories, wanting to do a puppet show. I would so encourage each of you to think about what you know and what you can do, and perhaps find a way to share your skills and talents. There are no critics there, only beautiful, enthusiastic and wide-eyed children who are so willing to learn something new. As a project for a family, a couple, a group of friends, giving a few hours of your time is unbelievably rewarding and fun. Ideas? Sometimes Laura (and I'm sure the other schools) can use a little carpentry help. Some musicians gave a drum workshop once. What have you helped your kids make for school? The children love art projects! The key is simplicity. You'll have to take the supplies you need with you, things like glue, construction paper, colored feathers, scissors (packed in the checked baggage!), beads...what else can you think of? Ask your kids! I'll bet they'll have some ideas.

By the way, as much as I practiced, my Spanish was still pathetic, but it didn't matter a bit, so don't let that get in your way. The technique is more Show than Tell, and Laura was there to translate what needed saying. Also, we've had our bags looked at upon arrival in Mexico, and the customs inspectors just smiled and waved us through when I told him these were supplies for the school children.

That day in La Barra is unforgettable. The workshop was at 4 pm, so we had plenty of time for exploring, eating and lounging at the beach. And as wonderful as those lazy vacation days are, they run together compared to the distinct memories we have of the smiling faces of the village children.

If I can help with information or ideas, in any way, feel free to email me.

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