Kids Share Workshops’ volunteers, Kristina and Jeanne, are in Panajachel (pronounced Pana HA chel), Guatemala working with Mayan children at the Panakids Bilingual Program. The program was designed for cross-cultural sharing through Technology, the Arts, English/Spanish Immersion, Literacy and Environmental Exploration three afternoons a week. A wonderful bilingual 18 year old tour guide has been hired by our program. Her name is Dina (pronounced Deena), and she is marvelous with the children!
To begin our first day this week Kristina’s daughter, Phoebe, led the group in singing our new Kids Share Song. All the kids learned to echo back to Phoebe the words in English. It was a great way to connect on our first day!
The sharing of videos was also a great connection! First, Kristina talked about the Boys & Girls Club in Northfield, Vermont, and how much they wanted to meet their new friends at PanaKids. Music played during the presentation. When “If You’re Happy and You Know It” played, all the Mayan children chimed in with the song! It was great to hear! The next video was of Kristina’s farm in Vermont, sharing what is grown, raised and picked in the wild to eat. Also, there was an introduction to Green-Up Day in which her family participated. Kristina then surprised the kids with a video of a rainbow from her back yard! The last video was of interviews between Kristina and the kids at the Boys & Girls Club, the goal being to match each child with a friend. Our focus for cross cultural sharing with the PanaKids will be through a lot of artwork. Their ages are six and seven.
Our traditional friendship web, which brings all of us together, was a lot of fun! Each child said their name and one thing they like before throwing the ball of yarn to a friend. The result was a beautiful web!
On Day 2, Kristina shared the rest of her video interviews of the children at the Boys and Girls Club in Vermont with the Mayan children. Even though they couldn’t understand everything the North American children were saying, they could pick up some of the meanings. They especially enjoyed knowing that the children in the videos were talking to THEM!
Phoebe led the group in practicing singing the Kids Share Song, and it sounded great! Jamie (Jeanne’s daughter) then shared some photos of her Vermont school (River Rock School): the building, some of the classrooms, and Halloween, when they visited a nursing home and then came back to bob for apples and party!
Kristina got out the big puzzle pieces that the Vermont kids painted, and the PanaKids took turns putting them together into a big puzzle! After placing a piece, each child closed their eyes and tapped a friend who would then place the next piece. How they giggled and laughed as they played!
In last week’s post you saw a photo of cardboard and other recyclables that we had asked parents to save, and today we sat outside and cut and folded old cereal boxes to create the outside of journals for the kids to record drawings of their experiences with us. We punched holes in paper, used yarn to bind paper into the cardboard journals, and the children decorated the outsides. (Later we’ll begin to decorate the journals more with tissue art! Stay tuned…)
Our third day this week began with Phoebe reading Green Eggs and Ham to the kids! It’s a favorite of all of our children. She also led the practicing of the Kid’s Share song, and then Jeanne shared photos of farm animals that live in Vermont. Some are similar to those here in Guatemala, but there are differences that the children noticed, and they giggled at how silly farm animals can be!
We had scheduled a Skype visit with the Vermont Boys and Girls Club kids, but they were having technical difficulties. We were lucky enough to connect with a Vermont friend of Kristina’s, Athene, who was visiting in Washington, DC. but from Vermont. The Mayan children were a bit shy talking with a person over the computer, but when asked what their favorite Kid’s Share activity was they answered with a resounding “ARTE”!
The kids really enjoyed when Kristina got out the paint in preparation for next week! First we opened and stirred the primary colors (red, blue and yellow) and the white and black. As each child donned a huge tee-shirt, they chose a color that would need to be mixed. Kristina walked them through how the primary colors, when stirred together, make all the other colors! The most magical color the children mixed was a pale purple.
Next week, Kristina will teach the art of tissue designs with the colors that we began mixing. The tissue designs will be used in many art projects as well as in a final co-created painting! Please see our slide show below to get a detailed visual of our week. Hasta pronto! (See you soon!)