“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”                                              By  Rainer Maria Rilke

I wrote the following words last year just after Christmas: “The year 2016 has so much promise for the “Friends of Copey”.  If I could make one New Year’s wish come true it would be that each of you would fully experience the joy that comes with being a “Friend” to the Copey community.”

I was certainly inspired to make that 2016 prediction. My happy-new-yearcup of optimism was overflowing and I was certain new and wonderful things were going to happen in 2016. If you followed “Friends” during 2016 and if you have seen our 2016 scorecard for our performance, you know the promise became reality.

And, I am just as confident proclaiming 2017 will be a year even greater than 2016. And, still my New Year’s wish is that you will continue your support and experience the “joy” that comes with being a “Friend of Copey”.

January 2017 will start off very busy with our two annual fundraisers: the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund and the funding support  needed to assist the Board of Directors’ efforts to keep the one paid position, Executive Director of the Learning Center. These fund-raisers are significant and we have conducted both at the same time successfully each of the past two years.copey-students                  graduation-class-1

Also in January, there will be a major announcement! I have been alluding to some special news for several months and the time to share the news is getting very close. You will want to stay involved/connected and be apart of something very extraordinary.    zzzstudents cleaning up

“Friends of Copey’s” Open Letter to the Learning Center’s Board of Directors will be shared next week. Stay tuned in to see what the new year has in store.

The Copey Community speaks:

“We are very grateful to see how everybody is engaged and willing to help this community. Thank you for all for your support! This center is blooming🙂”    by Catalina 

“Wishing to express my deepest gratitude to “Friends of Copey”, to our dear friend Arthur, the Foundation Anne G. Broady, the Emory & Henry College, for contributing directly to the Mission of Copey Learning Center is serving. God bless you always!”  Seidy R.

I’m very grateful for your  economic and emotional support because this experience is very beautiful, special and unique, this competition show me that CLC have a big impact in my life because here I learn a second language,  that give me important opportunities.                                   by Mariana…National Spelling Bee contestant 






Merry Christmas/Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas…!

This Christmas Greeting  is my deep and heartfelt message to each of you during this wonderful holiday season. It is impossible for me to mail out a Christmas card to all of the “Friends of Copey” given the number of you involved and because I only have email addresses for most of you. So, please accept this as my Christmas Greeting and my wish for the very best for you and yours and my thank you for all you have done.

In a few days the movie titled “Hidden Figures” will be showing up at our local theaters.hidden-figures This is a true story about Katherine Johnson and other females who made history because of their involvement with our country’s space mission. Katherine Johnson is my oldest living aunt (age 98) and I join the rest of our family and friends in congratulating Aunt Katherine for making her mark on our country’s history. It is wonderful her special and unique story will be out on the “Big Screen” for the world to see. You may recall my December 1, 2015 Post which Barack Obama, Katherine Johnson, Willie Maysreported on her receiving the well deserved Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama. We all are very proud of her, her husband Jim, and daughters Joylette and Katherine. And, we remember Aunt Katherine’s daughter Connie who passed away several years ago. Read the book and go see the movie.

Thank you for sending your notes regarding our 2016 performance report and achievement of our goals. Much has been done…there is still much to do and it will only get done if you are part of the effort.

Once again, Merry Christmas to each of you and thank you for being “Friends”.

2016 Performance Report (continued)

“Friends” the previous Post provided our scorecard for the Non-Financial Goals. This week, we are reporting on the 2016 Financial Goals listed below. We successfully achieved each one. Beyond these goals, additional funds were donated which allowed us to assist with some miscellaneous teaching material and supply expenses. Then recently, we successfully raised funds to support the travel expenses for Lorena, Mariana’s mother, to attend the National Spelling Bee Contest.

FINANCIAL GOALS- Overall Performance Rated an A+

Goal was to provide financial support for a minimum of 15 students under the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund.  Estimated $1,500 Goal    


Achieved by devokindergarten-studentted donors providing funds to support over 15 students in 2016.

Goal was to provide financial support to the Learning Center’s funding commitment to continue the Executive Director’s position.    $2,000 Goal


Achieved by devoted donors providing 60% of the funds and local “Friends” conducting a very successful “yard sale” to raise the remaining 40%.

Goal was to cover airline expenses to and from Emory & Henry College, Virginia for two Copey students and the Learning Center’s Executive Director.  Estimated $3,600 Goal


The Three Guests

Celeste, Angela, and Noelia

Achieved by “special friends” solely affiliated with Emory & Henry College. Only E&H Alumni or E&H affiliated donors were requested to support this project and their generosity was huge. We requested $3,600 and received $5,600 in donations. Our actual expenses totaled $3,600 leaving a balance of $2,000. This surplus of $2,000 remains in an E&H College account. These funds will be used to help with the travel costs for two more Copey students traveling to our campus in June 2017. Outstanding Results!!!

Our successful track record for meeting “financial” goals is wholly attributed to each of you. “Friends of Copey” is very successful in both the non-financial and financial areas of our partnership.

I can only repeat myself each week as I try to convince all “Friends” of the importance of our partnership and success we are having being “Friends” with the Learning Center. I wish everyone who reads these Posts will accept credit for being a part of this success. All of our goals (non financial or financial) can only be achieved by devoted “Friends”. We “pray”, we expect “positive results”, and we provide “financial support” when necessary. Simple formula for success!

We are completing our third full year as “Friends of Copey” and I have much to share. In a few days I will issue my open letter to the Board of Directors, wish you a Merry Christmas, and share some very important news about 2017.

Recently, I spoke with Seidy, Lorena, and a couple other members of the Board of Directors via Skype and I am 100% convinced the community is very grateful for our devotion to their mission.

Below is a recent letter I received from Ana Yancy earlier in the month.


December 2nd, 2016

Dear Arthur,

I’m very grateful for the Board and Friends of Copey for supporting all my ideas and opportunities of improving the Center. Also I really appreciate all your recommendations during this time.


Copey Learning Center Board of Directors (Seidy-Far Left and Lorena-Bd Chair Far Right)

I finished this year knowing that Copey Learning Center is growing and the next year is going to be full of success. The goals I accomplished during the last six months were possible thanks to your support and help:

  • In September, we had 22 new enrollments. We are expecting all students to return and enroll more students next year. 
  • With the goal of establishing relationships with different organizations, a relationship with CoopeDota, an organization that produce/sell coffee in our region, was formed. They provided us with paint for the center, and free coffee tours for our students.
  • I was able to get help from students, parents, and others from Copey to fix the Center and make it look better.

We finished this year with updated files for all the students regarding their level of English; including final proficiency test and their final report. 


Ana Yancy

We had a meeting with the parents of our students to update them with our new norms and procedures.    

Later this week, we are going to have a meeting with local teachers to improve our curriculum for next year. 

For 2017, we are hiring 3 volunteers to better the quality of our classes.  We are selecting our two students for the US trip.

During our 2016 graduation, we had a 100% participation of all students and their parents.

We also had our obstacles since I have started.  However, we were able to work through our challenges.  Since my time in Copey Learning Center, it has been a great experience for me; both personally and professionally. 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be the director of Copey Learning Center.  I look forward to working with you in 2017

Ana Yancy Chinchilla Valver,  de  Executive Director




2016 Performance Report

There is a lot of news to report including providing you with our performance scorecard for 2016. I decided to break the performance scorecard into two separate reports and this week we will focus only on the “non-financial” performance for the year.  

NON-FINANCIAL GOALS – Overall Performance Rated a B-

Goal was to continue Pen Pal Programs with K-Kids in Washington state and music students in Virginia.


Our relationship with K-Kids has continued. The Jefferson Elementary School is very supportive, our Kiwanis Club is very supportive, we have eager kids on both ends and all is well. Our biggest challenge is bringing the two groups of students face to face using the Skyping technique. Technical issues with computers and software coupled with time zone and school scheduling issues are the barriers we face. Just as the Learning Center ended its school year, most of these issues were resolved. We are hopefully now best positioned to successfully continue this in February 2017 when the Copey Learning Center starts classes for their new school year.

K-Kids at Jefferson Elementary School

K-Kids at Jefferson Elementary School

Unfortunately, we lost access to our music students in Virginia because our wonderful teacher, Lisa B, relocated to New Jersey. Her husband, Dr. Dave Haney, accepted the position of president of Centenary College in New Jersey.  We are waiting for the opportunity to set up another Pen Pal group with Lisa B’s help as soon as she is settled in and ready to roll.

Goal was to establish two new Pen Pal Programs…Anywhere, USA.


Results: Pending

Goal was to strengthen the “Friends of Copey” connection with Kiwanis Clubs locally and throughout the country. 


Progress continues to be very positive.  Three presentations have been made to Kiwanis Clubs. Kiwanis sponsored two fund raising events for “Friends of Copey”. More Kiwanis members are also “Friends” and we are researching a way to extend K-Kid status to ezzzKiwanisligible Learning Center students. As Kiwanians, we believe we are truly “serving the children of the world.”

Goal was to find ways to more economically deliver children’s books and school supplies to the Learning Center from the US. 


Nearly impossible for shipping materials and supplies to the Learning Center. Will continue to work on this.

Goal was to increase our annual Blog site visits to 3,520 (10%) at the end of 2016, up from 3,200 at the end of 2015.   



We will not meet this goal. However, we are on track to meet and maybe exceed the 2015 total by 1 or 2 percent. Today’s total is 2,998. A final chart will be published at the end of the year. Admittedly,  I was very optimistic about a 10% increase but very proud to have succeeded in maintaining our level of interest and followers of my Blog.  I am not an expert Blogger and must depend on you to stay connected and involved. The way we are set up as “Friends of Copey” with no dues, no meetings, no officers, and etc., our very non-conventional method of doing business presents a greater challenge to us being involved. From this perspective, we are highly successful.

Now, other news to share includes the joy I had Saturday visiting with Seidy, the founder of the Learning Center, Lorena (Mariana’s mother and Board President), and another Board member. We were also joined by a representative from the Costa Rica university community who was at the Copey Learning Center providing technical support. This was an extraordinary hour spent on Skype.Six Year Celebration We discussed the year’s progress and we all spent time looking ahead. The future is so bright…we all need sunglasses to see it. All this joy should not be only for me to experience. I remind each of you to consider joining in on one of these sessions. You will quickly experience the very positive reasons we are involved. Being on a Skype call is very simple and just let me know if you have time and interest.

There are more good things to come, so please stay connected.

























Pictures of Success!

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is SUCCESS.”                                      ~  by  Henry Ford

The 2016 year has been a tremendously successful year for “Friends of Copey” and its relationship with the Copey Learning Center. Our support role with the Learning Center includes the development of partnerships for the purpose of helping support the mission of the Learning Center.

Have we successfully set up partnerships? Absolutely we have! Hidden behind the various photos below are many stories about people and organizations supporting our efforts. Hopefully, many of the details describing all this support will come out as we spend the next several weeks reviewing our very successful year.

Today, take comfort in knowing that somewhere behind one or more of these photos, you can be seen standing tall as a “Friend of Copey”. You can be assured that you have helped in one or more of the many ways we have partnered with the Learning Center. You are part of this amazing story and I thank you.

Casey and student girls            Xavier and student boy


The Group

LIncoln Monument   EH college A yard sale 2

mariana-3         zzzKiwanis
graduation-class-1The outstanding work that went on behind the scenes which produced these photos was done by the following groups: The Emory & Henry College staff and students, Emory & Henry College Alumni, Jefferson Elementary School staff, Marion Senior High School Class of 66, Tri-Cities Industry Kiwanis, The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and several others including more than 100 PLUS loyal “Friends” who consistently stay involved throughout the year supporting the Anne G. Broady Scholarship Fund and other initiatives. You can find the stories behind all these photos among previous posts.  Search on any of these words: Casey or Xavia, Celeste or Noelia, Mariana, Emory & Henry College, AGB Scholarship Fund, and Kiwanis,.  THANKS TO ALL