All children have the right to receive a good education that helps them reach their full potential and have life changing opportunities. We focus on developing extracurricular workshops and activities supplementing their regular school curricula hours and enhancing their afterschool program. The workshops have included themes on personal growth such as self-esteem development, interpersonal communications, basic values reinforcement, anger management, teamwork and arts and crafts, among others.
Having finalized a new basketball court in Maria Auxiliadora and joining Michelle Obama’s program We Can and Irma Garrido’s program Proyectos de Vida, America Developing Smiles de Puerto Rico recognizes that problems related to obesity are even greater in Puerto Rico than in the U.S. In the United States, the most recent dates (2007) indicate that 39 % of the children, participating in the WIC program in Puerto Rico between the ages of 2 and 5, are obese or at risk. We are living an epidemic on a national as well as international level. If we don’t gain conscience of and take action to resolve this problem in the near future, these children will eventually develop diabetes and the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, cancer and psychological problemas will increase since early childhood.
“Por la Salud si se Juega”
Por la Salud si se Juega is a interdisciplinary program, organized by America Developing Smiles, with the objective to resolve the challenges of health and nutrition that Puerto Rican children already experience. Supporting individual as well as governmental initiatives, ADSPR has selected the school Maria Auxiliadora in Villa Palmeras in Santurce to implement its program Por la salud si se Juega. This programs seeks to promote more active children through adding sports as well as recreational activities during after school hours, thus eliminating passive leisure and problems that might occur in the streets. In addition, parents and caregivers will have more options and information about selecting healthy food and how to prepare it.
We believe that small changes such as providing information and options, as well as motivating parents, school personnel and caregivers, can make the difference and help create a healthier life for our children.
Teachers’ Educational Development
We support initiatives to support teacher professional development. America Developing Smiles joins efforts from the office of The First Lady of Puerto Rico (Lucy Vela de Fortuño) in promoting the program “My Values Do Count”. This program provides a methodology on how to reinforce basic human values to children at risk, and is directed at the school administrative and educational staff.
Since the year 2005, in alliance with Kinesis, we support its Bright Star program that provides scholarships to talented middle and high-school students of low income backgrounds and prepares them for college. As beneficiaries of our work, we selected students with 4. 0 average from 7th though 9th grade from the Don Bosco school in Canteras.