End of the School year report: December 2009
2009 has been a remarkable year for the Boca Chica Elementary School!
With the efforts and financial support from the Bainbridge Island Rotary
Club in Washington State and the Rotary Club David, the Boca Chica
Elementary School has finally been transformed into a welcoming, safe and
healthy place for learning!
Weekly English classes were taught by Bitsy McCants and myself, Dr. Donna
Skinner…. well most weeks.
Special thanks to: Howard Hanners, G. Brent Olson, (from the
Bainbridge Island Rotary Club, Washington) and Roberto Barria (from
the Rotary Club in David, Panama) for their time, energy and devotion to our
Boca Chica Elementary School: Without them none of the wonderful 2009
improvements at the school would have been possible.
Also thanks to our local volunteers:
Carl McCants can be counted on to hang bulletin boards, fix locks, etc.
Bitsy McCants, has been wonderful in teaching the youngest students
Max and Vittoria for their continuous food donations
And all others for their continued encouragement and support!
Our school - 2009 improvements include;
A remodeled kitchen: sanitary, with a refrigerator!
Windows And air conditioning.
New Paint inside and out.
Desks and chairs – sized appropriately for small children
Playground equipment - we had none before
Textbooks, teaching supplies, student supplies, art supplies……
A copy machine / printer
Security bars on the doors
Enrollment continues to grow as the community continues to grow. For the
2010 school year we expect 44 students. But the GOOD NEWS is that we have
been promised we will get another teacher this year! We have been promised
another teacher before, but we are really thinking that this year we will
get one! Sure hope so!
I believe that daily attendance is up, because the school is a great
place to be now. As logic would follow, if attendance is up, then more
learning is occurring. Now isn’t that something to be proud of!
2010 - OUR NEEDS: (not in any particular order)
1. We have computers but no Internet. Internet is available in
the area, but we will need a monthly commitment of funds so we can
commit to an annual contract. Price monthly: $150 (med. speed) $200
( 1mg, the fastest availalbe) – I am trying to negotiate a better
price, wish me luck.
2. The water line to the bathroom sink is broken or clogged or
something. We need to increase the water pressure to this
hand-washing sink; the current water dribble is not adequate to
insure proper hand washing. Not a big project, but a necessary one.
3. The copy machine was a welcomed sight! Copying from the
chalkboard lacks educational value and wastes so much class time. We
will need funds to continue to buy the toner cartridges for the copy
machine / printer.
4. We need textbooks, workbooks, teaching supplies, education
equipment, student school supplies, educational software…. for the
5. This year, 2010, we will have several students who will be
graduating from 6th grade. In order for them to go onto 7th
grade, they will need money for transportation. These 2 or 3
deserving, needy and willing students will require about $1.50 a day
for transportation to San Lorenzo, the nearest equivalent to middle
school. Scholarship money for this transportation is needed.
Students would need to show a continued desire to further their
education, not have the funds available via their guardians/parents,
and would be monitored for school attendance for their continued
transportation scholarship funding.
6. Replacement of old chalkboards with white boards and dry erase
markers. The chalk dust goes everywhere and not good for the
7. Pleasure reading books – The students and teacher will develop
a library system for checking out books, once we have enough books
for a “library.” Spanish and bilingual books: grades K – 6, all
genres. Note: These children have no books in their homes. These
books can be purchased locally.
8. A small reserve fund is needed to keep the a/c units in good
9. Community: “Keep Boca Chica Beautiful”. Education, events and
awareness. Materials and Supplies will be needed. The community
continues to struggle with a littering (garbage) problem, thus a
health issue – with guidance and increased awareness the Boca Chica
children and other concerned citizens can change this.
10. Community: “Meet me in the Park” a preschool story time, 2
days a week for an hour or so. Books and volunteer parent training
11. Windows (2) with screens for the kitchen. Somehow this room
The Boca Chica Elementary School, for me, is a wonderfully rewarding
worthwhile project, a labor of love. I am committed to helping these
children to become all they can be and with your continued energy and
financial support we can make a difference. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Enjoy the updated photos.
Anyone reading this that would like to make a monetary donation to the
Boca Chica Elementary School can easily do so at your local Rotary Club and
ask that the funds be forwarded to the Rotary Club in David, Chiriqui, The
Republic of Panama, credited toward the BOCA CHICA SCHOOL PROJECT.
100% of your financial donation goes directly to the school; there are no
administrative fees or WASTE.
If you need more information, please contact me, Donna Skinner at: email@example.com
My best regards and my biggest thanks to everyone!
Can’t wait to see what good things will happen in 2010!
Dr. Donna Skinner – Volunteer
The Boca Chica Elementary School “Engine”
(…as the Rotary Club David calls me.)
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can
change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does”
- Margaret Mead
If you would like to make suggestions or to contribute in another way please
contact me via email. Dr. Donna J. Skinner
contributions go toward direct student services, there are no administrative
fees, no waste, I see to that!