At the start of every term, parents, and sometimes the students themselves, come to Challenging Heights School for enrollment. While we aim to support every child in need of affordable, quality education, this is not always realistic and we have had to turn away students based on lack of space in the classrooms. Enrollment at the Challenging Heights School is now over 765 students!
This year has seen class sizes of over 80 students in classes primary three and four due to demand for the instruction that we are providing and lack of space. Students were therefore excited when they returned to school after the mid-year holidays two weeks ago. That’s because we were finally able to split these large classes into two! Two new teachers were hired and some extra desks were built and then new classes were created. Classes primary three B and primary four B now meet in a new building that will soon house our library. In the meantime, every available space must be utilized. Primary four student, Theresa, said, “I was so happy when I returned from the holidays because I am now in a new classroom. Before, class was very crowded. Now I feel less shy to answer questions from my teachers.” While we search for large donors to fund additional classroom blocks, your donations are instrumental in enabling us to hire new teachers and provide classroom materials as space allows.
Thank you once again for supporting our school and our students as we strive to provide a quality education to at-risk, but enthusiastic children in Winneba!
For the past week, students at government schools in Ghana have not been able to attend classes as their teachers are striking. We are grateful that our students have been able to continue their education during the strike thanks to supporters like you who make our highly subsidized private school possible. Over 750 students are now enrolled at Challenging Heights School in nursery through junior high school two. Nearly 70 of these students are directly supported by GlobalGiving donors. These survivors of trafficking continue to excel in their coursework, sports programs, and whatever new opportunities arise. Recently, Challenging Heights was asked to join a research project that would train students as researchers to gather information from their classmates in order to inform the post MGD discussions. When the programs staff gathered 20 randomly selected students to be trained as researchers, we didn't know what to expect. We were ecstatic to find that not only were the students excited about this opportunity, they were well prepared through their coursework to make the most out of trainings in data collection and other research skills. During one of the training sessions for which the budding researchers had given up their mid-morning break, Ebenezer said, "I love Challenging Heights and I love being a researcher." The next week when the actual data collection began, Patience informed the facilitators that her interview had went better than expected, proclaiming, "I want to be a researcher in future." Through your educational support, children who once had little hope for their futures are now researchers in their own right. Others are working toward a variety of careers, including doctor, lawyer, actor, and activist. Most importantly, these children now know that they can do anything they set their minds to and they are working toward their goals. Thanks again for your help in making our students' futures bright!
Earlier this week I met with a parent to explain the fantastic news that their child has been matched with a sponsor. This sponsorship, thanks to generous supporters like you, provides a child with equipment such as books and pens as well as a uniform, shoes and a bag for one year. The sponsorship also heavily subsidises school fees. This dramatically aids the financial burden of sending a child to school and is evident from the ecstatic reaction of parents, who may otherwise find this burden overwhelming. When a child is in school, their chances of being used in child labour or being trafficked are drastically reduced. Over 120 students at the Challenging Heights School now receive sponsorships from donors like you. The sponsorship scheme is just one of many ways in which Challenging Heights is working so relentlessly to ensure that every child in Ghana sees their rights to freedom from exploitation and access to education fulfilled.
One of the parents I talked to this week reminded me of the grand celebration we held last month when she proudly informed me that her daughter was part of the choreography group at the school. This term Challenging Heights School celebrated its 5-year anniversary. Celebrations saw the children performing traditional, cultural, and modern dances as well as drumming displays, drama performances, and a choir. Government officials visiting the event said that the performances were impressive and that regular rehearsals and shows should continue so as to build the talents of our students. The atmosphere on the final day of the program was wonderful and every child left with a sense of accomplishment and empowerment. They certainly should be very proud of themselves. Their dedication saw them practicing after school most days of the week for months before the final celebration and their hard work paid off with successful performances all around. Challenging Heights School is currently giving over 700 children the chance to receive an education, the opportunity to fulfil their potential and ever so importantly, the chance to enjoy being a child. We couldn’t have gotten this far in our fight to provide every child with a meaningful education and protection against forced labour and trafficking without supporters like you.
Thank you for all you do to support our work. We wish you a lovely holiday season from everyone here at Challenging Heights and look forward to updating you again in the new year.