How do we choose each child for the school? This question has been asked many times. I wish it was as simple as giving you a basic formula but it isn’t quite that easy. Honestly, the process has been more difficult than we were prepared for.
Current Students at the Feeding Center–Every parent at the feeding center attended a meeting to discuss the new school. They were provided a copy of the expectations for the parents and the children. In July each parent came to an interview to ask any specific questions they may have about the school. This also gave us an opportunity to hear the stories of each child. Each parent signed a contract for their child to attend the school. It is so important for the entire family to work with us as we strive to provide a better future for their children.
New Students–In August, we advertised applications for the new school. For two weeks, we held open applications and interviews for the community. This provided the opportunity for parents who currently have children in the program to apply for siblings also. After the interviews, a group of Guatemalans prioritized a list of needs based on the interviews. They spent 2 weeks doing home visits for the children. Once again they prioritized the list of needs. The parents of new students will have another meeting this Sunday to ask any additional questions and sign contracts.
How many students will be in each class?–Ideally we would like to have only 20 children in each class. From a teacher’s perspective, I believe a smaller class provides effective instruction for each student. Currently, almost every class has about 24 students.
The group of teachers choosing the children have spent many hours discussing every child. They have may decisions not simply based on financial needs, but emotional ad spiritual needs.
We spent 7 hours yesterday in meetings and signing individual contracts for the school! It was a long, but productive day. We are hoping to be completely finished within the next 2 weeks!