With over half the year behind us, 2015 continues to be very productive, educational and joyous for the students of EEE! Aside from regular classroom learning activities, the school continued with professional Mexican Sign Language classes conducted by Laura Navarro Tejeda, professional sign language interpreter from Universidad Politécnica de Querétaro, as well as with internet conferencing with Professor Tricia Wilmore from Flagler College, St Augustine, Florida and via Skype with our newest sign language instructor Ernesto Escobedo Delgado of Mexico City.
The Vocational Training Program continues to flourish with some excellent volunteer support from various skilled craftsman and instructors. The vocational programs focus on sewing, carpentry, silversmithing/jewelry and cooking. The older students are becoming very proficient in many of these areas and we can hardly wait to introduce for sale many of the crafts that they have designed and made by with their own hands.
The students and faculty are now on summer vacation after celebrating 2014/2015 graduation ceremonies on July 3rd. This year's event was a big success with all of our students progressing into new levels and with two of our students, Laura and Juan, graduating from middle school. The generous support of friends and supporters have made this all possible. We hope that you enjoy viewing some of the smiling faces of students at the End of Classes and Graduation event and will have a moment to view others at: https://www.flickr.com/gp/ronfel/0258H2
A full week of workshops, which followed two months of preparation and practice, included sewing, jewellery making, carpentry, and cooking with all the older students participating.
We were blessed by having many volunteers share their skills and huge progress was made over the 5 days. Thank you to all our volunteers!
Also another big thank you to St. Augustine Sunrise Rotary Club and the Eugene Southtowne Rotary Club for their generous support in making the Vocational Training Program possible.
Count yourself in
if you think deaf children
deserve an education
..and help us raise money to provide scholarships to deaf children and youth in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico so that they too can learn at school
Global Givings Open Challenge Launched September 1st
This means that more children like Asucena will have the opportunity to finish middle school and live the dream of going to high school. With Mexican sign language classes, a State approved curriculum, dedicated teachers, nourishing lunches; all provided within an environment of caring and sharing, children who live in a world of silence can be brought into a new world of communication and knowledge, transforming their lives.
On September 1st, Escuela de Educacion Especial de San Miguel de Allende began participating in GlobalGiving's Open Challenge. Over $10,000 was raised by over 80 donors in just 30 days! This accomplishment enables EEE to continue fundraising on GlobalGiving's website. And we still have a ways to go before reaching our goal of $30,000 which will provide a one year scholarship to each student at EEE. This is a fantastic opportunity for YOU to "count yourself in" because every donation will go directly toward educating a child who is deaf or hard of hearing.
Azucena made us all proud by becoming the first student at EEE to receive her diploma for successfully completing secondaria (secondary school). Congratulations Azucena! A big thank you to secondaria teacher, Lorena Martinez, for helping to make this accomplishment for Azucena a reality.
This achievement was hard earned and well deserved. Azucena earned an 8.5 (out of 10), and although 22 years old and deaf, her ambition is to continue her studies into prepartoria (high school) and perhaps beyond. We hope to find a scholarship to allow Azucena realize her dream.
On July 4th all senior students and their teachers, along with parents and family, celebrated the end of the school year with the students receiving diplomas recognizing their individual academic achievements. Board Trustees Herb Tolpen and Ron Felton offered their congratulations while presenting the diplomas to each of the students. Congratulations to all!
See more photos of the event on Ron's web album:
Our partnership with Earthspeak USA got well underway in May. It began with two local San Miguel speech therapists training our teaching staff to provide speech therapy using the "Corrective Babbling Model" to the six students who recently received new digital hearing devices. Ongoing speech therapy training and program development is planned for the fall of this year.
We are very grateful to Susan and Joe Engman for their generous gift of providing daily meals to the students of EEE. The gift was made to honor the memory of Phyllis Teldon Minden, Susan's mother and Gerry Teldon's sister. The meals are prepared at the school by our own kitchen staff with all of the healthy ingredients being provided through Feed the Hungry San Miguel. Several of our middle grade students sign a big "Gracias" to everyone who made this act of kindness possible!
Wow! In March we had a very successful first volunteer visit from four students and two faculty members of Flagler College, St. Augustine Florida. These bright young students from Flagler came prepared with new curriculum ideas, teaching tools and activities which created not only many learning opportunities but also plenty of enthusiasm and excitement.
Thank you Dr. Margaret Finnegan for arranging and organizing this wonderful and very beneficial initiative which created cross-cultural bonds and friendships. We anxiously look forward to your follow-up visit in November.
The students visited the local SPA to learn more about how to take better care of their pets. Regular visits of the SPA to the school and visa-versa are planned in the future. It appears that there may be some aspiring veterinarians in this group.
A big "Gracias" to Barbara Webber and all our friends at the SPA!
The Earthspeak Team (from California & Oregon) visited the school to meet with Trustees, teachers and students and to discuss the possibility of an exciting new pilot project. The project will focus on bringing local "Master Trainers" to the school to pass along their knowledge of "Corrective Babbling" to the EEE teachers and to the students' parents. The parents would become delivery agents for the speech therapy to take place in the home, while teachers would deliver the therapy at school. The same six students who received new digital aids in December now have the hearing ability to practice this unique form of speech therapy. "Corrective Babbling" has had a huge positive impact by helping children overcome surgically corrected cleft palate speech.
Learn more about Earthspeak's program in Mexico.
Introducing this speech therapy training to the school will serve to enhance the education program already in place and will form part of the overall communication of the students. The education program at the school remains focused on the bi-lingual use of LSM (Mexican Sign Language) and Spanish for reading and writing.
Thank you so, so much, Andi Jobe and Larry Breaker & Kathi and Dick Hoffer for taking time out of your very busy work schedule while in San Miguel to assist Escuela de Educación Especial in this exciting new project. We look forward to a second visit soon.
Below is a Youtube of the interview given to Portal SMA:
When the call went out for help in securing batteries for the students' hearing devices, good friend Jody Hicks rose to answer. She was making the trip to San Miguel with a group of friends and offered to bring some much needed batteries along with them. To our delight, this group of lovely Texas Bluebells also brought a bag full of Spanish books to help stock the school's library. A tip of the Stetson and a big "Gracias" to Jody, Donna and the Gals!
Saturday, January 11th was the first of 12 weekly classes designed to teach LSM (lengua de señas mexicana) to the families and friends of the students of the school. The classes were scheduled to take place on a specific day and time suggested by the participating families which would make it possible for them to attend the classes outside of work hours. The classes are designed to assist the families of EEE students, free of charge, to better communicate with each other in their home environment. Can you even imagine that parents and siblings of deaf youngsters are unable to effectively communicate with them, simply because they have never been given the affordable opportunity to learn sign language?!
Although learning a new language can be hard work, the instructors Carla and Juaniz also made it fun.
These classes form a part of the school's planned programs as you will note under the "Programs" section of this website found under the "Other" tab. Further funding is required to continue this very necessary program. Any help you can offer, would be greatly appreciated.
The school's “Field Trip Program” promotes self-confidence and allows for social interaction outside the school environment.