8am rolls around each morning on Thomassin #32 in the same way that it does all over the earth. 8am is many things at the GLA Toddler House on Thomassin. It is nanny shift change. It is the first bell of our Pre-K School program both in Creole, and in English. It is the time Sonson starts filling the mop bucket and sloshing it around the house leaving behind him clean disinfectant scented floors. It is also time for the oldest nine kids to race downstairs and through the courtyard yelling, ”Computers!”. Four years ago Joyce had felt the need to expose the kids to the use of computers. Knowing that these kids would be adopted into the advanced would of technology she felt it was crucial to get them started as early as possible. She spread the word to her friends and family and one by one old laptops made their way down to Haiti and her classroom. With an always full house it was necessary to use only laptops as there was no room anywhere to set up a desktop lab, and each afternoon the participating kids made their way to the laptop bin grabbed a case, brought it to the table and set up. They loved this time of day, some learning to type faster than others, some trying a new and different educational game each day, and some sticking with the same favorite till they had made their way to the certificate of completion at the end. The system was a hit, and it worked, we saw interest and advances in the kids learning and skill.
Today the program is just as big a hit among our kids. But with significantly fewer children we are able to use a room of the house for the purpose of computer lab. No more wasted time setting up and closing down, and no more wear and tear on the machinery with unnecessary movement. We are thrilled! We also have enough laptops now, that each of the kids old enough to handle a mouse can use their own. A HUGE THANK YOU to the individuals who sent and brought down their still in great shape retired computers! To Dave for getting them all programmed, resurrecting the glichy ones, and for the numerous educational programs he acquired for the kids. And to Bas and Dave for the awesome computer tables!
We use computer time not only as an educational endeavor but also as a reward. It’s true. It is considered a privilege to spend time each morning learning how to type, spell, read, add, subtract, multiply, and use commands through a fun interactive program. Most mornings at 7:45 you can find the oldest children flipping through their homework to make sure everything is in order for the 8am check off and the earned privilege of doing “Computers”!
Posted on Fri, October 15, 2010