Back to School Shoes and Supplies for 180 Students!

The start of a new school year tends to bring added levels of financial stress for our families. Our children are required to have uniforms and black, close-toed shoes along with what most would think of as the “usual” school supplies of pencils, erasers, notebooks and crayons. In the past some didn’t go to school for the first few months until the necessary funds could be scraped together.

For the last few years we have been giving school supplies, socks and underwear to those who have successfully completed our summer programming with good attendance and no significant behavioral issues.   An appropriate reward for the children AND a great help to the families!


Have you ever tried to buy/collect school supplies for 180?  I’m always questioned at the store when I purchase the mascotas o cuadernos. (notebooks).  The store help is always certain that I’m not saying the quantity correctly.  :)   “Are you SURE you want 720?”  Or those years where we have more money, “Are you SURE you want 900?”


Two churches in Massachusetts heard about our students’ needs for black shoes and began collecting new or gently used shoes for us.   There is always great excitement in the air as we open the boxes and begin setting up a shoe store for our campers.  Each pair of shoes costs the villagers 50 Dominican pesos, the equivalent of a little over one US dollar.

Black school shoes for girls.
Black school shoes for girls
Ricki helping Darleni find a bigger pair of shoes.






Boys patiently waiting for their turn to receive school supplies and shop for shoes.




The squeals of excitement when the right pair of shoes was found came not only from the children.   Some of our mothers screamed and jumped up and down as well.  “ALL five of my children have school supplies and shoes!  ALL five!”

These incredible days, one for the girls and one for the boys, were brought to Cercadillo by:

Southcoast Community Church and Church in the Pines – shoes

Gateway Community Church, Valley E-Free Church. Peaksville Christian Church, and Eason Elementary (Jessica Terpstra’s school) – school supplies and underwear

Thousands of blessings and thanks for helping in such a practical way!





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Three Days of Teacher Training in July



Few would doubt the importance of a great education. One of the ways we are supporting education is by providing quality teacher training for the public school many of our children attend.


In July these six wonderful women from the Maryville, IL area presented three days of very professional, very practical workshops.



Workshop topics included guided reading groups, reading comprehension , learning with games and classroom management.

Teachers making alphabet strips for their classrooms.

Teachers making alphabet strips for their classrooms.


Our Maryville friends not only brought workshop notebooks chalked full of great idea for each of the participants, they also brought many, many, many other classroom supplies. The public school teachers were overjoyed!

Workshop Participants with their certificates of attendance.

Workshop participants with their certificates of attendance.

 Thousands of thank you’s, Maryville ladies, for not only spending hours upon hours preparing for these workshops, but also for the humble, non-assuming way you presented them.  And also, you get some bonus points in my book for presenting in a room where it was VERY hot and humid without even any fans due to an electricity issue!

The public school teachers are already talking about next year’s training!  :)



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