May 2019 Newsletter: Values Week Recap

Above: Staff and Student Volunteers lead initiatives during Values Week 2019

“Even though it is hard to apply values in our lives, we have to try.” – Oscar, Education Plus student since 2014, currently 12 years old

Dear Friends and Family,

This month of May we did something drastic – we cancelled classes for an entire week and used this time to start a new initiative, “Semana de Valores,” or Values Week.  We did this because we at Education Plus believe that having strong values and general life skills are just as important as having academic skills. 

During Values Week, students had fun while reflecting on what values were important to them.  They were taught that strong values help us become the people we want to be, and how to implement these values in their daily lives. We were blown away by the reactions of our students of all ages. As our staff psychologist reflected:
“I was surprised by how easily the children made each value their own.  They really focused and paid attention to the classes and workshops and even at a young age were able to reflect upon and synthesize information.  For example, after one talk, a student commented: teacher, respect is earned, it can’t be bought anywhere.”
While our psychologist, with the help of 14 student helpers, focused on working with the younger children, teacher Luis conducted practical life skills courses and teacher Jasmina conducted values workshops with the older students.  In one of Jasmina’s activities, students were asked to write positive comments about their classmates, then read them aloud.  Many students were surprised that their peers had so many positive things to say about them, and at the end of this activity there were many smiling faces and more than a few wet eyes.

Here are some more snapshots from our incredibly successful “Values Week”: 

Below: Student volunteer Yacknory leads a group activity in which students learn
how values are the foundations on which we build our lives.

Below: Executive Director Monica Loveley presents “Financial Planning” to older students, covering topics such as income vs. expenses, savings, loans, and interest.

Below Right: Pre-school students practice saying “stop” when facing disrespect.
Below Left: Learning how to identify and express emotions through crafts and play.

Below: On the final day of values week, students listen attentively to skits
performed by staff reinforcing the importance of values and social skills.

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Values week ended up being one of the most positive, unique, and engaging learning events we have ever conducted.  Not only did it see an unparalleled level of student participation (teachers noted even higher than usual attendance and engagement), to our surprise and delight we found that the workshops, activities and special classes we conducted had some immediate positive effects as well.  As our Program Coordinator Keeley recounts:
  “After listening to guest speaker Epifania’s talk on focusing on your goals and working hard to reach them, Tonny, who almost never does his homework, took two steps out of the classroom after the talk, looked at me and whispered, ‘tarea’ [homework]. He then promptly walked up stairs, pulled out his public school homework, and began to work. Tonny is a student that is especially hard to get through to, so it was wonderful to see that a short talk had such an immediate and tangible effect on him.”
  We are so proud of how our children are learning and growing not just physically and academically, but in character as well.  We are also thankful to all of our staff, who threw themselves into this initiative with creativity, gusto and unparalleled enthusiasm.  As teacher Jasmina stated at the end of the week, “what makes me feel so happy and proud is that we are educating kids in a holistic way. We are an incredible Dream Team ✨✨✨.”

With endless gratitude to our supporters, our staff, and our children,
Monica, Jim, Keeley and the Staff and Children of Education Plus

Monica Loveley
Executive Director
Education Plus Nicaragua
Santos, 6, needs a sponsor!
While there are hundreds of deserving children waiting for sponsors, but we want to highlight Santos more than any other child this month. 
Santos lives in a one-room, dirt-floor shack made out of plastic and tin with his extended family of seven.  His  mother and father work odd jobs, collecting trash or selling fried plantains to make ends meet. When Santos began at Casa de los Sueños two years ago, he would cry each afternoon while he ate his lunch and before entering class. A sad child from an abusive household, it took time for Santos to adjust to life at our program, but today Santos can’t arrive without a smile plastered across his face.  While he initially had trouble interacting with his peers, today he is a  kind and respectful classmate.  We love Santos and are thrilled to see these changes, and look forward to seeing him continue to develop and grow.
  To sponsor Santos, or another child, please visit our Child Sponsorship Page for more information ❤️
Click Here to See Children Waiting for Sponsors
Now you can donate to our program and it won’t cost you anything! We’ve partnered with AmazonSmile to benefit the children at Education Plus. Every time that you make a purchase on Amazon they will contribute .5% for our kids. It’s easy to sign up and use. Just click HERE and sign in with your Amazon log-in information. Once you log-in, you’re registered automatically! Then, every time you want to shop, go to It’s that easy! 

Copyright © *Education Plus Nicaragua 2019*, All rights reserved.

Casa de los Sueños
De la marucha 200 metros al Oeste
Granada, Nicaragua