Welcome to Acción Callejera, one of my two placements while here on the island. Though I begin teaching tomorrow at the technical school, today I began work with Acción Callejera. An organization after my own heart, Acción Callejera (essentially, Street Action, in English) works with impoverished youth who either work or live on the streets.
I volunteer during the first half of the day, which means that I work with a group of 11-13 year old boys who spend their mornings here with the organization and their afternoons and evenings working on the streets, usually peddling candies or water to drivers in traffic. These boys are… ENERGETIC! And so absolutely curious about the world– they want to think and learn and absorb everything they can.
Today there was a particularly intense debate about a math worksheet concerning the difference between 933-88= ? and 933-188=? The boys knew the difference between 88 and 188 but wanted to dissect the borrowing process. In the Dominican instead of borrowing and carrying numbers in the top number, they write them below the top number. The result is that a problem like 933-88 looks like 933-188 after the borrowing has been completed. It was amazing to watch the boys discuss the solution and the process to figure out why the answers are still different even though the equations 933-88= ? and 933-188=? look the same after borrowing. It wasn’t enough to know the answer, they wanted to know why.
I am so excited to continue work with them and learn from their curiosity.