La Catalina Educational Foundation

Winter 2011 Newsletter
In this newsletter: 
Happy Holidays! 

Here at La Catalina Educational Foundation we are wrapping up another great year and would like to express our gratitude for all the support we receive. Thanks to you we are able to continue providing free educational programs that build a better future for the community of La Manzanilla!  We wish you all the best for 2012!

Need a Great Gift Idea? 
Donate to the Computer Lab Construction!
Construction of a second classroom is underway at the Costa Alegre Educational Center!
We would like to extend a big thank you to the municipal government of La Huerta for donating the required building permits. These permits are expensive and generally good for only one year. However, the Municipal President Carlos Roman Ramirez Nuñez and his government  counsel, believing in the charter of the new Educational Center, voted unanimously to award free permits for as long as will be necessary to complete construction of the Center.

The second larger classroom currently being constructed will become the new community classroom, and the smaller existing room will be converted to a computer lab where LCEF will offer computer classes to community members. Through a survey conducted this past September as well as through strongly expressed desires of community members, it has become very clear that what the community requires is a computer lab. Residents want to learn basic computer skills that will broaden their employment opportunities as well as their access to information and communication channels. 

A small minority of people in La Manzanilla can afford a computer but a large majority want to develop computer skills. The new computer program at the middle school only serves a tiny percentage of the population and still leaves most children and adults without the opportunity to access a computer. La Catalina Educational Foundation is stepping up to give the community what they are requesting, but we need your help!

The building foundation was laid in August with proceeds from our 7th annual “A Night under the Stars” auction and party, and we have almost been able to finish constructing the brick walls thanks to generous donations by: Richard R. & Nansee N. (of Casa Luz), Robert R., Cyndi C., Cruz G., Kay & Tolling, Marcia G., Gabriela de la Vega and Tia & Toby (Cafe Risa). Funds are now needed (listed in US Dollars) to:
  • Finish brick walls (only 200 more bricks needed!), lay cement floor, plaster walls ($3875)
  • Install windows and door ($1500)
  • Build a palapa roof ($1167)
  • Prepare electrical system ($417)
  • Install security system ($1000)
  • Paint building ($833)

Total funds needed to complete the second classroom are $8792US.

Give the gift of education and help us finish this second classroom! Online donations can be submitted via Paypal.For more information please call 315 351 5362 or email la_catalinafoundation@hotmail.com.
 
Expanding Programs
The fall has been busy with lots of great activity here at LCEF. We are excited to announce that we have extended our programs in the public schools and now offer English class once per week in every grade including from the first year in the Kindergarten (4 year olds) to the students in their last year at the middle school (14-16 year olds). 

We also now offer two levels of adult English classes. Previously we only had one class with all students from beginner to advanced levels. Thankfully we can now provide separate beginner and advanced classes and the students are appreciative of the change!

Reaching  the youngest kids in the community, we are also hosting Educacion Inicial (First Education) classes for parents and their children under three years of age. This program is government sponsored and run by Gardenia, a local teacher who just finished her university studies.

We continue to offer our popular after school English and Art for Kids programs and welcome teacher Traver (our volunteer intern), teacher Angie (from Los Ingenios) and Marilyn back for the winter season to help with the art class. Last spring we began guitar classes thanks to Myranda and Michael's generous donations of guitars, musical aides and their time. We look forward to starting up their guitar classes for kids again in January!

Zumbathon a Ton of Fun
On December 6th almost 50 people came out to the Zumbathon fundraiser at the ejido hall! Everyone had a great time dancing, getting some exercise, and enjoying (well deserved) cookies and cakes.

The event was a fundraiser for La Catalina Educational Foundation and La Manzanilla’s daycare (Estancia Infantil Juguemos a Aprender). Total revenue from the event was 2500 pesos and after paying the teachers from Melaque and a few small expenses, each organization received just under 900 pesos.

We are very grateful to everyone who donated and helped make this event so much fun: June N., Guacamole Restaurant, Debbie D., Chayo M., Isaura M., La Catalina Natural Language School, Abarrotes Requena, Traver R., Steven R., Sandra S., Nancy W., and Judith R.

And a huge Thank You and hats off to all who attended! To view photos of the event, visit our facebook page by clicking here.

Middle School to Receive
New Digital Program
 
Teachers and students at the La Manzanilla middle school would like to express their sincere gratitude for the generous donations that have made it possible for them to receive the Digital Abilities for All Program! This government program will provide 30 laptops and three state of the art electronic whiteboards  to three classrooms. The donations will be used to upgrade the electrical system and put in security. This  major technological step forward at the middle school will create a huge  improvement in the students’ education!

Thank you so much to everyone who donated and helped reach the required 25,000 pesos!
  • Paul V., Sylvia B. & Joel V.
  • Cafe Flores Christmas Tree Fundraiser  
  • Don H. and Carol H. 
  • Bud & Doris C. 
  • Maedb P.
  • The Gartins 
Construction to prepare the classrooms has already begun. The computers will arrive and the program will begin in January of 2012.

La Catalina Educational Foundation, the schools and the
children of La Manzanilla say, “Gracias!”
 
To donate to our programs or learn more about La Catalina Educational Foundation please visit our website at www.lacatalinafoundation.com.