Teacher Aides (TAs)
Aprendo Contigo has implemented a volunteer system to develop its educational and recreational program at its different locations. It should be noted here that the work with the children is very flexible, since it mostly depends on their physical and emotional state. All teacher aides are volunteers from different professions, and they constantly receive training. Each work shift has teachers who guide their peers every time they have to interact with the students.
Aprendo Contigo also has support volunteers that complement the work of the teacher aides. They are volunteers who go to the classroom for a weekly shift and run the educational and recreational program under the direction and supervision of the coordinator on duty. They take care of the kids who are assigned to them by the coordinator. At the end of their shift, they fill out an observation sheet for each child describing their performance and mood during the day so that the next TA has this information upon arriving at the classroom.
The Aprendo Contigo program would not be possible without the invaluable contribution of time and dedication from the 200 teacher aides who are committed to the educational and recreational task. These TAs show levels of commitment and quality similar to what would be expected from them in a paid job. This has enabled the program to keep classrooms running up to seven hours a day, thus achieving a positive impact on the community.
The main resource that Aprendo Contigo has is individuals. Therefore, we have created a system of volunteer recruitment through various means. For three months, candidates go through a trial period after which the coordinator will send a report for a personal interview with the program psychologist. Only after this process will the volunteer be accepted as a teacher aide in the program.
When joining the program, the volunteer fills out a data sheet and signs a detailed rules and obligations agreement.
The program offers monthly training sessions with different help topics for the teacher aides. Each volunteer commits to attending at least two of these training sessions during the year.
In addition, once a year there is a training and motivational workshop, where they are given presentations and they work on group dynamics for the integration of the TAs in the different classrooms. This workshop is mandatory for all volunteers.
Once a year we ask the TAs to evaluate the program and its coordinators with anonymous questionnaires. These are then used by the executive committee to make the necessary adjustments within the program.
A newsletter is distributed once a month detailing the program s progress.
The program has different types of volunteers, who help according to their availability and dedication.
They are students of different universities and institutes who do their internships with us or sign up to be temporary volunteers.
We also have International Baccalaureate students from various schools that do their volunteer program with us.
We have a corporate volunteer program in which companies offer their employees the opportunity to volunteer at Aprendo Contigo.
We have support from organizations that provide us with temporary foreign volunteers. We also accept independent foreign volunteers after evaluation.
A number of graphic designers help us with the product designs of the Christmas campaign using the drawings that the children make during the year.
We have approximately 100 volunteers who support us each year from their workplaces, spreading the word about our Christmas campaign and helping in the sale and distribution of our products via email. They also help by collecting donations, organizing trips and activities with the children, and preparing educational materials for the program.