Providing education opportunities for the community
Many adults in Palomas have not finished high school and are eager for an opportunity to learn in a supportive environment. They want to gain skills to start a business, acquire English or improve their health or that of their loved ones. But there are no adult education programs or community colleges in Palomas. So, Border Partners constructed a classroom addition to the municipal library and, thanks to the Silver City Rotary Club and Rotary International, filled it with state of art computers.
Students use the center to do their homework because the town’s schools don’t have internet. People also use this technology to email family members in other parts of Mexico or the USA. Parents use Skype to conference with their child’s teachers in the United States.
Border Partner’s staff enhance their classes with PowerPoint visuals. Staff also use the internet to research best methods for gardening, ideas for soccer practice drills, or countless other bits of information that make their work more meaningful.
Numerous classes are held in the Education Center. During 2015-2016, outside experts taught classes on mental health issues and basic computer skills and our health educators taught many health related classes.
Partnering with public education
Public schools in Puerto Palomas lack money to buy supplies and equipment for teaching. The libraries have few materials. Computers are outdated. Border Partners works with the three elementary schools and the middle school to find materials they need to augment their meager supplies. We’ve equipped four educational computer labs at these schools.
And we supplement one school’s hot lunch program monthly with fresh fruits and vegetables to help feed children who may not receive adequate nutrition at home. In addition, the parents and staff of that elementary school grow and harvest vegetables year round in one of our large greenhouses for use in their lunch program.
Every summer, Border Partners sponsors a summer school for ages 5-12 since there are no other summer programs for children in town. The Promotoras group plans activities and finds volunteers for the two week session. Emphasis is on health education, physical activities and the arts!
In March of 2016, our gardening educators began, with the help of many parent volunteers, building school gardens at the Ramon Espinoza and the Ignacio Zaragoza Primary School. These schools share a building and grounds so the gardens are adjacent. Seeds were planted in April with students’ help. Now our staff are teaching regular classes for students on nutrition, encouraging them to try more vegetables and understand how important it is to eat them!
Supporting library services