Brett W Holt
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Revision as of 08:20, 18 February 2008
My Peace Corps Experience Website
Description of Service
After a competitive application process stressing applicant skills, adaptability and cross-cultural understanding, Mr. Brett Holt was invited into Peace Corps service. He was assigned as an Environmental Education Educator at School #8 in Alaverdi, Armenia.
Mr. Brett Holt entered training on June 3rd of 2004, participating in an intensive 12-week training program in Dilijan, Armenia. Language training included the acquisition of both written and spoken Armenian. Area Studies training included the history, economics and cultural norms of Armenia. In addition, as part of the language and cross-cultural component of the training program, Brett lived with an Armenian host family. Technical training included the history of environmental issues in Armenia during the Soviet period and Post-Soviet period: Including, current trends in environmental solutions in Armenia, and community organizing.
Mr. Brett Holt arrived in Alaverdi, Armenia, a former Soviet industrial town with approximately 17,000 people, in September 2004 as the first Peace Corps Environmental Education Volunteer.
Mr. Brett Holt developed curriculum and lesson plans for teaching Environmental Education for School #8. He also assisted other Peace Corps Volunteers in developing an Environmental Education Teaching Manual translated into Armenian for other Volunteers and Counterparts to use. He was able to get 27 environmental and biology books donated to the school from DK Books in America. He has taught to a total of 150 students during the course of his service.
Mr. Brett Holt developed nature clubs for children to participate and learn about environmental issues in Armenia. The clubs were designed for 4th – 9th grade children. Activities included hiking, discussions about environmental issues, gaining an appreciation for nature, field trips and art projects.
Mr. Brett Holt served as a counselor for the Tatev Eco-Camp in August 2005. He supervised 11 children throughout the week. He and an Armenian Counterpart engaged students in nature activities and discussions. Topics included deforestation, clean water, predator/prey relationships, ethics, and awareness of the natural surroundings.
Mr. Brett Holt facilitated a two-day Environmental Education for Rural Youth Program Volunteers Seminar to 24 adult and youth CARD (Center for Agribusiness and Rural Development) group leaders, and CARD and ATP (Armenian Tree Project) representatives in August 2005. The workshop provided the participants with environmental education curriculum to teach and techniques on how to teach students.
Mr. Brett Holt coordinated the release of an endangered Eurasian Black Vulture bird from a neighbor in Alaverdi. In coordination with Birds of Armenia, members of the organization came to Alaverdi to discuss the captivation and release of the bird. Birds of Armenia was able to write articles about this situation in order to educate the public on not capturing wild animals.
Mr. Brett Holt conducted computer-training lessons with children. Working in a one-on-one setting, he taught children how to use a computer, work with the Windows environment and Word, Power Point, and Photoshop programs. Basics on how to use a digital camera, load and print were taught. Handouts were developed and distributed for children’s use.
Mr. Brett Holt initiated and developed a School Kitchen and Windows Renovation proposal for School #8 to Peace Corps Small Project Assistance (SPA) program. He, along with the assistance of his wife, designed, wrote, and supervised all aspects of the proposal, including the budgeting, the delegation of responsibilities, and the monitoring and evaluation of the project. He was awarded the grant in September 2005 and is currently waiting for the completion of the project. Another Peace Corps Volunteer is overseeing the completion of the renovation of the kitchen and replacement of windows, set to be completed in November 2005.
Mr. Brett Holt assisted and oversaw the remodeling of an English teaching classroom at School #8. He worked with the carpenter in selecting and obtaining appropriate materials to be used in the classroom remodeling. The project was initiated based on a need from the school to have a designated room available for an English library, teaching resources, and visual aides. The room is being looked at as a model for other schools in the area to follow.
Mr. Brett Holt has served as an elected member of the Environmental Awareness Initiative Committee. As a member, he was responsible for overseeing the Environmental Education Program resources. He developed book review forms, updated the resource inventory, and initiated and completed the first Environmental Education Program CD. The CD was distributed to incoming EE volunteers, as well as being used as a model for other Peace Corps programs. The CD was organized with environmental information, lesson plans, volunteer information, pictures, NGO contact information, resources lists, and a variety of completed and potential environmental projects in Armenia.