The KKIS Project began in January, 2012. We are a group of ex-patriot and Mexican women who want to give back to our community, Playa del Carmen. The original idea was to provide school supplies to children in need. A fundraiser was held in March and supplies were provided for 200 students that first year. We also began spending time once a week in one school speaking English with the children. In our area of Mexico tourism is the major source of income and the ability to speak English helps enormously in getting a job.
The second year we organized far more volunteers in the classroom and managed to work with grades 1, 2 and 3 at the Pelopidas School in the Guadalupana neighborhood. We soon realized that the attention span of young children was limited and began to take breaks for teaching songs in English like Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes for a health unit, Itsy Bitsy Spider for a science unit that included movement.
Visual aids were also important. A unit that we did about spiders included teaching the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider” complete with a poster in which the spider crawled up the water spout on a piece of velcro. The kids then drew their own pictures of spiders and shared them with the class.
The second winter of the KKIS Project we held another fundraiser, shopped for school supplies during the Spring and delivered backpacks filled with supplies to 350 children before school began August 19. We had learned where to shop and how to bargain and made much better use of our money. The joy on the children’s faces is reward enough. This is more than providing needed supplies, we are putting our trust and confidence in these kids.