Praise Report! We’ve Hired a New Preschool Teacher: Rosa Maria Ixcoy from Cajul

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Principal Braulio hired our first preschool teacher, Rosa Maria, this week after a unanimous decision from the hiring committee. She’s spending this month being acclimated to Nicolás Christian School and training to support the specific needs of our villages.  She speaks the native Mayan languages of Ixil (the native language of most of our villages) and Quiche (the native language of San Nicolás village).  Praise God that we found such a wonderful and qualified teacher!

Early Education Pilot Program

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Nicolás Fund for Education is excited about the early childhood education pilot project that will be launching in July 2019 in the village of San Nicolás! This program is being funded through a special grant. We feel investing in early childhood education is critical to building strong foundations that will benefit children throughout their academic experience. Students learn important social skills such as listening, sharing and cooperating, and become accustomed to a structured environment. Early childhood education has been shown to increase a student’s attention span, expand their vocabulary and learn preliminary math skills. Scientific studies consistently show the benefit of early childhood education in terms of enhanced language development, increased reading and math academic scores and cognitive and emotional benefits. These students will have an opportunity to learn some Spanish language. The pilot program will take place in the San Nicolás Early Childhood Development Center, located near the San Nicolás primary school. Nicolás Fund for Education is partnering with a Guatemalan organization called Crecer. Crecer is providing equipment and training for our programs. Beatriz Ruano de Dominguez from Crecer held a two-day training session in May for  Nicolás Fund for Education graduates interested in education, and those students will have an opportunity to work in the Early Childhood Development Center as Teaching Assistants. Bellevue Presbyterian Church Early Childhood Development Director Lisa Phelps organized a book drive for the preschool and parents contributed books that our July 2019 team will be delivered to the school. This pilot program will benefit 14 village families and 26 children between the ages of 0 and 6 years old. Three separate programs will be offered. Parents and children 0-2 years old will gather to learn …

Nicolas Christian School Spotlight: The Carpentry School

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A critical part of the education at Nicolas Christian School is the carpentry program. Started by our country director Ivan Espan, students learn practical carpentry skills to help make them employable after graduating from high school.  Unexpected and even more important benefits are the problem solving and teamwork skills it takes to complete a project. While working with their hands is not a new concept for our students who help out in their families’ fields, the task of making desks and chairs for Nicolas Christian School and the new preschool programs was the perfect challenge for our students.    Check out the beautiful results!

Did you know that you can support Nicolás Fund for Education through your Christmas shopping?

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[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]BelPres Alternative Gift Market Buy gifts for your loved ones that are packed with purpose and meaning! Bellevue Presbyterian is again offering an Alternative Gift catalog.  The hard copy catalog may be picked up at the kiosk in the lobby on December 3rd, 10th or 17th.  Cash or checks will be accepted for purchases in the lobby, and you will receive a gift card that can be given. The AGM catalog is also available online.  NFE Alternative Gifts include a gift of library books in Spanish ($10) or musical instruments ($25).  Through purchasing an AGM gift, your generosity allows the recipient to feel great knowing that their gift provided necessities that help educate youth in the Ixil region of Guatemala![spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”] AmazonSmile If you purchase a more conventional gift through Amazon, did you know that you can support NFE by purchasing that gift using AmazonSmile?  AmazonSmile offers the very same items as Amazon. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to NFE!  To get started, go to www.smile.amazon.com and log in using your current username and password. Be sure to designate Nicolás Fund for Education as your charity of choice in the spot “Or pick your own charitable organization”. Then begin shopping![spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”] Corporate Matching Make Your AGM gift or #GivingTuesday Donation Go Twice as Far! Does your employer match charitable contributions?  If you aren’t certain, today is a great day to find out! Many companies match charitable gifts made by their employees. Check with your company’s Human Resources department to learn more and to obtain forms needed to execute the …

2017 Nicolás Christian School Graduation Trip

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By Kathy Riper[spacer height=”20px”] The NFE November 2017 Impact Team consisted of Jan Snyder, Ruthie and Gerry Cravens, Linda Brewer, Bea Morrison, Stephanie Filipiuk and Kathy Riper. The primary purpose of our Ixil visit was to attend the Nicolás Christian School graduation of Junior High and Senior High students. It was a lovely ceremony and a joy to witness these young people receiving their diplomas and stand with their proud parents for photos. María Castro, the honor student of the Senior High class, delivered a moving speech. She was articulate, spoke with confidence and spoke without using notes. The parents are proud of their children’s achievements. However, having one or more of their children attending the full day school program Monday through Friday means that these children are not available to help around the house or in the fields. Most parents have had little or no education but they understand the value of educating their children. Other trip highlights were the village visits to La Bendición, Belén, San Nicolás, La Esperanza, Los Angeles and Villa Hortencia Uno. Regina, a graduated sixth grader from San Nicolás, got permission from her parents to greet our team when we arrived. She had changed out of her work clothes and was dressed in a lovely huipil and corté (blouse and skirt). The San Nicolás tutor, Tabita, shared with us that when Regina started the tutoring program this past January she could not read. Regina worked very hard all year and is now reading and eager to start 7th grade at Nicolás Christian School in January. Pedro, the Belén primary school teacher, greeted us when we arrived. Two students who will be 7th graders at Nicolás Christian …

Feedback from Sprint Team

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Nicolás Fund for Education received feedback from the five-member Seattle Pacific University SPRINT team that visited Nicolás Christian School in August 2017. The team stayed in the village of La Esperanza for the duration of their thirty-day visit. The team assisted teachers at Nicolás Christian School and one of their prime objectives was to assist our students in practicing English. What was the best aspect of their time spent at Nicolás Christian School?[spacer height=”20px”] “Their attitude and the way that they were treating the students were amazing.” “We share a lot – not enough – but it was a great time.” “There are so many memorable experiences that I will always continue to remember during my time in Guatemala. The first day that we arrived at NCS was amazing. They were all so friendly and welcoming.” “It was affirming for me personally to know that I was here intentionally and for a purpose.” “I also enjoyed getting to know the teachers and students there throughout the whole month.”  

Would you like to Attend Virtual Graduation on November 15th?

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Nicolás Christian School will be holding their annual commencement ceremonies from 7-10 am PST on November 15th, and you are invited to attend virtually! Suggested attire is a bathrobe with a cup of coffee. The graduation ceremony will be interpreted into English by Professor Moises in real time. Join us as we witness the joy of each student’s accomplishments and see the pride on the faces of their parents. For many families, this is the first person in their families to ever graduate from high school! Yes, I’d like to attend virtually! Loading…

Empowerment of Women

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[spacer height=”20px”]By Ivan España, Country Director of NFE [spacer height=”20px”]NFE empowers young women to step up as leaders in their communities and the world. We do this through programs that equip girls with the confidence, resiliency, and leadership skills needed to achieve their goals and improve their communities.

Evergreen Covenant Youth Experience Nicolás Christian School

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Thirteen youth from Evergreen Covenant Church had a wonderful opportunity this summer…[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]   Photo Credit: Sophie [spacer height=”20px”] …to meet Nicolás Christian School students, teachers and village families in the Ixil region of Guatemala. The ECC youth group was comprised of students of different ages and came from five different schools.  They were united by a common mission for this trip, however. ECC Youth Experience Ixil Culture Accompanied by four chaperones (Ryan LaBrie, Scott Kuhn, Kendra Gil and Robin Rosenquist) and ECC Youth Pastor Brent Strobel, the youth carried out a mix of sports activities and classroom activities at Nicolás Christian School. The most meaningful activity that the team experienced was having the opportunity to talk to NCS students and see how happy they were despite having less materially and living under far more difficult circumstances than the ECC youth. In addition, the youth team visited Professor Noe, a teacher at Nicolás Christian School who had recently suffered a motorcycle accident.  Noe was very touched by the ECC Youth’s visit to pray with him and the visit was an emotional experience for many involved.[spacer height=”20px”] “The beautiful thing about God’s work in our lives is to see how in giving we all receive. We don’t give to receive, but God is faithful and when we are open to His work and people and vision, he sustains us with meaningful purpose. Many of the kids were touched by a painting given with their name on it or a special recognition by another child.  The ECC kids gave of their money, vacation time and energy on the trip and, in return gained local and Guatemalan friends, a new perspective on God’s work …