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annegraham

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ECOLOGY PROJECT INTERNATIONAL
April 11, 2010

I traveled with a group of my Spanish students, all aged 13, on an EPI trip to La Paz and Espiritu Santo Island. We were thrilled with the success of the trip. Although it was a pilot course for middle school cultural interaction combined with science and ecology, we felt as if the instructors had been doing this sort of trip all along. They were helpful, responsive, caring, knowledgeable and fun. There were a couple of times when an activity might have gone on too long, or the students may not have been clear on what was expected of them, but I would be hard-pressed to find any such experience that is perfect. Specifically, during Each One, Teach One, some students read directly from the informational cards with which they were provided, rather than preparing a synopsis with a quick interactive presentation. This was not due to the instructor's lack of direction; on the contrary, he was very clear about not reading straight from the card and about involving the other students by asking questions. The only way to fix this would be maybe to have an adult with each group or to give the students a template for their mini-presentation. The only thing that was stressful throughout the entire trip was air travel. I know that EPI doesn't have control over that, so I was prepared to deal with it. I would try to avoid tight connections, since our group missed our final flight home due to a flight delay.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The broad educational, cultural and ecological experience that I was able to share with my students.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring, knowledgeable, fun, responsible.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Provide scholarships for frequent exchanges between the countries involved in their projects. Public school kids from different countries could interact on a regular basis while gaining a greater appreciation for ecology and human impact.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
General Member of the Public & I traveled with students and helped them interact with local students, as well as helping them plant trees and perform part of a marine census.