Dear Waveplace Friends,

The holidays are here and with it a year full of exciting news here at Waveplace!

March brought Tim and chief mentor/videographer extraordinaire Bill Stelzer back to Haiti to work with Haiti Partners, the Matènwa Community Learning Center, Mercy & Sharing’s Williamson orphanage and the American Haitian Foundation to develop seven pilots across Haiti, using 200 laptops that were donated to us by One Laptop per Child. The pilots went extremely well and we were so impressed with the hard work and determination of our mentors. Bill shot some excellent footage that we just recently perfected into the Waveplace Spring 2010 video. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out here.

Waveplace also picked up our first Outreach Coordinator, Beth Santos. Beth joined us in Haiti for six weeks as a volunteer and we hired her to work with us full-time to help coordinate our laptop pilots. She came just in time for the first annual Realness Summit, a gathering of educators, programmers and other interested people in the worldwide OLPC community. We spent three days over Memorial Day weekend at the Maho Bay Camps in St. John, USVI, talking about what it is to be an international community and how we can help international education using the laptop that OLPC developed.

We also simultaneously held a workshop and pilot for students at St. John’s three elementary schools, in partnership with Christine Murakami and her students at the Columbus School for Girls in Ohio. We hope to return to St. John in 2011 for another Realness Summit, some more exciting workshops and, this time, a mentor training session for people worldwide who are interested in learning about Etoys and the Waveplace method and who want to get their hands dirty. You can find more info about our 2011 mentor training at http://www.waveplace.org/mentors.

In July, Beth represented Waveplace while running a pilot for 100 students at the São João Secondary School in São Tomé and Príncipe, a small two-island nation off the west coast of Africa. It was our first jump into Africa and was one of the things that ultimately encouraged us to expand from just the Caribbean to Latin America and Africa as well. That’s right– Waveplace is going worldwide, and we couldn’t be more ready for it!

In November, Tim visited Haiti to talk with local non-profits about running a range of new pilots in 2011. Tim visited 20 schools in and around the Port-au-Prince region, including the schools in Darbonne and Petite Rivière des Nippes that have been running their programs continuously since March! We’ll be returning to Haiti in late January with some of our mentors from last spring to start five new pilots with our friends Haiti Partners (working with students in the Cite Soleil Community School and Wozo Youth Choir), Restavek Freedom (a group that brings education to children who are enslaved for domestic labor), JP/HRO (founded by actor Sean Penn), and AMURT, who will be hosting the workshop. And that’s only just the beginning– Waveplace is gearing up to do more work in Haiti and also exploring possibilities for pilots in other countries over 2011.

It’s a busy time, and every minute we are working hard to bring education to those who most need it. Unfortunately, being a small start-up like us is not easy and we’re still looking for ways to help those who really do need the help, including those with no funding at all.

Gifts from supporters like you can help us go that distance and so much farther. For information about donating to our cause, visit http://www.waveplace.org/donate.

Thanks for keeping up with us in your busy lives and best wishes for a safe, happy and healthy 2011!

Happy Holidays,
Tim and the Waveplace team

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