School supply festivals kick off new school year

The new academic year begins in January in Guatemala, so our staff has been busy distributing supplies in advance of the first day of school. Common Hope makes a celebration of it, with activities, raffles, and skits. Our first school supply fair was held in Antigua on January 8. Another was held in New Hope on January 15, and a third will be held in San Rafael on January 22.

Handing out supplies and some fun, too
On January 8, families arrived at the Antigua site as early as 6:30 a.m., eagerly waiting outside for our doors to open. More than 1,603 bags full of school supplies were handed out to students that day. In addition, the library hosted reading promotion activities, donated goods were raffled off to families, and the education promoters put on a skit, dressed up as school supplies like crayons and scissors. The performance was meant to entertain families but also to increase awareness on the importance of attending school regularly and taking care of school supplies.

From modeling clay to scientific calculators
The school supply bags were personalized with the specific materials that each student needed according to his/her grade. Kindergarten bags included colorful modeling clay, while high school bags included scientific calculators. In addition, school uniforms, black shoes and tennis shoes were distributed, because many schools mandate uniforms but do not provide them.

Common Hope staff and volunteers worked hard to create a special day for families and to ensure that each student had all the supplies they needed for this new academic year.

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