Simultaneous to the official Skateistan Park opening on October 29, 2009, Skateistan started the Back to School (BTS) program, which gives children the skills they need to enroll or re-enroll in public school. For this program, Skateistan tries to gather children from several districts in Kabul, most of them kids that spend their day working on the streets. Skateistan’s Back to School program offers them a place where they get prepared for school and generally helps make their return to school easier.
On Thursday afternoon the boys’ class presented their arts and craft group work. The class was led by Dr. Matin who got the kids to use old cardboard, plastic bottles, papers, and colored pens to make creations such as decorative flowers, houses, barrels and flags. The boys were excited to present their work and also filmed and took pictures during class. The presentation showed their creativity and ability to use unusual materials in order to make new things.
Dr. Matin is an Afghan medical graduate who began volunteering with us as a classroom instructor in June. It was with his input that we developed the second semester curriculum based on the topics of environmental health and personal hygiene. During the last three weeks of class this semester each instructor has chosen their own semester-end projects to pursue, related to the lessons we did in class. These include a magazine, videos, fieldtrips, garbage pickup on the Olympic grounds, diaramas and recycling projects. In Week 10, Dr.
Some of Skateistan's boys and girls have begun working on a special art project where they will paint used boards and create multi-skateboard sculptures. The idea was partly initiated by volunteer and veteran art teacher Patrick Ritchey who wanted to get advanced art classes going for the students that have strong artistic skills. The used-board project is also being designed to hopefully link up with similar art projects by indigenous skateboarders from a Lakota reservation in the USA and Zulu skaters in South Africa.
Over the remainder of our second semester Skateistan will be integrating computers and other multimedia equipment into the classrooms. We've got multiple laptops ready to go and are in the process of purchasing digital cameras, software, projectors and scanners for our students to use. By the end of summer we hope to have the entire multimedia lab set up and regularly used for education, the student blog, and other projects.