January Update

January has been a great month at the Handfuls of Hope School! After a nice break from the holidays, it was back to work. Our first Mission Trip of the year headed down to the Dominican Republic in early January where many adults and children were cared for by our amazing team. Many of which had a chance to visit with their sponsor children! Our teachers were built very much needed desks and they couldn't be happier!

On January 25th the students celebrated Juan Pablo Duarte, the Dominican Republic’s founding father. Every year his birthday and his work towards independence are honored and celebrated throughout the country.  

Did you know...
A bronze and granite statue is in Lower Manhattan, NYC in Duarte Square located on Avenue of the Americas and Canal Street. It was donated by the Dominican Republic on January 26, 1978. If you are ever in NYC make sure to go see it!

The Handfuls of Hope Building

Handfuls of Hope officially has a two story building in the Dominican Republic!

This coming September, at the beginning of the new school year, 3 more classrooms will be available to accommodate children and staff.

This is a win for Handfuls of Hope, the community, and every one who has ever contributed to the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty in the Dominican Republic through education and faith. Praise the Lord!

The Learning Hands and Feet of God

Take a look at how students at the Handfuls of Hope School have the opportunity to learn in the classroom and also learn outside of the classroom with hands on activities!

We praise God for all the staff at the school that continually invest time and energy into the lives of these children, and also for the Education Committee who works diligently towards their success.

HOH School Valentine's Day Celebration

On Wednesday the HOH school held its annual Valentine's Day activity for the morning session students. All the children were invited to come dressed in red to celebrate this special day. The day started with devotional time, singing about the love of God and how we should extend this love to everyone and how this love can change our lives.  We shared John 3:16 and talked about how much love the Lord has for us, giving his son to die for us, and how we should show this kind of sacrificial love to each other.  Each classroom had a special time to celebrate the day. The preschool and kindergarten students had some special treats together and Valentines coloring pages. The 1st-3rd grades each had gift exchanges.  After recess, kindergarten through third grade gathered in the main area to have a time of singing and competitions until dismissal. All the kindergarten students received a prize for best behavior during the activity and a few individual students from 1st-3rd grade received prizes from winning the competitions. 

The afternoon kids (fourth through ninth grade) did not have any special activities because of the upcoming activities and projects they have, but most classes had a small gift exchange. On Friday we will have a special dinner and gift exchange with all the school staff that we are looking forward to.

~Alesha Kollert

HOH School Parent's Meeting

Our school's annual parent meeting was held on September 29. At the beginning of each school year we have a meeting with our parents, teachers, and staff to discuss our plans for the year, go over rules and procedures, introduce our teachers, and introduce our school to our new parents. This year, there were 167 total in attendance.
The meeting began with a welcome from our dear Principal, Nancy, and a time of prayer led by our General Director, Benjamin. Pastor Vernon then followed with the devotional message where he spoke about the responsibility parents have in their child's education from Proverbs 22:6. He spoke on how parents need to first seek wisdom in God so they can teach their children the correct way.

During the meeting, our Director, Principal, and coordinators spoke about the rules and procedures of the school as well as some changes, such as the bus transportation to school. We are now providing bus transportation for students that live far away from the school. This provides a cheaper and much safer mode of transportation as many of our students were being driven on motorcycles, or walking, and having to cross very dangerous intersections.
We also discussed how we will be reviving our Parent/Teacher association and another committee of parents to assist the teachers in each classroom.

The meeting ended with the parents being led in song by our coordinator Ana Lucia, singing and doing the motions to a childhood favorite song, Father Abraham. Afterwards everyone enjoyed a time of fellowship and had a chance to meet individually with their child's teacher.

Please pray for us in this school year that we would continue to provide quality education to our students and reach hearts for Christ. Also pray for the start of our Parent/Teacher association and other committee as we are praying for more Parent involvement to help our school succeed. 

Thank you and God Bless,
~ Alesha Kollert

School is in Session!

Hello Friends, 
Here at Handfuls of Hope School we are so happy to have successfully finished our first week of school. It took a lot of hard work to get to this point. This work started in the beginning of August, when we started training with our teachers and getting the school ready to receive students.

In August our school director and a few teachers were blessed with the opportunity to attend the ACSI conference in Santo Domingo where they were taught how to better impact our students for Christ. We were also blessed with a group of visiting US teachers who helped train our staff. They taught our teachers about evaluating student’s reading level, Bloom's Taxonomy, using recycled materials in the classroom, etc. This group also ministered to our teachers by praying with them, helping prepare posters to decorate their classroom and purchasing much needed furniture and materials. After this group left, we worked nonstop for a week and a half with our staff and volunteers from our local church to paint the classrooms and clean up the school so that everything was ready to receive our students.

As the students arrived on Monday you could see the joy on their faces, as many of our returning and new students were so excited to be at the school. We opened the day with introductions, devotions, singing and prayer to start the new school year right. During this first week we all reviewed the classroom and school rules, and each teacher had a different and fun way to teach them to their students. Our fifth and sixth grade teachers put on a drama for their students to explain the classroom rules. It was so entertaining to see the students laughing and almost falling out of their seats watching their teachers dressed up as students and acting out the different procedures. All in all, it was a fun and blessed week.

Below are a few photos from our first day of school. More photos are available in our photo gallery. We are excited to share with you all the joy on the faces of our students and staff and, more importantly, to show our appreciation for what YOU have done to make this new school year possible.  Thank you so much!

~Alesha Kollert