TALKS


English Language Specialist Conducts Teacher Training at Queen Rania Teachers Academy in Jordan

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English Language Specialist Wendy Coulson spent two months working with teacher trainers at the Queen Rania Teachers Academy in Jordan, both in-country and virtually, to develop a reading and phonics program for young learners. During the two-week in-country component of this project, Coulson collaborated with the coordinator of the English language training team and a training specialist to plan the creation of two reading modules and a teacher training manual for the virtual phase. She gathered information during meetings with staff by interviewing teachers, observing classrooms, participating in phonics workshops, and reading existing QRTA training materials in order to craft goals and objectives to design a well-rounded program for teaching reading. One of the most impactful encounters Coulson experienced during her time in Jordan was with a third grade class of energetic boys as they read and responded to a letter she had delivered to them from a third grade class learning EFL in Central Mexico. They found they liked many of the same things such as football and McDonald’s. The boys were so enthusiastic about the opportunity to correspond with a faraway group of children that they shouted, “One, two, three, Mexico!” during their entire recess. Through the common language of English, these Jordanian schoolchildren were able to experience just how much in common they have with other children from a different culture who are growing up thousands of miles away. Wendy Coulson holds a Master’s of Education degree in Bilingual Education, a Master’s of Arts in Applied Linguistics, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in French. She is a graduate of the Rotary Peace Fellowship at the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. She is the founder of Peace & Development Education Consulting which creates dynamic education programs for development projects using peace principles. Her main areas of focus are curriculum and lesson development, monitoring and evaluation, outreach, and instructor training on topics such as peace and environmental education, bilingual education, water and sanitation, health and basic literacy. Thanks to: English Language Programs

Water Harvesting Education Program in Los Plátanos

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Over 30 participants attended the 3-day Water Harvesting Education Program (February 20-23) in Los Platanos. The participants were from the communities of Los Platanos, Vergel de Guadalupe & San Cayetano in the municipality of San Luis de la Paz in the state of Guanajuato. This was the first time Rotary Midday of San Miguel de Allende & CEDESA have visited this community; invited by volunteer community organizer Lucha Villafuerte & Father Zesati to help provide solutions to the contaminated water in the Independence Aquifer. On day one of the program, between singing, dancing & eating, the participants learned how important water is to life & how to avoid contaminating water in the way they use water . Participants were astonished to learn that only 2% of water on Earth is suitable for human consumption & resolved to use it wisely. The ‘grandmothers’ in the group spoke to us about how they used water long ago which caused the group to reflect on the wastefulness of modern-day usage. Day two was full of dynamic activities focused on how water in these communities became polluted & how this affected their health. The day started with the participants creating a mural of their watershed & learning where their water comes from. They discovered there were three types of pollutants; chemical, mineral & biological, some of which they have control over & some they do not. 3 day education prog photo 13 day education prog photo 2





The promoters showed photos of adults & children with various stages of fluorosis & arsenic poisoning (fluoride & arsenic both contaminate local water supplies), which caused much discussion. A guest from a nearby community shared the problems her own community is experiencing; the tap water is highly contaminated & has caused several cases of cancer, kidney failure, & death. She reported the municipal government denies that the health problems are caused by city water. She is working with a committed group of 8 concerned citizens to help bring awareness to this serious issue. She heard about the work of Rotary and CEDESA & came to seek help and resources. Day three of the program began with an original song & sketches about why we shouldn’t drink or cook with tap water. CEDESA & Rotary Midday member, Lee Carter, got in on the act with a humorous role play about a community rallying around clean water for their children. The participants concluded that harvesting rainwater in cisterns was the best solution to their problem. They were enthusiastic about starting cistern building the following week. The 3-day prog. ended with the telling of fable. After the story, the participants concluded the problem of contaminated water is everyone’s problem & they will work together to build cisterns & to spread awareness in their communities. Eighty-one cisterns are in the process of being built by communities in the San Luis de la Paz area. 3 day education prog photo 3 3 day education prog photo 4 From: Zero to H2o

Rotary Water Harvesting in The Independence Aquifer, Mexico

The project has been moving along at break neck speed! We have now presented the education program 3 times: Boca de Canada, Charco de Araujo, La Colorada.boca-education-1 This week I went with Ceci (CEDESA) to observe the final day of the program in La Colorada. Universally the beneficiaries are finding the program both helpful but also very fun. A number of people told me that they thought spending three days in water education was going to be boring and too much time. boca-education-2However, after experiencing the program, they are all very excited and relate that they understand much better now the water problems of the region and why the cisterns are so important. We are administering a Pre-education questionnaire and a Post-education questionnaire so that we can measure the success of the education program. I look forward to reporting those results at a later date. education-boca-drawing-water-cycle We have cisterns under construction in Charco de Araujo (14 cisterns and 3 tinacos), La Colorada (24), and Boca de Canada (21) now. We have utilized all of the special caliber chicken wire from our vendor, Hierro Comercial, and are now waiting for it to be re-stocked. It is a special factory order and will take from four to six weeks to be restocked. This is OK as we are at a point that we need to review our progress to date and take care of many details. We hope to have the final version of the Water Education Manual finished and ready to go to the printer late next week. We are moving forward on the second draft of the Cistern Construction and Maintenance Manual next week. We still have not found a suitable truck for CEDESA and without it, getting CEDESA promotors and technicians to the project sites has been a challenge. With this respite in construction, I hope we can get these important details completed in the next few weeks. Next Thursday we will have a planning meeting at CEDESA to reschedule the project details and resolve questions about the next phases of the project. Lee Carter - July 23, 2016 Visit.. http://rotarywaterharvesting.blogspot.mx/