|Santa distributes presents|
Santa drove into the school at the head of a convoy of golf carts, accompanied by his army of elves. Tantalizing sacks of presents were unloaded, then one by one each class came to receive their presents from Santa. They were thrilled to each receive a present with their own name on it, individually wrapped and different in size and shape to the presents of everyone else.
Santa, who moonlights as an owner of a local bar (where else would Santa holiday but San Pedro??), did an amazing job of making each and every child feel special - big smiles, high fives, a quick hug and a big present. The children had so much fun. Santa was still holding strong after 420 kids - just desperate for a coffee!
Wandering through the classrooms was great fun after Santa had visited - the kids had unwrapped their dolls, trucks, activity books, balls and a myriad of other gifts. They also shared Christmas food together and enjoyed music and games. So much fun.
Christmas almost didn't happen, until an angel, in the form of the amazing Krista who owns a condo at Reef Village visited the school and started an amazing sequence of events. She heard of our need for Christmas gifts and was inspired. She started a toy drive within the local community and within a few short weeks had gathered together a present for each child - incredible. And, she had so much fun, she wants to do it a gain next year!
Krista is also does fundraising and has promised to support Holy Cross School as a beneficiary of the Nathan Yip Foundation - how exciting!
We'd also like to thank the many individuals who brought down Christmas gifts - your generosity is wonderful.
|Santa talks to the class|
|Ms Krista enjoys a moment with Santa|
Labels: Special events
|Peter speaking to the senior students about the Jesus movie.|
Lydia Brown, the volunteer coordinator, and the vice principal were especially helpful in organizing things with us and the teachers. After school on Wednesday we spent approximately 20 minutes with all of the teachers in the computer lab showing teachers the website and the lessons and resources available on the website www.
|One of the homes in San Mateo|
The infant and middle school had so much fun this week when Amalia and her friend Emily from Nature Explorers International came to teach.
Nature Explores is a one week nature education week designed to introduce children to the natural world and through interest and excitement. You can find out more about them here.
Day one kicked off with with seeds, where the humble bean took center stage. Most of our kids eat beans every day of their life, but for the first time many realized there were actually baby bean plants inside.
Day two was invertebrates, with spiders, butterflies and starfish. Once again the kids simply loved doing the craft projects and many a butterfly and starfish was presented for inspection on the way home from school and seen all around town. There was a spider in a jar to be inspected with great interested and several kids came back the next day talking excitedly about the spiders they had seen at home. Even I was seeing more spiders than usual that day!
Day three was vertebrates and focused on sea turtles. Here children studied the "Sea Turtle Wheel of Trouble" and learned about the various threats sea turtles faced. They read a story about a sea turtle that felt sick after eating a plastic bag and many children said they would stop throwing bags in the water and tell their friends to stop too (a real issue here).
Day four looked at birds and included a field trip to the nearby swamp to observe the behaviors of birds - feeding, flying, flocking, preening and I cannot remember the rest. This time of year we see many migrating birds so the students had a lot to look at. Even pigeons on a roof top were suddenly transformed to fascinatingly interesting and drew shouts of excitement.
The last day was mammals and the students had a lot of fun learning all about monkeys and their important role in spreading seeds as well as making fun monkey masks. Kids had so much fun with the art and craft and talked about the masks all day. Some of the local kids not in school even followed Amalia and Emily home to ask to make masks!
The teachers also had a wonderful week with the guest teachers in the classroom. All enjoyed learning more about nature themselves and several even said they were inspired by the teaching techniques and look forward to incorporating them into their classrooms in the future.
So a huge thank you to Nature Explorers for including Holy Cross Anglican School on your schedule. We wish you all the best for the rest of your time in Belize. If you'd like to see more photos, you can find them here, with more stories here.
Know someone who does something similar - get them in touch with Holy Cross School!
Labels: Visiting Holy Cross
San Pedro has many celebrations and parades with one of the most colorful being the annual lighted boat parade. This has been running for 6 years now and Holy Cross, through the enthusiasm of Vernon Wilson, has a history of doing well.
This year was no exception. Mr Freddy put all his creative talent into place, putting together a magnificent creation. The snowman even seemed to wave as the boat bobbed in the still waters.
The hard work paid off, and the school took the special award for the Religious category, winning the school $800BZ - well done!
Here's Mr Freddy as Santa and Mr Carlos Coba, our Std 6 teacher claiming the well earned award from the beautiful Mrs San Pedro.
Well done everyone!
Labels: Special events
|Filling the playground|
This team was a little different from our usual teams - they were one of our youngest groups, made up of a great group of 11 and 12 year olds accompanied by their parents and grandparents. Age didn't stop anyone as young and old alike pitched in to do whatever needed to be done.
The big job this week was continuing to expand the playground. Thanks to All Saints Forth Worth and the Universtiy of Sioux Falls we have a fantastic swing set, but to be fully used, the area must be filled with sand. Local sand diggers dug the sand from the lagoon (cold work this time of year), then our wonderful team spread it where it needed to go - how exciting to see the playground expanding! (We are still looking for donations for sand - do get in touch!)
|Helping in Classes|
We had thought it might be a disruption, but istead the visitors were a great role model to the local kids on how to behave and how to turn out some great work. This was especially evident when the classes were preparing posters for World Aids Day.
Ann Vest, who headed up the team from St John's is a regular visitor to the school. Over the years she has brought out various grandchildren and their friends to spend time with them and also give them a great opportunity to briefly experience life in a different part of the world. What a great idea!
From everyone at Holy Cross, thank you so much for your generosity in time, spirit and donations to the children of Holy Cross. You have been a blessing to us all.
|The team in their favorite place - the tree in the front of the Hotel Del Rio.|
|Assisting in Ms Williams Std III class|
One of the frustrating realities of building a school in a lagoon is that any and every building project first starts with finding dry land. In San Mateo, this requires hiring a crew to dig sand from other parts of the lagoon at the cost of $12.50 - $25 a boat load (approx 3.5 cu yards). Frustrating and expensive are just two of the words we would use to describe this activity. And with 8.5 acres of land that ranges from 3 inches to 2 feet under water, unending is another.
Although sand is always a desperate need, in the last months it has come to the fore as the School needs to build a fenced in playground to keep our requirements of having a preschool. And just this last month, the PTA, at the request of the Principal, have stepped up to meet this challenge. Every Friday for the last month, the PTA have done fundraisers - selling cheese dip (an absolute hit with the kids) as well as organising a BBQ where 300 parents, teachers and members of the public purchased their BBQ chicken, superbly cooked by the talented Mrs Rosalia, or chef.
The hard work paid off as the PTA were able to raise just over $500 US after expenses. What a superb effort! And they plan to continuue.
We are very excited to see the parents and community getting involved with the school.
Overall, we estimate we need US $2,500 to fill the playground and build it up to a level where it drains adequately after rain. Thanks to the PTA and individual donations and donations from churches we are getting close - just $1,000 to go!
If you can help by donating and amount, large or small, please contact the school on email@example.com. You can donate online at the Holy Cross Foundation or send a check to the Foundation at 7550 Coorporate Way, Eden Prairie, MN 55344, attn Brian Ostenso, Chairman.
Every little really helps!