Arts and Beyond in Puerto Rico
World Story Exchange Co-Directors Scott and Lindsay have been living and working in Rincon, Puerto Rico for 2 months, January and February, for the past 2 years. They use the time to accomplish a lot of the "behind-the-scenes" work of running their small educational business. This includes writing curricula for upcoming projects, developing new modes of student engagement (such as animation - coming soon!), working with clients (teachers, principals and educators at non-profit organizations) to design new projects for the coming year. Oh, and fundraising: applying for grants and writing letters to foundations.
Scott and Lindsay also keep the ball rolling on working with students: this year they partnered with a small elementary school called Arts and Beyond Learning Center to offer a photography workshop. The school is nestled in a jungle valley with lots of interesting plants, lizards, birds and flowers for the students to explore with cameras. Below, students in grades 3 and 5 learn how to take their first pictures by focussing their cameras on Scott's hand.
Working with the local public high school in Rincon (Escuela Manuel García Perez) was a goal for this year, and a project was approved by the administration - but the school has been closed since the magnitude 6.4 earthquake and the ongoing earthquake swarm. The main earthquake struck about 35 miles south of Rincon, and severely impacted the communities of Guanica, Guayanilla, Yauco and others. Schools across the island are closed pending structural engineering approvals.
As of late February the public schools are open again, bus alas our time in Puerto Rico has come and gone. In a few days Lindsay and I will leave the island to begin our sixth project at Monarch High School in San Diego, California. We'll be back in Puerto Rico next year - hasta ano!