Challenge Week

Final Map in reading room at Supply Primary with myself, Genelle and Ryan.

Final Map in reading room at Supply Primary with myself, Genelle and Ryan.

At the end of training, each PCT must complete an activity of their choosing, known as Challenge Week, as well as a sector specific project designated by Peace Corps. Education trainees are tasked with creating a world map to be hung in the various practicum training sites, as a gift to our schools. My group at Supply Primary school painted our world map on a three by six piece of plywood and placed the finished product in the reading room there, which we organized and cleaned as part of our Challenge Week activity. The activity also included re-organizing the “library” (I put that in quotations because it was a small room with shelves covered in dusty, unused textbooks and teaching materials slowly being eaten by cockroaches and ants) as well as a grade one through six writing competition. After coughing and squealing our way through the clean-up of both rooms, we discovered the school has an astonishing number of resources at its disposal; the staff simply cannot/do not want to find them. There were recent textbooks in math, science, language arts, reading, writing, even computer technology, as well as some literature, simply sitting there, barely out of their wrappers. The teachers seemed genuinely thrilled to see what a couple days of cleaning could do however, and myself and the other PCTs sincerely hope at least one teacher will return to that room and make good use of it. The children also seemed to enjoy their newly cleaned reading room, located right next door, however that may have been due to the spinning chair they found in there. My group and I were pleased with the number of writing submissions we got, and in giving out the prizes in the reading room, we got a lot of children in to see the space. The map was a big hit as well, especially when everyone finally located Guyana. The sincere thank you myself, Ryan and Genelle received from the teachers was a nice surprise at the end of the week, making some less-than-pleasant forays into certain cabinets well worth it. While part of me suspects our hard work will be undone by busy and sugar-high second graders, at least we have shown the area can be utilized, and there is a brand-new map to adorn the walls. Below is the video Ryan created of our work on the world map:

A close up of one of the winners of the writing contest.

A close up of one of the winners of the writing contest.

photo 3

Some order in the library after several days of hard work (it may not look like much, but that is because I am missing the before picture)

Some order in the library after several days of hard work (it may not look like much, but that is because I am missing the before picture)

The third grade winner of the writing contest receiving her prizes.

The third grade winner of the writing contest receiving her prizes.

Some very enthusiastic second graders.

Some very enthusiastic second graders.

Finding Guyana on the map.

Finding Guyana on the map.

Genelle and I announcing the winners of the writing competition.

Genelle and I announcing the winners of the writing competition.

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