With the start of this school year the flow of our day has changed drastically. Previously school kids went to school for half a day either in the morning or in the afternoon. Well, this year our elementary and middle school kids started a full day program. School goes from 8 AM to 4 PM for these kids Monday through Friday. This is a huge change in our daily dynamics. Lunch time was typically the time we were all together, but now with over half of our kids eating lunch at school dinner has become the time of day we are all together. The most drastic change is that 13 our Day Program kids are only with us on the weekend days, since they now spend their weekdays in school.
However, we don’t just have kids in the elementary and middle school full-day program. In fact we have kids in so many school programs, that it seems like we are air traffic controllers throughout the day. We have Yinancia who lives with us, along with Eina and Maikens who are day program kids in a Private Preschool Program in the mornings. So they get dropped off at the same time that Jomayco, Jefri, Redando, Kimi, Kimberly, Avila, Yohana, and Karina go to Public School. So, along the way to school several kids from the community get picked up and dropped off along with our kids as Melissa who typically takes the morning drop-off run makes a run from one side of the town to the other to go to the Public School and then the Private School and back home.
Kate is homeschooling through Florida Virtual School. She is taking her core courses along with two electives she is excited about, Guitar and Careers in Fashion. Her schedule varies from day to day, but she typically starts around 9 in the mroning and finishes up after lunch.
Then, at noon, the little guys get picked up and they come home for lunch.
After Lunch our two high school students, Gabriel and Algenis, get taken to school, since their school is still a half day program that starts at 2 PM.
Then at 4:00, the younger kids all get picked up and get to take a ride through town to drop Eina and Maikens off at their homes. When our kids arrive home they come in chanting: “Uniform, Plate, Homework.” “Uniforme, Plato, Tarea!” “Uniforme, Plato, Tarea!” “Uniforme, Plato, Tarea!” As these are the three things they all need to take care of during this transition. Change out of their school uniform, and make sure it gets to the laundry room. Wash their lunch dish. They get lunch at school, but they have to come with their own plate and utensils, and they then have to work on any homework.
Gabriel and Algenis walk home since they are dismissed anytime between 5:30 and 6:30, but are generally home by 7 when we sit down for dinner.
Then we have our older teens. Six of them, Herby, Enel, Pierre Antoine, Alicia, Caleb, and Wilkens attend weekend public school sessions; however we have tutoring for them Monday through Friday in the morning and afternoon to help them promote more than one grade in a school year. Mackendy is our newest here at the Children’s Home. He’s 11 years old and is still only speaking Creole. He says that he was in 4th grade in Haiti. We hope that his Spanish will improve quickly and he’ll be able to attend the Public School after Christmas break. Until then, he’s with our teens studying with our teachers here on property.
So we have kids going here there and everywhere for school seven days a week. Mornings and afternoons are full of, “Where’s my uniform. Have you seen my belt. I don’t have socks. I need a pencil. Who has my notebook. Get on the Truck!!!!” The chorus of our school days.
So our days are a little quieter at certain times of the day, and a little noisier at others. As always, a little bit of organized chaos.[nggallery id=27]