The Backpack Project 2020 was carried out at the San Bartolomé school from January 13 to 17, 2020 in the city of Cusco. Ninety students received a week full of academic reinforcement and 14 young adult volunteers participated as teachers and support. In addition to the volunteers, three mothers from the community donated their time throughout the week to prepare snacks and lunches for all.
The primary objective of the Backpack Project was to reinforce the communication, language, and mathematics courses for first through sixth graders. Though didactic techniques were used, volunteers made sure to incorporate games, art and music as a key part of learning experience. In this interactive setup, students received the lessons with much joy and motivation since the courses were more fun. Stories were shared outside the classroom; among them was the story of The Adventures of Paloma, the boys and girls attended and understood the message of the story with great joy. Students in the mathematics course made crafts to understand the spaces of geometric figures and fractions.
Mothers played an essential role during Project Backpack; from 8:30 am they arrived at the school to prepare snacks for the students and the entire team of volunteers. They also made lunch for the volunteers and the whole project team. One of the mothers that volunteer said: “I am very happy that my son participates in the project during the week, as it is the first time that a project comes to school to encourage boys and girls reinforce reading and mathematics, and what a joy they receive a backpack with school supplies plus a story, Thanks for the support ”
At the end of the backpack project, Friday was a great closing party. Each classroom with the support of the volunteer teachers presented theater, music, and poetry they learned in the week, the principal and teachers attended the closing. The principal gave the following message to all the boys and girls who participated , “Seek your dreams, be professionals and help your families, this is going to be done with education, it is the only tool to be able to get out of poverty.” In end the students received backpacks, school supplies, and the story of Las Aventuras de Paloma.
All the volunteer participants received a certificate of participation signed by the director and coordinator as a thank you andenjoyed a nice lunch with the entire coordination team, mothers and volunteers.