Tuesday, July 21, 2009

An Inspired Assignment from Costa Rica

Terry & Elizabeth
at Nueva Hoja
(with Terry's girl Cayenne)
My friends Terry & Elizabeth started a school in Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica a few years ago. It is called Nueva Hoja ("New Leaf")
http://www.nuevahoja.com/ and is a K-6, Spanish/English private school that currently has around 30 students. The school recently got its official accreditation and we were lucky enough to be in town for the inauguration ceremony a couple weeks ago.

Before the ceremony I peeked inside a classroom and found reports posted on the wall written by 6th graders about scarlet macaws (lapas rojas).

The reports focused on learning about and preserving the approximately 700 beautiful macaws that live on the Osa Peninsula. During the ceremony, two Costa Rican 6th grade girls spoke in English about their scarlet macaw project.

The students worked with a biologist to create a series of 8 bilingual coloring books that raise awareness to protect, study, and educate people about scarlet macaws. The 6th graders at Nueva Hoja will present their information and coloring books about the scarlet macaws to 3rd and 4th graders in neighboring schools.

I love this project for many reasons. First, it teaches children how to appreciate and respect nature by focusing on preservation of local wildlife. It also allows older students to teach younger students in a hands-on way. It was a multi-disciplinary project touching on art, science, math, writing and reading in two languages.

Tuition at Nueva Hoja is approximately $3000/year. My husband and I sponsor two students from two different families, Jensy and Saite. If you are interested in sponsoring a student or teaching at the school contact Terry at: Terry@NuevaHoja.com .

Kerry, Jensy & Larry -- Saite and our son Sam


  1. Thank you for including us in your blog Kerry. Nueva Hoja is so lucky to have so many supporters. Over 60% of our student body is sponsored by good people like the Dickinsons. And, the opportunity to study at NH is creating a future beyond what any of our current local community can even imagine. Most of our students have no english spoken at home. Our student-teacher ratio is 8 or less students to one teacher. Our tagline is Adventure Learning as we believe that is how kids learn best. We've also incorporated Sustainability and/or Environmental Education to give them an understanding of their planet, the importance of tropical rainforests and development within their community as CR grows. Check us out www.nuevahoja.com. Your interest and supoort keeps us going...everyday, T

  2. Kerry THANK YOU for your endless encouragement and support. We live in the jungle, on the beach, off the 'grid' and what many would consider remote. There is many a moment each day that I wonder if this is right for our kids and I even question 'who was I to start a school in Costa Rica'...your nod and applaud of our efforts makes me smile in deepest gratitude (and sleep a little better too). Your support of Jensy, our star student, and Saite brings tears to their families's eyes. These kids will know a different life from that of their parents (earning more than $2/hour min. wage). With love and thanks, Terry

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