The Columbus School |

English for Community, Closer to Date

We are delighted to share a blog written by student Miguel Cardona López from The Columbus School, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

Educating and fun and skill gaining experience.

Project Overview

We have identified a need for education in our country (Colombia), one that increments the job opportunities as well as changing the job market and lower unemployment. We decided to specialize in the language development of young minds and teach them English. Our country’s poverty and the illiteracy rate is dangerously high, and we think that starting a new movement of educating the less fortunate with new, never aging skill sets, like English, a dominant language all throughout the first world, will drastically improve their lives and those of their future children.

There are many things that have inspired us to do this project, one is how we have been privileged with the opportunities we have had and know that we could also use that to benefit others. Also, we have the opportunity to study in a good school which apart from teaching us many things, has taught us our second language which is English. I think what most inspired us to do this was the fact that we had an opportunity to choose who to help and we thought in our greatest abilities one of them is learning a new language.

We are planning to use our advanced English levels, and our knowledge of how a second language is taught and learned, to help a community of young boys from poor economic situations, learn English, and hopefully be welcomed to all the opportunities it has given us. Through this, we hope that they will be able to get stable, profitable jobs, and get their families out of the vicious cycle of illiteracy and poverty. We have everything almost planned as well the class plans almost done. As an extra and plus we are taking clothes we don’t need and donating them to that foundation. One of our teammates, Juliana Palacio, has all the clothes picked up.

Our Journey

We have developed a lot of social management and pedagogy skills as of late. We’ve learned our teaching and learning styles, how we see the world and how our own ways of taking in information shaped how we view the world and its necessary skills. Our biggest challenge at the moment is our time management. Given that people’s schedules don’t always match up, and keeping the project consistent requires a lot of free time that often isn’t readily available in the busy life of the youth. Our solution for the moment has been a ‘taking turns’ agreement, getting together and contributing when we can, but when we’re not always available, people will volunteer to give additional individual attention or send over resources for them to use in the meanwhile, such as clothes, pencils, thermoses, and/or books. So they can take certain matters in their own hands whilst we keep working on the next establishment of our project. This way, we make ourselves constantly present, instead of leaving them for any period of time where our lives don’t line up accordingly with their offered schedules. As hard as it’s been to not keep the project up in the consistent manner that we dreamed of, we have been able to find a compromise in this system, and it has been proven successful for both parties. To this point, some of us have had some issues with tolerance when interacting with kids and that has helped us with tolerance and our patience when dealing with children.

The Next Chapter

We came to realize that this process would take time and we had to be patient with that matter. Basically with the activities and quizzes we planned that will help the kids understand more the topic little by little. Eventually, they will understand the basics of the topic and at some point start practicing better by themselves. We will start developing those activities for the kids to practice, and every once in awhile they will have a quiz to review how far they ave advanced and what their current progress is.

Social Media

The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.