Ojalá Niños offers a place for learning, with materials, ideas and guidance.
We believe that any child who is offered the freedom to exercise their curiosity will explore, discover and become an educated person with the capacity to live cooperatively, making the commitment to a peaceful community a lifetime priority.
The program offers arts, music, literacy, health, environment, and emphasizes the importance of social service and social justice in order to develop critical thinking skills, self confidence and sustainable work ethics. These are the characteristics that result in personal peace.
OJALÁ began when the children themselves took full advantage of a place at a table, with a stool to sit on and nothing more than a pencil and a piece of paper. They were completely delighted and engrossed in this simple setting.
Observing their responses brought about our response to them… giving them a place with materials, offering ideas and guidance…this is the foundation of what we do and how we grow at OJALÁ NIÑOS.
Ojala Niños classes happen Monday-Friday afternoons beginning at 3 PM at the home of founder, Elsa for children over 9 years old; at the home of local director, Veronica for children 3 -8 years old.
Monday - math & music for little kids - math at Veronica's - music at Elsa's
Tuesday - literacy for little kids at Veronica's and older kids at Elsa's
Wednesday - arts & crafts for little kids at Veronica's and older kids at Elsa's
Thursday - literacy for little kids at Veronica's and older kids at Elsa's; music at Elsa's for older kids
Friday - literacy for little kids at Veronica's and art for older kids at Elsa's
Special classes & events presented by guests from many places with expertise about important subjects, ie; health, environment, leadership
Field trips to galleries, concerts, artist's workshops etc.
From pencils and paper to 6-7 children, we are now over 100 children enjoying painting, drawing, stained glass mosaics, tile mosaic murals, weaving, wood shop, miniatures, various textile and jewelry creations – and a special class for little ones, ages 3-7.
Their creative talents have brought about the realization that they might learn to form cooperative businesses, developing products to market and sell, thereby becoming financially sustainable. To this end, we are offering classes in the cooperative business model to those who are interested.
Music happens in the forms of listening, singing, movement (dance), and playing percussion instruments. Believing that every body is a natural musical being, the gatherings about music focus on helping them to discover this
“I am an instrument… my voice is my instrument.” This is the opening mantra for every gathering.
Various musicians are invited to play and share with us – string quartets, choirs, jazz, rock ‘n roll, ethnic groups, international music for peace – alland more have been enjoyed by our wide-eyed kid
Literacy is a very important aspect of the OJALÁ programs. Many of the children have parents and other family members who are illiterate. Because of their inadequate living circumstances, there are no books in their homes, no nearby access. Small children are not read to so they don’t grow up with reading as a normal activity to enjoy.
We have begun a Spanish literacy program for the youngest children – and plan to expand to include 3 more age levels. English will come with time, as they discover the benefits of reading and writing in their own language.
Waiting in the wings: folks who want to offer classes in sustainable living and environment; ceramics; health/diet; animal husbandry; classes for adults – the list goes on and everything is possible – ojalá!