Teachers….The Gift Givers!

“Some know the value of education by having it. I know it’s value by not having it.”  by Frederick Douglass
GREAT “BREAKING” NEWS –Those great K-Kids from our local Jefferson Elementary School have officially launched their Pen Pal Program with the Learning Center students. Their Pen Pal letter has been sent to the Learning Jefferson Pen Pal Letter.2

Center and K-Kids expect to hear soon from their new Pen Pals. This is a very extraordinary opportunity for both the K-Kids and the Learning Center students allowing them to connect with each other and learn about geography, cultures, languages, and experience many other important educational opportunities. Over the next several months, more specific plans will be shared on how these two groups will grow and develop this unique relationship.

So what is K-Kids anyway? Each Kiwanis Club can establish within its community a school program for kids. There are several levels of Kiwanis programs for schools and students to consider. K-Kids clubs are one of these programs and provides elementary school students with their first opportunity to learn about organizing

K-Kids at Jefferson Elementary School

projects that help others in their community.  To learn more about K-Kids, please check out the link:  http://kiwaniskids.org/en/KKids/Home.aspx.zzzKiwanis

We are looking forward to a very positive relationship among the students, teachers, and the communities represented by the K-Kids and the Learning Center students.

Personally, this means a great deal to me. The Kiwanis Club of Tri-Cities Industry is my home club and I am very proud that our governing Board approved “Friends of Copey” as one of its authorized projects. As such, we “Friends” have a very special partner to work with as we find new and creative ways to support the students of the Learning Center. If any of you “Friends” are affiliated or are members of other Kiwanis Clubs throughout the world, please let me know. There is much we can all do together.


Last week the two Spelling Bee contenders (Mariana and Fatima) from the Learning Center competed on the regional level. Although neither won 1st place and the opportunity to make it to the National


Spelling Bee Contest, they did a remarkable job coming in 2nd place in their division.

The overall Spelling Bee competition focused on the students’ ability to spell English words and involved more than 6,000 students throughout the country. Mariana and Fatima did extremely well to earn their 2nd place finishes in their respective divisions and we extend our “Biggest Congratulations” to both students.  “Friends” is extremely proud of both students and proud of the other students who participated as well.

The Spelling Bee contest is one very important measure of the Learning Center’s success in teaching English to its students.The competition is very strong as many of the competitors are from areas much less remote and perhaps even more affluent with stronger education opportunities. Based on my research, Mariana was an AGB Scholarship recipient last year and we can claim some credit for her strong performance. We are very proud of all of them with or without a scholarship from us. Our financial support via the AGB Scholarship Fund does help students directly with the scholarship funds and other funds “Friends” has provided over the past two years.  We encourage all students to continue working hard to reach the National Spelling Bee competition. We get a little closer each year and making it to the National competition is definitely in reach.

IN OTHER NEWS, the Learning Center’s 4th, 5th, and 6th graders have been studying volcanoes. We have received some very great photos of them at work.


20151015_140720They’ve been studying scientific methods and doing experiments in physics and chemistry. Markki, the volunteer teacher, shows the students how all of the elements of a volcano come together to eventually result in a volcanic  eruption.


Since there are over 60 volcanoes in Costa Rica, 10% of which are active, knowing how they work is especially relevant for them, and they’ve done a great job of explaining the different “elements” of the project.

Volunteer Teacher with Volcano Study Class
Volunteer Teacher with Volcano Study Class


Jeff Gordon’s 10th place finish today pushed him upward into the 6th place overall running among the eligible drivers competing for the Championship race scheduled for November 16. Certainly, Jeff is living on the edge and one bad race or mistake will bring an end to his final pursuit for a championship or even the eligibility to compete for the championship. Go #24!

One thought on “Teachers….The Gift Givers!”

  1. Fabulous news here and so glad to read all the connections and progress. Thanks so much for sharing. I have loved reading your recent posts. Congratulations on all the successes. The pen pal letter is especially sweet! So happy to know that the students are doing so well and making friends in so many places. My students have been working hard on a Veteran’s Day program that is coming up very soon, but we hope to get our letters completed before the learning center students take a break for the holiday. I love the photos that have been shared. I did want to comment on the Louis Armstrong post. I scanned the cover of a book that I share with all of my students. I will send the attachment to you, Scrapper, and hope that you can get yourself a copy. I would love to send a copy to the students in Copey as well. Louis is another of my favorites. Thanks for sharing.

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