July 30, 2009
Returning to South Africa!
Larry and Eileen are returning to South Africa for the first 3 weeks of August. Although Sara cannot return this year because of work commitments, she's been instrumental in planning. So much has happened since we were there:
* A new computer lab was donated by a local business. Students as well as teachers are getting computer training, thanks to donations which are supporting a teacher. A big thank you to Burness Communications for helping the part-time teacher become full time.
* We're returning with two large duffel bags full of materials to help with English instruction! Educational publisher Developmental Studies Center in California donated multiple kits for literacy instruction -- complete with books for the students and teachers' manuals with lesson plans for an entire year! Other donations enabled us to purchase "big books" for "read aloud" instruction and accompanying smaller books for the students. Larry will be using the materials to demonstrate new strategies for the teachers.
* The students should now be enjoying the set of picture books we sent. With wonderful donations from friends and colleagues we were able to order a complete set of books for South African students by South African authors through South Africa partners.
* Eileen will be bringing a new parent engagement strategy to the school, based on "Tellin' Stories" developed by Teaching for Change. The families will create a quilt together, with each family showing their hopes and dreams for their children on their own square. During the quilt making sessions, families and teachers will gain new insights from each other, enabling them to partner in student success.
We're off!!! We'll update each weekend.