Thoughts from our Curriculum Development Volunteer Maria!

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My name is María and I work as a volunteer with S4S. I came from Spain to spend three months in DC and, being a teacher, I wanted to find something that could help me grow professionally besides enjoying the great city. In my search for an interesting creative project related to education in values, I discovered S4S and coincidentally they were looking for a person to help develop the project into the arts field. The connection was perfect from the beginning and I had the feeling that working with S4S could bring lots of interesting things ahead.

I started by learning more about the work of S4S and I soon fell in love with it. Bringing world issues to school kids, speaking about goals and challenges that our planet is facing and helping them become ambassadors of their communities and build a better world were amazing things to accomplish.

After two weeks of readings and meetings with the S4S staff, I started developing activities related to music and we began visiting schools where the project was being implemented, collaborating in the teachers’ training and in the sessions with the kids’ families.

I love the creative part of every project. In this one, I started developing music-related activities, linking the UN MDGs (Millenium Development Goals) with the imaginary trip that students take as part of the S4S program. In this role, I had to do research on the country’s music and culture and then create music activities that help understand the issue treated and raise awareness about it.

In the school visits, I helped the S4S girls in the project implementation as well as in the development of the music activities. It is really interesting to see how kids understand and begin to become leaders of this project. Besides, another great positive experience has been to meet the teachers and to see how involved they are in the project, something not easy at all given the little time they have.

After this experience with S4S, I can say that I truly admire the conviction of the school principals in the tremendous educational impact of the project as well as the involvement of the teachers in the schools we worked with.

I admire the interest and effort that S4S and the schools have shown in transcending the project to all the subjects and learning moments possible (recess, library, after-school program, art class, music class….).

I admire the flexibility and persistence of the S4S staff in adapting the project to the circumstances of each school (subjects, timing, scheduling, etc) and also the professionalism in their relationship with the stakeholders (children, teachers, principals and parents).

I feel fortunate to have been a part of such a powerful educational project. I will return to Spain at the end of the month, but I will continue being part of the S4S family and will act as an ambassador of the project anywhere I go. I am very glad to have grown professionally with S4S during my stay in the US and I could not have found a better place!! Thanks to all the school principals and teachers at Bancroft, Adams-Morgan, Marie-Reed and Capitol City for sharing your knowledge and passion and thanks S4S for EVERYTHING!!