Here at Katitawa School we teach grades, kindergarten through seventh. When they leave here they go on to the Colegio which is like high school and they are there for five years.
Our main goal is to make sure the students are prepared for the colegio. For the past few years the volunteer teachers have taught classes in English, computers, art, music, poetry, chess, theater, sports and helped in math, science. Local teachers always teach Kitchwa and Spanish.
Some parents bring their children to Katitawa when they are two or three years old....Sometimes I suspect, because they think we are a good baby sitting service. Since many of the adults here in Salasaka do not read or write Spanish, the children often come without the basic knowledge that is common in larger cities where the parents are better educated.
Others bring them when they are five or six because they have trouble in another school because they are stuck at number 40 in a class of 40 or 50. Here we have small classes and can give special help to a child that needs it.
We have known for a couple of years that most of the children at all levels have a real problem with reading and writing Spanish. Since Spanish was not one of the subjects the volunteers were teaching, we talked about it, but did not do much about it. This year, thanks to a couple of volunteers who gave tests to find out which students needed help....And most did. To correct this deficiency, extra classes in reading were scheduled after school, and hopefully these will continue throughout the year.
What courses are most important?....I will save this for tomorrow.