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GYSD 2016 – Coming Soon!

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This year we celebrate again the largest service event in the world! Do you want to join us? ‪#‎GYSD‬

Here, the celebrations of the last years:
1st GYSD in 2013 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9shRs32ZyADiapositiva9.PNG

2nd GYSD in 2014 https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.871182486232060.1073741844.188568064493509&type=3Diapositiva12.PNG

3rd GYSD in 2015 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYRNsYFuZ58YCL PLAYLEE GYSD Español.png

My first experience with a PLAYLEE Exercise

By: John Schoch

RPCV and member of Florida Partners

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During a visit to Bogota in October, 2015 at the invitation of Natalia Bernal (Youth Ambassador-2014) I accompanied the local Youth Colombian Leaders group to the first teaching/learning class (the start of a series to be done regularly over a period of months) that they were giving at the Centro Comunitario of the Alcaldia in the Candelaria. It was a wonderful experience; I enjoyed it very much and learned a lot about how PLAYLEE can work and be effective in helping young children (basically ages 8-12 from underprivileged families) to learn some English while having fun doing it. The critical focus seemed to be providing a fun and comfortable atmosphere for the kids so that they are stimulated and motivated by actively participating in group activities that involve learning, saying and repeating words and phrases in English.

The following discrete aspects of the participation process stood out for me:

  • Use of TV screen.
  • A lot of participatory physical movement (action)—e.g. musical chairs.
  • Use of blackboard.
  • Playing music and songs.
  • Use of games.
  • Teachers leading and interacting with children in singing of simple songs in English, with an emphasis on repetition—e.g. “Ride that pony”.
  • Getting everyone comfortable with the situation and the group—e.g. sitting in a circle on the floor and going around to each child in a question and answer format.
  • Teacher giving recognition and attention to each individual child.
  • All participating children get registered.
  • This was a morning session lasting about 2 hours.
  • Every member of the Youth Leaders teaching group participated under the guidance of Luisa Ramirez, who is a fluent speaker of English.

Of course, this was the first and only PLAYLEE session that I have observed so far. The children were enjoying the activities and actively verbally repeating the English words and phrases. To really have a significant impact in terms of learning English, these sessions, as planned, need to be held regularly over a period of months with the participation of pretty much the same group of children (each child needs to get as much exposure as possible to achieve a significant language-learning impact).

TO HONOR THEM – Volunteer teachers

Playlee, Bucaramanga

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This is the moment to honor our volunteer Jorge Mideros Arboleda, who belongs to the playlee’s family BUCARAMANGA

This space was created to appreciate and encourage our volunteer educators; here we honor those volunteers that with their dedication and sacrifice have become educational reference points.  For those that perform pedagogical acts visibly embodied in the proactive formation of sensitive and critical beings, capable of engaging constructively in their fulfillment and in the creation of a better world.

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  • Why did you become a volunteer?     

I became a volunteer because there’s one phrase that has been always present in my life: “Born to serve the others and you live to be happy”.

How did you get involve with the Playlee program?

I got involve the program when I heard about it from a friend, Fili. I was also working with children in another group of volunteers with other organization, so then I took the decision to start with Playlee as well, in order to reflect all the activities in Playlee with others communities.

How do you think Playlee impacts the beneficiaries’ communities?

I think the labor we do it’s very important to bring to the community the tools like English that probably they won’t find easy to afford.

11753391_10207106120906911_2060003114_oWhat is your vision about Playlee?

“Playlee” would have to continue expanding around the country, calling more and more volunteers who will be ready to give all for the less fortunate people.

How did Playlee started in Bucaramanga?

The start of Playlee in Bucaramanga was amazing, the children felt very excited and eager to learn. All the staff did it very well, the every two week plan has been very organized. I guess we will leave an important seed in those children.

What goals you expect to achieve with Playlee?

I expect that first we finish all the program correctly, that the children who have joined it get a significant advance and that I also learn something about those kids who can only offer love and happiness.

What goals have you achieved with Playlee?

This opportunity has brought to myself the reinforcement at the develop of values like kindness, happiness, service and responsibility.11760580_10207106122986963_1426455561_o

Do you have any Inspiring phrase that you would like to share with us?

Of Course, this phrase will always push me to be better and to act in the favor of the benefit of the world: “Born to serve the others and you live to be happy”.

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TO HONOR THEM – Volunteer teachers

Playlee Barranquilla

This is the moment to honor our volunteer Mayra, who, with her service makes PLAYLEE possible.

This space was created to appreciate and encourage our volunteer educators; here we honor those volunteers that with their dedication and sacrifice have become educational reference points.  For those that perform pedagogical acts visibly embodied in the proactive formation of sensitive and critical beings, capable of engaging constructively in their fulfillment and in the creation of a better world.

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  • Who is Mayra and why Mayra is a volunteer?

Mayra is a dreamer, really passionate girl who loves enjoying the things she does and working on being a better person every day. I love learning, writing, reading, dancing, now teaching and more than anything, sharing the best of me with others. I’m a Finance and International Relations student, 21 years old. I’m proud I’m in a special moment of my life where I’m a doer, making my dreams come true. PLAYLEE is one of them.

Why I’m a volunteer? First, it was something I always wanted to do. Second, I love the time I get to spend with my PLAYLEE kids. Third, I enjoy working and sharing wonderful experiences with my fellow volunteers.

  • How did you get involved with the PLAYLEE program?

I have to admit it was destiny. I was in the middle of my 8th semester at college and one day, I received a mail. It was an invitation for students who were participating in investigation groups and it was about a project called Red Caribe Gestores. This corporation is based on the mission of generating social change through civil participation and community work. First, we had some formative sessions and after that phase, we had to be involved with a foundation or social project in order to apply the knowledge we learned previously.  One of the options for us was PLAYLEE and after introducing ourselves to the different organizations working with Caribe Gestores, I was chosen by my tutor at the moment – Silvana Gómez, PLAYLEE Barranquilla Coordinator, now my friend and partner in this wonderful program. From day 1, I fell in love with PLAYLEE and I knew it would become a very special part of my life.

  • What do you like about being a volunteer?

What I like about being a volunteer is the fact that you do what you’re doing because you want to. There are no special conditions, no limits; it is a commitment that comes from the heart. You just want to give your best and contribute to society. Receiving grateful smiles is the best payment for this job. Another important thing for me is getting the chance to use my English skills for the good.

  • How do you think PLAYLEE impacts the beneficiaries’ communities?

It makes a great difference. It is a very complex environment where we are working on but it is the hope we bring to these group of kids that is essential for their expectations about future. We show them a new look, new situations, new perspectives from what they’re used to in their neighborhood. We show them there are multiple options in life if we learn, if we educate ourselves in order to achieve success and our personal dreams. Another important thing is promoting good relations between them inside and outside of class.

  • What goals have you achieved with PLAYLEE?

I wanted to be part of a great foundation and I made it. I wanted to work with kids in vulnerable communities and I got to work with a special group. I wanted to be out of my comfort zone and that’s what I’ve felt. I’ve always wanted to teach people and I’m giving my first steps every Saturday with PLAYLEE. I wanted to learn how a foundation is organized and I’m learning every time more and more. I wanted to take a step forward in social change, this program has been a game changer for me and I’m really thankful for that.

TO HONOR THEM – Volunteer teachers

Playlee Bogotá

This is the moment to honor our volunteers Javier Alejandro Alvarez y Natalia Perez Beltran, who, with their service make PLAYLEE possible.

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This space was created to appreciate and encourage our volunteer educators; here we honor those volunteers that with their dedication and sacrifice have become educational reference points.  For those that perform pedagogical acts visibly embodied in the proactive formation of sensitive and critical beings, capable of engaging constructively in their fulfillment and in the creation of a better world.

Two days before we traveled to the United States as Youth Ambassadors 2014, we had a meeting with some ex YA who told us about their experiences and what we were going to do in the US. They explained something very important, what Youth Colombian Leaders is about. They informed us about many projects which are develop by YCL. They talked especially about PLAYLEE and it was interesting for us. I did not think to be a PlayLee’s volunteer because obviously I just was thinking about our trip.

IMG_1909When I came back to Colombia, I started thinking of project I was going to make and I got many ideas so I began to work with a partner in a project which was about Down’s syndrome but we had to stop because it did not work. Then, when I started 11° grade I nominated myself to be the Students representant of my school. Natalia Perez did the same thing and one of her design was starting an English project. So, I told her that we could make a PlayLee in the school and she agreed with me. However, either of both was chosen by the student but even so we could start the project. The main reason why we decided to start PlayLee is because we think the English language is very important nowadays and there are people who cannot pay an English course and they really want to learn, In addition, PlayLee is a different way to learn. Perhaps children do not like to sit and write down what the teacher say, that’s why we guess PlayLee is a voluntary project as well as a game to learn a new language.IMG_1910

We hope creating an impact not only in our school but also in our community. We want that the children who participate in PlayLee learn English but we also want they learn different aspects of the life, even though we are young people, we can teach them such as values, why volunteering is very important or how we as new generation can change the world and turn it into a better place. There is a quote by Mahatma Gandhi which summarizes what we wish to do. ‘’ We must be the change we wish to see in the world’’. This is our purpose.

In order to accomplish this goal, we have made some activities such as participate in the Global Youth Service Day; we made our first class and we met with the children’s parents to tell them what PlayLee is. We think is very important because they were so happy and excited, it means that we have support in the school and in their homes too. It is a process which needs help of many people and, luckily, we have it.

We are really proud to be part of the PlayLee staff.

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