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Monthly Archivejulio 2019

Newsletter #23

WHAT’s UP: by Ron Budacz
TEACHING ENGLISH THE PEACE PM WAY

From its humble beginnings as an idea presented by The Angels to teaching English to more than 1,200 children, this learning discipline is truly an incredible accomplishment for our charity. Our donors fund it and our seasoned staff and teachers deliver it every day. My first 100 days on the job as Chair has revealed (to me) many facts, some of which I would like to share with you below.
We are helping to develop and expand young and malleable minds through the five days per week learning of a «foreign language» with an emphasis on conversational skills. In fact, we teach Pre-K through year 12 in all the schools of the three Punta de Mita towns served by PPM. In comparison to public and private school education in North America, I cannot identify any school, other than the most elite institutions, that teach toddlers and elementary school kids a «foreign language». Yes most schools in Mexico teach textbook English with vocabulary flash cards and tests; however, the State of Nayarit has commended PPM for both the depth and quality of its program that would be cost prohibitive in all other State schools, or in all of Mexico for that matter. While the internet has made the world a smaller place, mastering English exposes our children to endless career possibilities at home and abroad. (Please note that non English speaking people who come to North America learn it as a «second language» where a large and continuous support infrastructure exists.)

Next, the PPM English teachers undergo annual skills training, and they impart knowledge to their «state» colleagues teaching next door. Consequently, life skills of discipline, respect, honesty, and confidence are ingrained in our children and carried home to their parents. So we «teach up» to effect positively the home environment.

The PPM method of teaching English aligns with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR), a language scale designed by the Council of Europe with assistance from Cambridge University Press. The PPM staff attends sessions throughout the year to assure that we utilize the best practices and latest teaching trends, notably the annual BBELT conference held by the British Council in Mexico City. BBELT introduces latest trends and ideas in English Language Teaching (ELT), where attendees participate in academic sessions, presentations, workshops and demonstrations of best teaching practices held by teaching specialists from the U.K., Mexico and the world. Although we believe our teaching methodology ranks among the best, after being at it for more than 6 years, it is prudent that we undergo an external assessment analogous to an annual audit of our financial statement to assure that we are doing things right and doing the right things.

In closing, teaching English as a «foreign language» is a long term process as we progress kids along the journey, beginning at Pre-K. We find that local children who excel in English are further exposed to it at home either by parents who want to learn it or by watching English speaking TV shows, like Sesame Street. Accordingly, I have encouraged The Angels Group to come full circle by working with the PPM Education Committee in assessing the benefit of providing TV monitors and fun educational apps for after school continuous learning. We are investing in the future of children and making a difference. I can’t think of a better way other than the PPM Way to spend resources.

 

6th ANNUAL ASSEMBLY HELD AT THE ST.REGIS ASTOR BALLROOM
PEACE MANAGEMENT PRESENT 2018 YEAR HIGHLIGHTS
Once more our friends at the St.Regis kindly donated the Astor Ballroom for the 2018 Annual Assembly. With over 20 key donors attending, the afternoon began with Peter Newton officially handing over as Chair to newly elected Ron Budacz. Ron continued by acknowledging Peter’s amazing efforts and contributions to PEACE over the years, presenting him with a meaningful resolution read by board director Bob Farquharson.

Executive Director Ali Elías took over to begin the meetings highlights for 2018 after having reviewed PEACE’s mission and vision.
Education Coordinator Warren Hair spoke in detail about the English Program, reflecting on student number increases, teacher training and evaluations, which reflect the steady progress of our students.
Education Coordinator Anaelena Girón spoke about the CAMPEONES Program and what they had achieved, as well as the recent graduates from the scholarship program and the new students, as well explaining figures from last year’s Summer Camp.
Community Pride Manager Maria Rangel spoke about her achievements, talking about community projects and talks that have been inspiring the community.
Ron Budacz who closed with details pertaining to the 2019 budget approval and donations.

 

 


PEACE GIVES THANKS TO ALL DONORS AT THE BEAUTIFUL VILLA SOLAZ
FOURTH ANNUAL DONOR RECOGNITION PARTY HOSTED BY THE ISBERGS ON MARCH 29

On March 29, Margaret and Kris Isberg warmly welcomed PEACE donors to beautiful Villa Solaz for PEACE’s yearly donors’ party recognizing those who kindly contributed financially to PEACE during the year.
Starting at 6pm in the time for the sun set to act as a fantastic back drop, the 80 odd guests arrived and were greeted by PEACE board members and staff. As guests settled in, then chair Peter Newton opened the night and introduced Ron Budacz, explaining his succession, followed with greeting from Executive Director Ali Elías. Everyone was then treated by a special singing performance by 5 students from the Higuera Blanca Primary school, who chose a bilingual song that showed off their language skills. To close, Ron returned thanking everyone for their previous donations and encouraged all to kindly continue with their generosity in order for PEACE to continue with their important and fulfilling work. For more information about donating, please click here.
2019 PLEDGE FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN ANNOUNCED
MAY TO KICK OFF CAMPAIGN PLEDGE

Under leadership of chair Ron Budacz, the campaign will kick off in early May, and run through to the end of the calendar year. The PEACE Board of Directors will be making person to person contacts with Punta de Mita area residents with its purpose to fund operations, consisting of education and community pride programs.

Donors are asked to consider an annual pledge in one of the following donor categories:
Patron – USD 20,000 & +
Benefactor – USD 15,000
Companion – USD 10,000
Member – USD 5,000
Friend – USD 1,000

The 2019 PLEDGE FOR PEACE CAMPAIGN will be conducted person-to-person by Board of Director members with the support of the Advisors to the Board, all volunteers. Board Members are Ron Budacz [chair], Louise Temerty, Margaret Isberg, Mariette Woestemeyer, Bob Farquharson, Rob Ritchie, Roberto Santa Cruz, and Peter Newton
NEW ADDITION TO PEACE BOARD
DIEGO MARTINEZ NEGRETE JOINS PEACE AS SPECIAL ADVISOR

PEACE Punta de Mita A.C. is happy to announce that Mr. Diego Martinez Negrete has joined the Board as a Special Advisor to concentrate on school infrastructure in the Punta de Mita area. Over the last 15 years, Diego has established himself as a successful entrepreneur in launching several local businesses. As residents of Corral Del Risco, Diego and his wife Sabrina are committed to increasing the quality of life for people residing in the greater local area. Accordingly, both actively interface with local leaders and the business community at large.

Ron Budacz, Chair of the PEACE Board, states that “Mr. Martinez will work hand-in-hand with Ms. Ali Elías, Executive Director of PEACE.” Budacz added, “With the continued generosity of the PEACE donors for the 2019 Campaign Season, our charity may be able to address the state of facilities in which our children learn.”

Mr. Martinez commented, “I am honored to work closely with the Peace Board in a capacity that will make life better for all of us who call the Punta de Mita area home.” Diego is a graduate of ITESO in Guadalajara, and majoring in Psychology with a concentration in Psychotherapy. For more information about our board and staff, please click here.

 

ENGLISH CLASSES OPEN THEIR DOORS FOR COMMUNITY
ENGLISH TEACHERS OPEN THEIR CLASS DOORS FOR THE THIRD TIME AROUND
Over the last few years, PEACE English teachers have been excited to open their class rooms for everyone to come and see first-hand how well our students are doing.
For the third year around, PEACE Open Classes took off and offered a lot of variety and fun. Centered around a teaching methodology called Project Based Learning, teachers work with their students over a period of 6 weeks, encouraging students to provide the concept and direction of the project. Students ranging from the kindergarten levels through secondary, worked on choosing themes they wished to investigate. From there, students questioned the language and tools necessary to make a presentation. Our 9 teachers each presented, with groups choosing a variety of subjects to research. In the Emiliano Zapata Primary in the morning, students investigated what it takes to run a fine dining restaurant, their result was setting up a temporary restaurant, serving food and waiting on guests. The afternoon shift wanted to learn more about their parent’s professions, and researched the importance of the fisheries industry in the local area, whilst in Higuera Blanca, groups organized Farmer’s Markets, tour guides and treasure hunts. The week was full of visitors, including PEACE donors, SEP officials and parents, all of who got to experience our student’s passion and enthusiasm for learning. To learn more about our programs, please click here.
ENTREPRENEURIAL PROJECT REFLECTS IMPRESSIVE RESULTS
CAMPEONES EXCEL DURING PROJECTS 2ND TIME AROUND

Last year the CAMPEONES experimented with a new project that was such a great success they were jumped at the chance to do it again for a second year around.

The Entrepreneurial Project is a two month project that is aimed for the students to gain an understanding of management and economics. The students are put in groups, and are encouraged to think about what business opportunities could arrive starting with a small amount of money. PEACE loans each student $100MX and the students are required to use that money to start their mini business in their groups. At the end of the two months, the students compare their results. This year, students Bridgett Meza and Melsy Vazquez raised $7,703.50MX with their project titled ARTE DELICIOSO. The young entrepeneurs sold baked goods such as banana bread and brownies, during events held in the community and also from going door to door, raising the highest amount out of the class. Other groups did exceptionally well too. Edgar Mendoza, Christopher Pelayo and Quiriat Cocolan also raised $5,055MX selling sticky rice puddings, their group being called the CHOCOTORROS. Other groups also ventured into food sales, while others also held car wash days and sold artisanal goods. To read more about CAMPEONES and our other programs please click here.

 

PEACE FACILITING TALKS ABOUT HEALTH AND WELL BEING
COMMUNITY TALKS HELD AT PEACE BY STAFF AND PM HOSPITAL
Community Pride supports and works hand by hand with over 3000 people in the communities of Punta de Mita, Higuera Blanca and Corral del Risco, often through a variety of community and schools projects.

Recently however, newly assigned Community Pride Manager Maria Rangel has instigated several talks in order to inform, assist and improve the well-being of the community. Maria organized the talks to be held at the PEACE community center, with amazing participation. With room to seat around 50 people, the talks have become popular and fill out quickly. Several talks have been in conjunction with the Punta Mita Hospital, who offer specialists to come and speak to the attendees. The hospital has held talks that cover breast cancer, cervical cancer and eating disorders, the latter focused toward teens in particular. Also primarily aimed at teens, PEACE Psychologist Rodrigo Flores conducted a talk “The Monster of Anxiety”, outlining causes of anxiety and offering valuable tools to deal with such a condition. For more information about Community Pride, please click here.