Next up: Miguel Grau!
We started working at this school in April 2017. Although the program is new at this school, the director already knew Chicas Dinámicas, as we worked with Señora Mercedes years ago, when she was the director at Luis Vallejos Santoni! She remembers when the program was first introduced to her, recalling Sarah’s description of the program and how well the girls responded to it. She is easily our biggest fan and was quick to recruit us for her new school, once she heard that we were searching for one more.
After parent and classroom presentations to introduce the program, we started strong, with more than 30 girls excited to delve into this new activity. We vividly remember the girls celebrating joyously when they heard that this was a space for only girls. Many of them were happy to have something just for them. It was an exciting moment for us, witnessing the girls so enthused for a new program without knowing anything about it. We knew it would be great, and they didn’t disappoint!
For the next month, we had at least 20 girls in class, and often upwards of 30. They always showed up early and were waiting patiently every Wednesday afternoon when we walked through the school doors. We had never seen this discipline at other schools: all 20 girls showed up early! Behavior is hard to manage at these numbers, but the girls were fairly focused, respectful, and very quick learners. But, as at every school, numbers faded after that first month. Girls weren’t coming due to extra homework, far distances to travel, and after-school activities (like dance and celebration preparations) that wouldn’t permit them to come on time. Yet, a loyal six showed up for every class – Silvia, Maria, Yasmin, Joycí, Luz, and Emilia (amongst a few stragglers) – and were able to learn a ton.
As a pilot program only at Miguel Grau once a week, it was a bit tougher to have class amidst all of the strikes, June festivities, and Mother’s & Father’s Day celebrations. Yet, rain or shine, two girls or 20, we had class as often as we could (11 classes since March 2017).
Besides not getting to work with these superstar athletes for more time, we’re sad we did not have the opportunity to go on a field trip with these girls. They deserved it as one of our best-behaved schools, and they are probably the most athletic. The girls picked up new skills, tricks, and even whole sports in the span of an entire class! It was almost unfair that they were this talented, and we were excited to see how they would continue to get faster, stronger, and more game-ready over the course of the semester.
We can easily say that the girls at Miguel Grau will progress well in the Chicas Dinámicas program. We even predict that some of them will continue to play sports past the program’s end. They are so driven, coachable, and disciplined. These traits mixed with natural talent will make it easier for them to progress.
So, Silvia, Maria, Yasmin, Joycí, Luz, and Emilia: we’re so sorry we didn’t go on that field trip with you and that we didn’t get the chance to see you grow as athletes over the year, but we’re looking forward to seeing at least one of you on the national stage one day – be it soccer, volleyball, or baseball (as long as you don’t keep stealing the bases as girls run to it)! We have loved coaching and working with you. Make sure to bring more friends next semester and keep working hard. ¡y nos vemos pronto!
– Profe Alika y Profe Lydia