Monday, November 22, 2010

Dear Abby...

In the latest Community Conversations Newsletter (didn't receive it? Please register!), we featured the Zapote conversation group that meets at the Food Court at Multiplaza del Este. As mentioned in the bulletin, their most recent topic was fashion - but volunteer Amanda Russell, at left in the black top, let slip another great activity they'd done in a previous session. The conversation group members turned themselves into Dear Abby-style agony columnists, responding to sticky situations - neighbor playing music too loud? in-law troubles? - with some sage advice. The activity is great for practicing "should" and "would," Amanda says. Thanks for this great suggestion! It also lends itself to reading activities before, during, or after the session, since volunteers could clip or print Dear Abby or similar columns from their favorite newspapers or magazines. Beginning English-language learners might benefit from bringing in or looking at an agony column from a Spanish-language newspaper as a reference beforehand, and then talking about the issues expressed there, in English. In short, it's an idea with lots of potential. Check out this Dear Abby archive to get started. Did you try this with your group? Write to us and let us know!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Come Read with Us!

If you receive our weekly bulletin, you have seen that we are now planning Story Hour reading sessions at our Language Corners (recently inaugurated in Curridabat, and planned for other communities soon). Our next trip to the 15 de Agosto School in Tirrases, Curridabat, is scheduled for November 24th. At least one Community Conversations volunteer, Pat MacKinnon, will be joining me (Katherine) and if anyone else would like to come along, please let me know! The kids are wonderful and I am sure they would love to see some new faces. We'll be meeting in the Zapote area in the morning and heading to the school to read some favorite books and have a good time. Contact me at

Bring Culture Into Your Conversation Group

Hazel Zúñiga, a teacher at the Monseñor Sanabria Vocational High School in Desamparados, wrote in last week's Volunteer Bulletin that student volunteers Ben and Jo, Community Conversations participants through the International Center for Development Studies (ICDS), planned to conduct a country line-dancing session at with her students! When this was published in the bulletin, volunteer Carolyn Reilly jumped at the opportunity to have the ICDS student volunteers visit her conversation group in Sabanilla to teach some dancing lessons there as well at a Fourth of July-style barbeque! We have yet to confirm this event, but if we pull it off, we will be sure to tell you about it here. Have you incorporated dancing or music into your own groups? Please tell us about it at

Article in Weekly Bulletin of Casa Presidencial

Article in Weekly Bulletin of Casa Presidencial
We're making news!