Niño Feliz is a school for children with special needs located in the city of Chichigalpa, Nicaragua. There are five classrooms: Down’s Syndrome/low functioning, severe physical disabilities, primary level, auditory disabilities/deaf, and visual disabilities/blind. In addition to these classes, there is also a class that offers instruction in daily living skills and crafts. Two teachers provide visitation services; one visits community schools while the other provides home visits for children ages 0-4. The students live at home and are either transported to the school by the school’s bus or by independently provided transportation. The hours of attendance for the students are from 7:30 AM to noon.
How You Can Help
Niño Feliz has a variety of needs from materials to professional development. The staff is open to volunteers helping in their classrooms providing additional hands in working with the children and ideas on methods, strategies, and pedagogy. Resources are very limited and any assistance is greatly appreciated.
Possible Future Projects
- Providing professional development in-services in pedagogy, teaching strategies, and information on disabilities.
- Assistance with therapies (physical, speech, occupational, behavioral etc.) through modeling, in-service, and materials.
- Modeling of teaching techniques.
- Volunteers to lend extra hands in the classrooms.
- Building storage units such as shelving or closets for classrooms.
- Recording story books and educational books for students, this is useful for all students, not just those with visual impairments.
- Donations of braille materials (books, paper, equipment, educational materials).
- Donations of books (in Spanish) for the students and teachers.
- Donations of educational materials.
- Donations of money to buy materials locally.
Specific Educational Needs List
- Notebook paper/white paper
- Index cards
- Pocket chart cards
- Construction paper
- Markers (dry erase, permanent, water)
- Pens, pencils
- Pencil sharpeners
- Pocket charts
- Language materials and activities
- Picture cards
- Math materials
- Science materials
- Slate and stylus
- Braille writer
- Play Dough
- Musical instruments
- Animal puzzle
- Balls for stimulation—textured, different hardness, etc
- Large, thick crayons
- Large puzzles
- Coloring books with large figures
- TV with DVD player
- CD player
- Silicone gun
- Wooden figures for building
- Large animal figures