Celebrating our kids’ champions, part II: A few great ideas

Thank you to everyone who sent incredible stories and ideas for kids during this crisis! Here are a few of those discussed yesterday in the FB Live, plus some extras:

Daily calls for students

So many teachers, principals, nonprofits and other leaders are doing extraordinary things to monitor whether kids’ basic needs – housing, food, safety – are being met. I told the story yesterday of Costa Rican Andrés Ugalde Castro, a paraprofessional at a middle school in Lawrence, MA; his wife Michelle wrote to tell us that Andrés “has been calling students day and night” and that for immigrant students, “having a bilingual role model like Andrés-whom they can count on for guidance & help has been such a game changer.” In Arizona, Phoenix Union High School District Superintendent Chad Gestson started “Every Student, Every Day,” which you can read more about here. I hope many schools support their staff in doing this time-consuming and sometimes emotionally difficult daily outreach that is so important. And here’s Andrés:

Supporting kids in need in San José

My heartfelt thanks go out to the many champions of kids in low-income urban areas in San José. These kids often have no way to stay in touch with their teachers, have little or no room to themselves, have no green spaces to play in and may have food and rent security issues. Some are also facing abuse. Organizations like Boy with a Ball (for kids in Los Cuadros) and the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation (for kids in La Carpio) are doing absolutely outstanding, and often heartrending, work. I am so grateful to both. The featured image is from Boy with a Ball, and here’s another:

Incredible Costa Rican teachers

Go here (or search #vocaciondocente on Facebook) to read stories of Costa Rican teachers who are making the difference. I’ll be sharing individual stories in future Boosts, but let’s just say that Roxana Vargas, Rocío Castro, Bladimir Alvarado and Cindy Céspedes are my heroes right now.

Fun stuff

There are so many ways your kids can enjoy Costa Rica online right now, and I try to gather as many as possible in my Virtual Costa Rica section. One cool new one is a tapir contest being run by the incredible research and conservation organization Nai Conservation. Draw a tapir with your kids and you can win delicious chocolates and postcards! Check it out and learn more about Nai, here. Finally, check out the Reto Guardián from the wonderful people at Guardianes de la Naturaleza. It’s a fun way for kids to stay connected and motivated to protect the planet during these hard times.

Thanks and keep those great ideas and shout-outs coming. Next week’s Live will be about shopping local and some creative new ideas for how to do that! Stay tuned…

I’m a writer in San José, Costa Rica, on a year-long quest to share daily posts on inspiring people, places and ideas from my adopted home as a kind of tonic during a rough time in the world. Sign up (top right of this page) to receive a little dose of inspiration every weekday in your mailbox; tell a friend; check out past posts; and please connect with me on Instagram or FacebookIf you want to learn more about how to support Costa Rica during the crisis, visit my COVID-19 section, updated regularly – or for ways to enjoy Costa Rica from afar, visit Virtual Costa Rica.

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