La Laja is a school in Icononzo, Tolima in Colombia. They have one classroom and around 50 students. Some students walk 2 hours to get there. Ayudando Ando is a charity group out of Bogotá that seeks to support the growth of this tiny school buried in the mountains of Colombia. They do not accept money, only supplies and volunteers.
I discovered this group almost two years ago, and the photo to the left shows some of the supplies my Spanish I class gathered (over 100 lbs!).
La Laja is still in need of supplies, so I've contacted Ayudando Ando again, and even begun forming a plan with the math teachers at my school (kinda handy we got teamed up for interdisciplinary planning time last workday!) for how we can get another supply drive and shipment together. Here is what we've planned so far:
- Show video from La Laja school and look at school supplies request list to set goals (interpretation).
- Form small groups for baking, separate groups for supply collection?
- Select recipes in Spanish (Colombian? Maybe with video suggestions from kids at the school?) to prepare for a bake sale to fund shipping (more interpretation).
- Convert recipes in metric (and vice versa?).
- Purchase ingredients from a local tienda or mercado (yay for all 5 C's in one!)
- Small groups prepare dishes, bring in samples for class (with information on preparation, cost of ingredients displayed).
- Individuals write reviews of their favorite dishes, explaining why they would make good products for our bake sale (maybe on a class blog to facilitate responses and collaborative decision-making).
- Skype with Colombia kiddos?
- Final collection of supplies to set shipping goals (interpersonal discussion with small groups comparing notes?)
- Math classes help analyze how many servings we could make per recipe selected, how many we need to sell at what price to meet our goals.
- Students research available companies that ship to Colombia (ie Zai Cargo) and their rates (interpretation).
- Math classes analyze which is best and how best to ship (size, number of boxes).
- Bake sale!
- Seek donations for remaining shipping costs OR have math classes calculate how many more supplies we can add if we exceed our goals :)
- Write personal letters to students there (with photos?) with what they learned.
- Have math classes calculate arrival date.
- Skype again?
I feel confident this round will go more smoothly than last time for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the fact that there is no chance of going into labor before the supplies ship. Also, I'm working with sophomores whom I know pretty well in Spanish 2, so I know how they work and what they know already (including their previous work on cooking shows). Of course it's also helpful to start planning before September, and the fact that cameras need not factor into the equation this time reduces the stress over the video project and the donation collection from that side.