(by Mary Scotti, from newsletter)

Each day the children in Nicaragua waited excitedly in the schoolyard. Others on their bicycles anticipated the first glimpse of my taxi as it rounded the bend toward Buenos Aires. Waving and calling out greetings, they would ride along the puttering cab towards the school. Boys gathered round, anxious to be the ones to unload the computers. A mad dash for the door ensued as the children jockeyed to be the first in the classroom. The mentors were usually engaged in playful banter with the children. During the entire pilot, this excitement never waned.

The tone had been set from day one. Of course the laptops themselves generated an unexpected privilege and opportunity for the children. From the interviews I learned that each child believed the computers to be important to their futures — that they would propel them into the world of the “professional.” Still the fellowship and accomplishment that unfolded hinted at much more. Without struggle, the mentors developed into engaging guides, never simply teachers with a lesson to deliver. They too were enrapt, fostering and supporting the children and each other in their progress. It was this continual atmosphere of cultivation and innovation that was so inspiring.

This is the key to the success of Waveplace. By encouraging mentors and guiding the children to become active participants in their own education, a special magic happens. There is always a danger that a teacher can take the Waveplace course and teach the material in a rote manner. The mentors in Nicaragua were aware of this and expressed their desire to become ‘trainers of trainers’ to insure this doesn’t happen. They very much want to spread the joy of this approach, inspiring others to, as they put it, “teach with love.”

The pilot ignited a spark which continues to grow. It is my dream that these future engineers, executives, doctors, police officers, teachers, stargazers and mentors, dreamers all, will have the opportunity to carry that spark forward for the benefit of all Nicaragua, and the world.

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