More Than Me

The More Than Me Academy is on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life.
May 29, 2014

What's up at the MTM Academy?

Saturday school in session!
Saturday school in session!

With one month of school left, we continue to be inspired by the progress our students have made. No ‘summer fever’ or ‘senioritis’ here; the girls aim to work as hard as they can to improve their reading and math skills before summer break. 

Lauren, our Vision Class teacher, reports:

Last week, the Vision girls finished their individual oral phonics tests, and have now officially completed two years of phonics! Our values of the month are "determination" and "mastery", and the girls have done a great job putting those two values into practice. We began our first round of optional Saturday review classes, where all but six of the girls attended to sharpen their reading skills.

They have also been paired together as special "phonics friends" to reinforce the material, and most of them spend their lunch and recess hour reviewing their work so they can become the best readers possible. They have said that they will do whatever it takes to finish an additional half-year of phonics by the end of the school year (instead of just reviewing the material we've already learned), which will have them finishing the year halfway through the second-grade reading program. This is INCREDIBLE considering they all had not had a single phonics class before the year began. We started with Kindergarten phonics at the beginning of the year. The Vision girls are working hard, and we are so proud of their dedication to learning!

When Saturday school is a big hit, you know you're onto something good. We're proud to be pushing for the best outcomes for our girls. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life. And that’s HUGE!

For the girls,

Emily

P.S. We are excited that the last day of school, June 25th, is also a Microsoft Bonus Day, with donations matched at 100%! Stay tuned on facebook and twitter for how you can get involved and see the progress our girls have made in a year.

Working on phonics!
Working on phonics!

Links:

May 29, 2014

First Update on Getting Girls in School!

The two tutors: Eve and Albernita!
The two tutors: Eve and Albernita!

We are still blown away by your support. The girls wanted to personally thank you for helping them stay in school and get their friends in school too!

There is one month of school left, and our students are working harder than ever. Our Principal, Maritza, teaches the most advanced class of girls, the Power Class. Here's her update:

The Power girls have been calculating area of compound shapes in math, and most of them were having a lot of trouble with it. I hired the two students who fully understand the math to tutor the other students. The two math whizzes are Eve, 13 and Albernita, 14. I walked into the room maybe twice to check in. It was completely student centered. I gave them a math review quiz the next day, and all the girls who attended the session passed. Success! 

It's stories like this that keep us going.

We also wanted to let you know about a slight change to our program for next year. Originally, we wanted to add 50 more girls for the 2014-2015 school year to even out all the classes to 25 students. This would mean recruiting girls from many different ages and ability levels. After further consideration, we realized that it would be more disruptive to the overall learning of our students to bring in girls from different grade levels and try to match them with our classes. Instead, we decided that adding a new kindergarten class only would make a lot more sense. That means we won't be adding 50 girls, but we will be adding a full class of kindergarteners next year! 

Thank you for your understanding. We are working hard to find the best way to move all of our girls forward. Our commitment to our students has not waivered. If you have any questions, we are happy to answer them. Please email your questions or comments to emilyb@morethanme.org. We are excited to finish out this year strong and continue planning for next year!

For the girls,

Emily

P.S. The last day of school, June 25th, is also a Microsoft Bonus Day, with donations matched at 100%! Stay tuned on facebook and twitter for how you can get involved.

Saturday tutoring session!
Saturday tutoring session!

Links:

Mar 28, 2014

Update on MTM's clean water!

Aqualife pouches provide clean water #forthegirls
Aqualife pouches provide clean water #forthegirls

Dear Amazing Supporters,

We wanted to update you on the Clean Rain Water Project at the MTM Academy. After you funded the project so successfuly, Cyrus - one of our amazing staff members in Liberia - installed pipes to create a rainwater harvesting system for the academy. This system was relatively cheap to install, and along with our partnership with Aqualife, which provides clean water pouches for the girls free of charge all school year long, we've been able to provide our girls with clean and safe access to water for less than the amount you raised. 

This is good news! It's not uncommon for this to happen with GlobalGiving's microprojects, but we wanted to let you know exactly where your money is going. The money that wasn't spent on the rainwater harvesting system will go to our More Than Me Girls Academy project fund. So the money you raised is actually going further.

On a water related note, in Liberia 54% of primary schools don't have any access to water at all. Girls who do not have appropriate sanitation facilities at school are less likely to attend school, particularly if they are menstruating. Having just celebrated World Water Day on March 22nd, we are grateful to you for making the MTM Academy stand out from the crowd. For giving these girls not only access to clean water every day, but also for supporting their ongoing education and investing in their future.

At the MTM Academy, we are on a mission to make sure education and opportunity, not exploitation and poverty, define the lives of the most vulnerable girls from the West Point Slum of Liberia. When she graduates, she will decide what comes next for her life. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at emilyb@morethanme.org. Thank you so much for your continued support.

For good health and better sanitation,

Emily & The MTM Team

P.S. The next big Match Day is on Wednesday, April 16th! Mark your calendars for a chance to make your support go even further (again).

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