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Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

Amigos de La Cruz Provide New Classroom to Help the Kids Read and Write

Carmen Tapia - La Cruz Primary School
December 17, 2015

The classroom I have been given was reserved for my Reading and Writing Program.

As you enter the primary school, it is located in the first set of classrooms because those are the first- and second-grade rooms whose students are the target for my teaching. The goal is to have all children reading and writing at grade level by the end of second grade.

My classroom is formatted as a resource room, I pick up students in small groups, of usually 3 or 4 students at a time. I assess all first and second grade students at the beginning of the year and group them by reading levels. They are assessed again at the end of the year to show progress. I use Pearson’s DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) materials to inform my instruction.

Having a classroom allows me to serve more students at one time. While I work in the Interactive Literacy center with a group of students, another group can be working in the Reading or Writing Centers.

The guided play and art center is designed for three special education students with possible mental retardation. (No psychometric tests have done with any of them). These three children come to me for the whole day while I’m at school.

The classroom needed a little sprucing up, but the choices of furniture were desks and chairs from a pile of broken furniture in the back of the school. The school provided a magnetic board in great shape and the plastic shelves hold our small library.

My former school in Tucson donated 25 boxes of books in Spanish. Amy Welch put her great skills to work and found generous sponsors who made it possible to create a lively and organized classroom.

A special thank you to James Gordon and Norma Kafer from Playa de Huanacaxtle and Phoenix, who donated $1,000 USD to Banderas Bay Charities, and dedicated those funds for my room. I immediately went out to Office Max to buy a file cabinet and locking closet. Next I went to Sam's to buy another locking cabinet, Costco to buy two alphabet floor rugs, and then to WalMart to buy tables and chairs. And a heartfelt thank you to Jo Wood, a Canadian resident who lives nearby off Atun and Pelicanos, as she has been helping me clean and organize the room. A shout-out of thanks to my Punta Esmeralda neighbors who are helping with classroom materials and organization. Thanks to Sylvia Harder, who has offered her services to help clean and paint the walls.

The classroom layout has created a lot of curiosity from the students, and from the teachers, as well. Students are already coming in small groups at recess and asking permission to lie on the rug and read! And the teachers come in to ask questions, they can’t quite figure it out yet but take a lot of pictures…of everything.
So, thank you Amigos de La Cruz for your support! It is greatly appreciated by everybody involved.

It takes a village to educate a child. We are all putting our grain of sand into this project. The children of La Cruz are very lucky to have so many sponsors willing to help them to succeed in their education.
Carmen Tapia, former teacher at Davis Bilingual Magnet School, now volunteer teacher at the La Cruz Primary School. Living at Punta Esmeralda and Tucson.

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