The time to rest and regroup is finally here — for our pilot students in Cambridge, at least.

We just finished our two week pilots at Fayerweather Street School and Graham and Parks Alternative School in Cambridge. The students tell us that they are looking forward to spending quality time with family, watching the NBA Dunk Contest and the Winter Olympics, and playing on their XO’s over break. We hope some students will put together some original storybooks using eToys to share with students in Haiti, but this is optional because we did not want to mandate homework over break.

The past two weeks were jam-packed. We taught sessions in the morning and afternoon and then decompressed and adapted plans in the evening. We progressed through our eToys curriculum and figured out what worked and what needed to be tweaked. We also kept our ear to the voices of local communities, here and in Haiti. This is the strategy we believe gets the best results. We attended events around Cambridge with our friends at OLPC and MIT and attended Haitian Creole church services in Dorchester. We also trekked to NYC on the weekends to attend Crisis Camps there and connect with burgeoning efforts in translation and community activism.

So we are by no means breaking this week. We will take this time away from the students to firm up the eToys curriculum, produce new lessons and projects, and implement other solutions learned from our two week pilots. Perhaps unlike their counterparts in Cambridge who are happy to vacation this week, school children in Haiti are anxiously anticipating the opportunity to return to their schools. The government is set to re-open public schools on March 1st, and we want to be positioned on the ground and in the classrooms in Haiti around that time as well. We want to be ready to welcome Haitian children back to school.

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