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September 2013

With this being the first post, it might be slightly longer and more detailed than the posts to follow.

We are currently in our seventh school year. With 136 students enrolled and 9 full time teachers, we have seen God bless this school in many ways. We are about to complete construction of our primary building, with just a few more interior touches to go. The completion of this building has been a huge answer to prayer. Now we can focus on the expanding our staff and perfecting our curriculum, instead of worrying about having enough classroom space to expand. With our current structure, we add one grade every year. This year, we are up to fifth grade. Next year we will begin sixth grade.

The school year begins in February and ends in November here. With second semester one month done, we have many events to look forward to. We are currently gearing up for Nicaragua's Independence Day celebration. This is a big show that we hold in our auditorium for the whole neighborhood as we all display our patriotism! We are also planning a concert later this fall. Our music teacher, Carlos, has been working hard to prepare the kids for this show that the parents are bound to love!

The past few teams that have come have also brought with them donated desktops and laptops. With our team of volunteers, we have successfully installed desktop computers for each of the teachers to use in their classroom. This will help teachers eventually do many more things on the computer instead of with pen and paper. It will also help in the school office's organization of data. Teachers will now be able to take attendance and input grades using Excel sheets. Teacher will also be able to make tests and worksheets on the computer instead of by hand. We are very thankful to those who donated their computers. Our ultimate goal is to create a connected database for all the teachers to work through.

Another piece of the puzzle is internet! We hope to be getting a faster and more reliable internet service at the school to allow for more online learning. We are currently getting average internet speeds of around half a megabyte per second, and that's during off-peak hours. Hopefully within the next few weeks, we'll be upgrading to a much faster two megabytes per second speed.

This week marks another big step for us. With the laptops the previous team donated, we've begun integrating them into the classroom. We're starting with fifth grade, which only has six students. Each students will get a laptop to use during school hours. In the short term, the laptops will be used for typing for English class, materials distribution through .PDF, and science presentations using Powerpoint. Ultimately we hope to have these laptops connected to the internet. We will then be able to access online software that can aid in the learning process, such as practice review games and language labs.

In the past month, we've hosted three more teams and welcomed four new full-time volunteers, two part-time volunteers, and one new teacher onto our team! We've seen God's hand at work through many different areas. We ask that you continue praying for the school and the staff. Use the "Staff" page as a guidance if you're a visual person. Thanks for reading, and look for the next update in a few weeks!

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