Last week, the Julio Otoni children returned to a newly decorated community centre, which had been cleaned and painted by volunteers during the summer holidays. The volunteers have organised a new programme of activities to coincide with the start of the school term, including English, Music, Breakdancing and Sport, as well as extracurricular activities that help the children with reading and writing in Portuguese.
In their English classes, the children have started working on a theatre production that will be presented in April. The show is a bilingual (English-Portuguese) adaptation of Cinderella, related to life in the Julio Otoni community. Most of the children were already familiar with the fairy tale and were keen to share their ideas on how to retell the story using characters and places from Brazil. Though many have never acted before, the ideas and enthusiasm the children demonstrated during the first week of classes promise a great performance and some budding actors within the community.
This will be the first time English is taught through Drama at the Julio Otoni centre, and the volunteers are incorporating what the children are learning in their Music and Breakdancing classes into the final piece. The production is helping the children develop their English in a stimulating environment and will give them the opportunity to show their parents what they are learning at the centre.
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