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English Education Program
Melanie Kurtz and her students from Futaleufú receiving the winner’s trophy at the English Olympics in June 2010.
Carolina Rivera, English teacher at the Robert White School in Palena with Melanie Kurtz and Brendon O'Connell, English teachers with the Foundation in Futaleufú and Palena.
Brendon O'Connell with his students from Palena.

With the objective of improving the quality of education in Chilean Patagonia, Fundación Patagonia Sur launched its English Education Program in Futaleufú in 2007.  The program, developed in collaboration with and supported by the local municipalities, also aims to strengthen the local communities’ ability to benefit from opportunities in tourism in the area.

Fundación Patagonia Sur has partnered with WorldTeach Inc, a non-profit educational organization affiliated with the Center for International Development at Harvard University, to identify, train, and supervise English teachers for the program.  The teachers work in rural and urban elementary schools in Palena and Futaleufú for one year, collaborating with other teachers to offer dynamic and quality English lessons.  In 2010, teachers will also incorporate environmental education initiatives in the program.

2010
Fundación Patagonia Sur and WorldTeach have hired teachers Brendon O’Connell and Melanie Kurtz for the 2010 English Education program.  Brendon, a graduate of the University of Colorado in Ecology and Biology, spent 2009 teaching English with WorldTeach in Santiago.  He will live and work Palena from February until December 2010. 

Melanie also graduated from the University of Colorado and has a degree in Environmental Studies.  In 2009 she taught with WorldTeach in Colombia and in 2010 she will join the Fundación Patagonia Sur program in Futaleufú.  Both teachers are eager to incorporate environmental education in the schools where they’ll work.

This year over 600 students have benefited from Fundacion Patagonia Sur´s English program in Palena and Futaleufu .Melanie Kurtz  and Brendon O´Connell  have developed didactic activities for students from preschool to second grade.  They work closely with the English teacher from the Ministry of Education to use innovative teaching in third-eighth grade classrooms, and the teachers also lead extra-curricular English tutoring and workshops.

This year the Foundation hosted two English Olympics academic competitions that were attended by Provincial Education authorities, parents, community members and school directors from Futaleufú and Palena. The English Olympics seek to promote parental involvement in academic events.

For Melanie Kurtz, one of the major achievements over the past year has been the impact the English program has had on the classes in preschool through second grade. She has seen an increase in learned vocabulary in addition to an increase in motivation to continue learning English.

Over the next year the Foundation is planning on initiating new afternoon workshops for students in both the elementary and secondary schools.  One of the objectives is to show how English can be a practical tool for students once they graduate from high school.  The program will also provide English classes for adults from Palena and Futaleufú who are linked to the tourism industry.

SNP Patagonia Sur Fundación © 2010 :: Baquedano 310 · Coyhaique · XI Región :: Vicente Pérez Rosales s/n · Palena · X Región · Chile - Tel: 56 (67) 246 834