Winter School: An Innovative Approach to Prepare 7th Grade Students

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  [spacer height=”20px”]Facing Challenges Many of us remember feeling quite insecure and overwhelmed when we entered 7th grade.  Nicolás Fund for Education scholars are no different! Our NFE scholars also have an added challenge of coming from primary schools with far fewer resources than more urban schools. We even found out a few years ago that the villages of La Bendición and La Esperanza did not even have textbooks! (Thanks to a generous NFE supporter, we were able to supply those two village primary schools with their first set of primary school textbooks.) Innovation at Work In our first few years of operation, we noticed that our NFE scholars really struggled to keep up academically in the first few months of 7th grade. With extensive after school tutoring provided through NFE and lots of hard work on the part of the students, the students eventually caught up. Our Country Director, Ivan España, searched for a better plan that would be less stressful for students and would be more cost-effective for NFE. Thanks to the work of Ivan España, Nicolás Fund for Education subsequently developed a program three years ago called Winter School to help prepare our 7th-gradestudents for academic success. While Winter School camps are more common in urban Guatemala, this concept is new in the Ixil region. Winter School is four weeks long and takes place in November after the academic year ends at the end of October. Making the Grade This year, Winter School took place on our Nicolás Christian School campus and involved students from five villages! Eighteen 6th grade students attended winter school. Computer, English, and language skills are the focus of Winter School. We have definitely …

Thank you to our #GivingTuesday Donors and Volunteers!

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Thank you to all our volunteer social media ambassadors that participated in #GivingTuesday! And a really BIG thank you to the donors who responded! We raised $6,250 (some matching funding still pending may increase that number) that day because of your generosity. Those donations will help to provide quality education for Ixil youth that will enable them to compete economically, politically and to better provide for their future families. It is not too late to donate! Donations are very welcome. You can donate at Nicolás Fund for Education.

Thank You to our Donors, Supporters and Prayer Warriors

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[spacer height=”20px”]At the conclusion of our first year of operating Nicolás Christian School, and the 5th year of NFE’s existence, we want to give thanks to God and to those people who helped make it all possible: our donors, supporters, and prayer warriors! You have faithfully partnered with God in his plan to lift the Ixil region out of poverty through educating Ixil youth. This year alone, eight students have graduated from high school, one student graduated from weekend school and one student graduated from her distance learning program!! May we all continue to listen and follow God’s plan for our work in 2017! We wish all of you a hope-filled New Year!

NFE Textile Sale December 4th

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[spacer height=”20px”]Come and join us! [spacer height=”20px”]NFE is having a special event on December 4th at 11:30 am where Guatemalan and Mexican textiles will be sold at Evergreen Covenant Church in the Fellowship Hall. NFE has a special friend, Hazuki Camp, participating in our sale. Hazuki used to attend ECC when she was attending school in Seattle. Hazuki volunteered at Agros during that time. She is from Chiapas, Mexico where Agros has villages. Hazuki now lives in Beaverton, OR with her husband and three young children. She works with Trebol, which is a coop of women who make beautiful, handmade leather and embroidered products. Hazuki will be donating a percentage of her proceeds to NFE. Following the Textile sale, a Trip report will take place.

Nicolás Christian School Graduation Held November 15th

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[spacer height=”20px”]Ten senior high students graduated from Nicolás Christian School on November 15th in our very first graduation ceremony! Eight students graduated from high school, Juanita graduated from a distance learning program administered through Nicolás Christian School and Juan Ismael graduated from a special weekend básico program (somewhat like a GED) that allows the student to work during the week and attend school on the weekend. Graduates included Ana Cordova, Pedro Davíd, Magdalena Sara, Antonio, Maria Abigail, Andres Israel, Miguel Julio, and Domingo Marvín. Gold honor cords were awarded for academic excellence to Ana Cordova, Magdalena Sara, Pedro Davíd and Miguel Julio. In addition to our graduating high school students, six students graduated from junior high school on the same day. The graduating 9th-grade students are María Yat, Isabel Rebeca, Pedro Isaías, Sylvia Lucrecia, Isabela Elda and Andrés Noé. It will be exciting to follow the progress of these new high school students next year! It was a very worshipful ceremony with praise music and scripture readings. In Guatemala, we were told that it is traditional for graduation ceremonies to name their graduation for a specific person. Nicolás Christian School students chose NFE vice chairperson, Kathy Riper. Kathy gave a short speech expressing her gratitude for what God has achieved through Nicolás Christian School in the lives of the students. A PowerPoint about Kathy’s life was part of the ceremony. Brand new royal blue graduation robes and caps were accented with bright red sashes that had the school logo embroidered on one side and a traditional Ixil weaving pattern embroidered on the other side. Graduates, staff, parents and guests were treated to a sumptuous lunch after the ceremony ended. Several …

July 2017 Impact Team Trip

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Our November team is just about to depart on November 10th to attend and celebrate our student’s graduation ceremonies. Please keep them in your prayers for safe travels and no lost luggage! Our February 2017 Nicolás Fund for Education Impact Team is currently full. Sign Up for the July 2017 Impact Trip [spacer height=”20px”]We are now accepting applications and deposits for our July 21 – 31, 2017 trip . Members of that team will spend time with junior and senior high students at Nicolás Christian School, assist with our Teacher Professional Development Workshop and will visit the student’s villages. For more information, contact Becci with the form below.

Ixil Textile Sale and November Impact Team Report

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[spacer height=”20px”]Join us on December 4th at 11:30 am for our Textile Sale to purchase beautiful and colorful hand-woven textiles from Guatemala! [spacer height=”20px”]The textile sale will be in Fellowship Hall at Evergreen Covenant Church on Mercer Island. We will also be hosting July and November Team trip reports that day in addition to the Textile Sale and snacks will be served. Come and hear how our school’s first graduation ceremonies went!  The Trip Report will be in ECC’s Fellowship Hall on the second floor.  Parking available in the main parking lot, upper parking lot and on the street.

Carpentry Program

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Nicolás Christian School is training our students to build their own desks! [spacer height=”20px”]Currently, students use tables and benches. This is problematic because when a student needs to get up, the whole bench must stand up and that interrupts learning. Students will be provided with a template of a student desk with a writing surface from which to work. Students will be trained to use carpentry tools and how to follow the template design while teachers oversee the project. This program will teach valuable carpentry skills to both boys and girls, in addition to providing school furniture!

Student Videos

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[spacer height=”20px”]Our Nicolás Christian School students have been self-producing videos featuring the “Student of the Week”. [spacer height=”20px”]You can find these videos on our website in the “Video Gallery” section. The videos are an excellent way to get to know individual students and teachers at Nicolás Christian School. The students are developing marketable skills such as Digital Imaging, Conceptual Storytelling, Editing, Production, Sound Design, and Scriptwriting. The NCS students in the media program have an incredible potential to impact their communities and develop their God-given abilities. With the skills garnered through the media program, the students also have the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. However, they are in need of some additional resources such as microphones and editing equipment. Will you help provide the video production equipment for these talented children?  

Special Guatemalan Textile Sale and July Trip Report

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Nicolás Fund for Education will be holding a special Guatemalan textile sale at Evergreen Covenant Church on December 4th. [spacer height=”20px”]This event will be held in the Fellowship Hall on the second floor from 11:15 am – 2 pm. Evergreen Covenant Church is located at 3200 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040. In addition to the Textile Sale, the NFE July team will host a trip report. [spacer height=”20px”]A light snack will be served. Come and hear about the amazing work that NFE has been doing through Nicolás Christian School, Villa Hortencia 1 and Belén! These textiles were hand-woven using traditional back-strap looms in the Ixil region of Guatemala, where Nicolás Fund for Education is working. The back-strap loom is an ancient form of weaving, and Guatemalan women produce some of the best weavings in the world. This form of weaving is universally practiced by our student’s mothers and even by some of our Nicolás Christian School students. These textiles are colorful, very functional and feature Mayan cultural designs that date back centuries. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience art from another culture, to purchase a unique and beautiful Christmas gift or to add a dash of color to your home. [spacer height=”20px”]All proceeds will benefit the Nicolás Fund for Education, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization working to improve education for indigenous Mayan students in this region of Guatemala. Help support the education of these children. Education will empower these children to compete politically and economically in the future of their country.