Our computer class was started last year as an introduction to basic computer functions. It's held once a week on Tuesday nights for an hour and a half. The first half hour is usually dedicated to practicing correct typing techniques using various typing programs and games. The last hour is focused on learning simple computer functions such as using the desktop, toolbar, and start menu smoothly. When the basics have been achieved, we move on to how to use programs, such as Microsoft Office, and working online. While these computer skills seem to come so natural to us in the U.S., we must realize that not everyone in the world has access to a computer in their every day lives. That's why only adults with little knowledge of computers are allowed in the course since we at Manna try to help them transition into the ever evolving digital world.
Last year the work schedule was changed to Tuesday - Saturday in hopes of making the classes available to more adults who couldn’t attend the class during the week. Our adult English classes now operate on a weekly schedule comprising a one hour class on Wednesday afternoon and a three hour class on Saturday. If participants aren’t able to attend during the week, they are still able to catch up and master the theme of the week on Saturday. The schedule change has increased adult enrollment as well as consistency in attendance. Due to the change and strong interest, we now run three different levels – basic, intermediate, and advanced – taught with the aim of systematically moving students from one level to the next over multiple courses. Due to demand, we have also started teaching a super-advanced conversation based class for the few students who have mastered our regular classes and are ready to practice their English conversation skills.
Children's English becomes increasingly sought out with every quarter. We now provide three levels of English to respond to the increased demand and the need to provide more advanced courses for students who have attended our English classes in the past. The children in our English classes are often looking to supplement English education in their public schools with cheap instruction from native speakers. Many of these children also have parents or family members in our adult English classes, making our English education a family affair.
Held once a week on Friday, art class allows children to unwind from the school week and explore their creativity. Program Directors choose a theme at the beginning of each quarter and have a full three months to explore technique, history, and geography. The children’s art class fills every week and continues to draw children to the Centro to conceive and create projects in a playful environment alongside other children from their community.
General Charlas (educational presentations)
MPI uses its space as a place to access information and is constantly seeking ways to link community members with government and non-governmental services and programs that exist in the Chillos Valley and in Quito. Facilitating access to such services typically entails inviting organizations to conduct educational presentations in MPI's space to 1) increase knowledge of services their organization offers and/or 2) conduct full interactive workshops. Community members also use MPI’s space to access information by using our internet services, perusing our literature, talking to Program Directors, and by bringing information and concerns important to them to our attention to be further explored.