Dear Friend,

Firstly, I want to say thank you!

Thank you for clicking this email and taking the time to catch up on Yspaniola's news in these "virtual" times. The moments that we step away from a phone or computer screen are increasingly precious!
In August this year, we set out to fathom how, or even if, we could create "COVID-safe" teaching environments in Batey Libertad.

Would it be possible to teach a class of preschoolers? Would they keep a mask on for a whole hour? Could they socially distance? 

As children often do, they surprised us with their patience and openness to change, (an ability that we adults seem to lose over time!). With their amazing minds and positive outlook, our students filled their classrooms with infectious joy and laughter as they adapted to our new structure.

Sadly, though, we were forced to make some cuts. With a smaller team, and stretched resources, it has been distressing not being able to reach every single student in the community, as we have in the past. There are days where I have been torn between my "to-do list" and helping a student with their virtual classwork; a situation in which I am sure many moms and dads have found themselves in recent months. 

Even so, we have come far since August, and as you will see from our fast approaching holiday fundraiser, we feel that we have every reason to be hopeful, and look forward to a new year! 

We also have an exciting announcement coming this #GivingTuesday, so keep your eyes peeled!

Thank you so very much for making an entire semester of COVID-safe lessons a reality with your generous gifts and messages of support! 

Please read on to hear about how you are contributing to the success of our university scholars, as they take classes with our fantastic Fellow Zach, who has hit the ground running.

Warm wishes,

Executive Director (above, pictured with students in pre-COVID times!)
Amy offers time to help with students' assignments
New Initiatives For University Scholars
Under the guidance of our new University Scholarship Program Manager, Mirian Rodriguez, Yspaniola's University Scholars have had a busy semester! They've participated in computer literacy classes and are designing their own community project to assess the success of the virtual teaching offered by the local public school. In addition, our scholars have also excelled in English tutoring with our Fellow, Zach, since August. Zach reflects:  

"I really enjoy working one-on-one with each of the scholars, getting to know their interests, and collaborating to develop an English proficiency that relates to their futures. Role playing has allowed students to envision future success and gain relevant grammar and vocabulary. It has been a pleasure to get to know these young leaders and visionaries."

We are grateful to Zach for his excellent support of our scholars, and we hope to welcome more international staff to our team next year. Please visit our idealist page for current opportunities!
Zach holds an English class with University Scholar, Daniel
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Yspaniola · 33 Seaverns Ave · Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 · USA

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