A Classroom Celebration of Mayan Culture
Since its inception in 2001 Oneness has been providing quality early childhood education programs at no cost to families. Because Oneness has no paid staff and is run entirely by volunteers, all the money raised by Oneness goes directly to support the Guatemalan programs. Donations are used to buy materials so we can build the furniture and purchase all equipment and supplies for the classrooms, and pay the salaries of Planting Seeds teachers. Depending on local resources, some communities are asked to participate by providing classroom space or some school supplies, teacher’s salaries or parent help in the classrooms. We feel it is crucial that the community feels some sense of responsibility and ownership for their school. The Planting Seeds Program is a child-centered, activity based, early childhood educational program which centers on a philosophy of love, nurturing and caring to provide an education for the whole child: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, creative & spiritual.
- We currently operate Planting Seeds Classroom Programs at these sites: Guatemala City, San Lucas, and the remote mountain villages of Sacala Las Lomas, San Antonio de Tioxya and Yepo Capa,
- Over 130 teachers have been trained in our Planting Seeds Methodology.
- There are 450 students in current Planting Seeds Programs, with a 95% attendance rate.
- Since inception over 1200 Guatemalan students (approx. ½ male and ½ female); from 2 to 9 years of age, have been educated in the Planting Seeds Programs.
- The Guatemalan Ministry of Education has endorsed The Planting Seeds Program for use in the public school system for grades one to six.
- We welcome over 100 new and returning teachers from Guatemalan Public and Private Schools to our annual teachers’ conference.
Planting Seeds is continuing a number of initiatives:
1. At Camino Seguro, in Guatemala City, we have ongoing Planting Seeds Programs:
- A full day pre-school program for children aged 2-3 years old.
- An Early Childhood Readiness Program consisting of classes of children 4- 7 years old, progressing through the Guatemalan curriculum with the Planting Seeds methodology at their own developmental rate until ready for Grade 1.
2. At Sacala Las Lomas the pre-school morning and afternoon programs continue to flourish
3. At our Tioxya school building we continue to offer programs to serve the needs of the local pre-school aged children.
4. The Associación de Maestrós de Educatión Temprana “Plantando Semillas” provides a Planting Seeds Certification program. This Teacher Certification program includes initial teacher training, on-going professional development, site supervision, and access to learning materials at all our sites and classroom programs.
5. Our Teacher Training Centre in San Lucas has been established to provide our returning teachers and new trainees with a base where they can experience:
- on-going teacher training and professional development
- demonstration classrooms where they can see best practices in preschool education in action
- workshops for making curriculum-linked educational materials
- storage space for extra school materials and equipment