The Thrill to Learn

Written by: Rebecca Rotella

As we are growing Abriendo Mentes’ Youth Development program in Brasilito, we have  incorporated some of the ideas and practices of the Potrero classes into the classes we are running in Brasilito. One of the very successful, and, not to mention, exciting activities in Potrero, is Fun Friday. We have transformed this idea into our classes, only it’s on Thursday… so naturally, it had been dubbed Thrilling Thursday!

The intent of this day for the students is to have fun with English while doing something different than the typical classroom curriculum. Throughout the session we have had many Thrilling Thursdays, with projects such as painting a mural of the Costa Rican climate, field day fun, making homemade ice cream, painting rocks, creating picture frames, cleaning the park and much, much more!

This past week, volunteer Sarah Soloman came to class and helped the kids create “eyes of the sun.”  This was a fun and challenging project for the kids, and the end result was pure excitement at what they were able to craft. The children were given two sticks, previously glued together in a cross shape, with a long piece of yarn, and the look of confusion spread across the room. Sarah slowly explained the method, as Carrie, Amara and I walked around demonstrating the procedure. As the older students began to grasp the concept and complete their “eye of the sun,” they began to spread out and help the younger children by weaving the yarn once over, once under, and again, once over, once under, until all the students had completed their work of art. Some students decorated theirs with markers and little shapes of paper hanging from the ends, to make it their own. It was another successful and positive learning experience for the children.


One thing that continuously amazes me about these children is their willingness and persistence to learn. We have taken this already amazing quality and expanded the children’s sights into many other aspects of learning: art, dance, sports and community development, to expand their minds so that maybe they are able to find their niche in this world. 

“Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,  it will live it’s whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein

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