iPads for Kindergarten/First Grade Classroom in Panajachel, Guatemala

Be on the lookout for thank-you cards coming your way this fall!!

Here's an article from the New York Times, supporting the use of iPads for supporting early literacy. (The article doesn't address the even-more crucial support tablets can give in an environment in which they constitute virtually the only exposure to age-appropriate text!)

* * *

I am teaching in a combined kindergarten and first grade classroom of 12 students in a very small English-language school in Panajachel, a small town in southwestern Guatemala. Nearly all my students come from local Mayan families"” many of whom only speak indigenous languages"” and over 75% receive scholarships. Many of my students are sponsored by individuals abroad, who pay 100% of their tuition and school-related costs, including meals and transportation.

The school provides opportunities that these students would never have otherwise. A top-quality education, combined with the ability to speak English, gives students limitless opportunities. However, the school has very few resources, and it is nearly impossible to acquire English-language books in this region (and shipping from the States is prohibitively expensive).

My classroom has no computer. With five iPads, students' educational horizons would be expanded immeasurably"” they would not only have access to the internet, each student would have English texts which cater to their particular needs and literacy level, which is crucial for the development of reading and writing fluency. The iPads would be used for every aspect of the curriculum"” from basic foundational literacy and math to apps to create art, hear music, and learn about social studies and science. The educational benefits of having iPads is truly incalculable"” it opens up countless possibilities in all educational arenas.

Every little bit helps! Every donor will receive a personalized, hand-made thank-you card from a K/1 student, which will be sent once someone from the school goes back to the States (there's no mail here!).

The website for the school, Atitlán Multicultural Academy, can be found here: http://ama.edu.gt/

Here's a picture of our reading nook:

I am trying to raise money to buy:

-5 refurbished iPads
-5 child-sized headphones
-5 protective cases

-eBooks and literacy apps

If over $3,000 is raised, I will use the excess to buy more e-books and other classroom materials, such as math manipulatives, art supplies, pencils, paper, and educational games.

If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me at [email redacted]vard.edu
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Emily Kaplan 
Boston, MA
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