Wednesdays at CALLS

{One of my favorite afternoons at CALLS - we walked to Purple Turtle Beach to sketch and enjoy snacks. I love these kids, even though they are trying way to hard to look tough in this photo!}

For the past year, I have spent nearly ever Wednesday at CALLS, the local alternative high school.  For my first two semesters in Dominica, I tutored students and recent graduates, working with them on homework, reading, and math skills (aka maths), in addition to mentoring them and just chatting with them about life.

I have worked mainly with the boys, which is pretty rewarding and entertaining, but also, often frustrating, since many of them have a hard time in school and come from difficult backgrounds.  A few of the students I have tutored have left school and dropped out, which is  really disheartening.  I am always so impressed by the students who stick with CALLS and complete the two-year program.  CALLS provides job training and vocational skills, so even for students who don’t excel in a traditional classroom setting, CALLS can teach them a great deal.

Last semester, I joined my good friend Mary, a Peace Corps Volunteer here in Dominica, and helped her teach art classes at CALLS on Wednesday afternoons.  It is always interesting – some days good, some days bad – but overall, I love being part of the school and getting to know the students, even though they aren’t always thrilled about art class.  In a few minutes, I’ll head to Portsmouth for my first art class this semester.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we have a good afternoon!

 

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