San Felipe, Baja, Mexico


There are 8 kindergartens in the San Felipe area. Unlike the U.S., kindergartens in Mexico are for children from three to five years old. In addition to learning how to use pencils, crayons, and scissors, the children also learn letters, Children reading donated books.numbers, science and social studies. There is a great emphasis on poetry, music, and dancing to develop large motor skills and to facilitate learning in the subject areas. Typically, the exterior of the kindergartens are painted with large Disney figures. The classrooms are brightly decorated with materials to enhance the learning experience. Since many of these children come from homes in depressed areas where there is very little beauty, the teachers go out of their way to provide experiences which will expand the horizons of these little ones.

Unfortunately, many children are unable to attend kindergarten. Uniforms are required as well as school supplies and fees. Although these expenses are minimal by U.S. standards, many parents cannot afford to send their children to all three years of kindergarten. Children who Book Buddy Pioneers Kay and Bill Gabbardare unable to attend kindergarten are behind from the day they start elementary school. They will not have been exposed to books and may find it difficult to understand instructions which involve writing and the use of other school tools.

Thephotos below are from the Los Arcos kindergarten which has the name of "30 de Abril." The 30th of April is Children's Day in Mexico. These pictures were taken during their spring festival in April of 2004. The dancing was amazing and the songs stressed concepts of spring. On this day the school's little library was dedicated. The library exists because of the combined efforts of many groups and individuals as well as the dedication and hard work of the principal and faculty.

The Book Buddies Project

The San Felipe Book Buddies is an outreach project dedicated to getting quality picture books and reading materials to the children of San Felipe. Unlike many countries where classrooms are filled with learning aides and audio-visual equipment, classrooms in San Felipe are basically unadorned. The wealth of children's literature and resource books seen in classrooms and libraries in many other parts of the world are absent in San Felipe's Schools.

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