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buddies3YOLA at HOLA’s leadership students had a busy start to the winter session. The leadership program recently started their “Book Buddy” project. The project partners 5th Graders with a 1st Grade Music Buddy. The older students help the younger ones practice their reading skills. While the initial focus is on improving literacy skills, eventually, the program will evolve to focus on practicing music notation.

String musicians are also working on peer-to-peer teaching, with students from the HOLA Youth Orchestra strings section pairing up with students from the HOLA Children’s Orchestra to teach the younger students to play Bizet’s “Carmen.”

Both the middle school and high school leadership committees will be focusing on learning peer mediation over the next few months. Their goal is to learn conflict resolution skills in order to support their peers in times of arguments and misunderstandings. The students are also busy planning the collaboration between the HOLA Youth Orchestra and the El Sistema program in San Diego. The students plan to create a YOLA at HOLA video, introducing the San Diego students to the program and giving them a tour of HOLA and the neighborhood.

The 5th and 6th Grade classes recently wrapped up their service-learning unit with a community cleanup project in LaFayette Park in collaboration with HOLA’s PAT High School Program. The students were so excited for the impact their cleanup efforts had on the park, collecting 1,140 bottle caps, 1,392 cigarette butts, 12 plastic water bottles, 8 soda cans and 1,648 other items!


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