Challenging Heights has been undergoing some great new changes! As many of you know, one of our biggest changes has been in the Child Sponsorship Program where we made the switch from individual sponsorship to a human rights based approach, focused on recipient participation, equality, and empowerment. With your generous donations, we are able to utilize a more equitable and sustainable use of sponsorship funds, allowing more of the students at Challenging Heights School to benefit! Here are a few of the successful projects that have been implemented under the new system.
New Textbooks for Students
While students previously only had access to textbooks when in school, thanks to your generous donations, over 250 of our students grades three through six can now have their own textbooks to take home and use for individual study. Rather than having to copy entire sections of text by hand, these students can have access to their text at any time. By providing these additional resources to our students, more time can be devoted to active learning in the classroom allowing more freedom for personal study at home! Allowing for this consistent academic engagement can help keep children in schools.
Cookware for the Boarders who live at the School
Previously, the nineteen JHS students who live in the boarding house at the school would have to wait for their families to bring them food, which only came periodically. With your help, however, these students now have the means to take matters into their own hands and cook food for themselves. “It is better now that we do not have to leave the school and borrow cookware to make our meals,” says one of the boarders. “Before it was difficult to both cook and study in the evenings, but now I can make my own jollof rice here at the boarding house.”
Lunch Money for at-risk children
Throughout the school year, teachers noticed that some of their students were struggling to pay attention in class due to hunger. It is clear that lack of food is a common reason why children may not succeed in school and may be put into forced labor situations. Determined to ensure that these hungry children receive an education, Challenging Heights School staff members, in partnership with the Child Sponsorship Committee, identified particularly at-risk students and provided them with a small stipend for lunch. This allows the children to pay better attention in class and make the grades to keep them in school.
New Classrooms for JHS 3
As our school continues to grow, it has become necessary to expand in order to properly meet the needs of our students. This term we have added a new class curriculum, JHS 3. With your help, we constructed two additional classrooms to support this new growth. The JHS 3 class completes our Junior High program, making Challenging Heights a full primary and junior high school. Our current junior high students can now remain at Challenging Heights all the way up until the time they must take the Basic Education Certificate Examination to move onto Senior High School.
Repaired Drums and Sound System for Cultural Club
Thanks to your generous donations, the students who take part in the Cultural Club can now practice and perform music with repaired drums and sound system. This month, the Cultural Club was able to perform for the school at the World Children’s Prize Global Vote to promote enthusiasm as students from all across Winneba came to Challenging Heights to cast their votes for the three nominees, including Challenging Heights Founder and President, James Kofi Annan. Clubs, such as this one, help children to gain the confidence and discipline necessary to succeed in school and achieve their ambitious goals for the future.
These interventions are only a few of the wonderful things going on at Challenging Heights School due to your generous donations. Thank you so much for your continued support! We can’t wait to begin even more projects to help keep these children in school and away from forced labor!
While many schools in the U.S. have ended for the school year, schools in Ghana are still in session full force. Classes will continue until at least the last week of July at the Challenging Heights School and may even push into August. We are excited with the progress our students are making this term and are looking forward to the next school year in September when the Challenging Heights School will reach a massive milestone.
At CH School we have been adding one class/grade per year. Next year we will add class junior high school three (JHS3). This is the final year of junior high school and the grade in which students take a national exam called the BECE. Each student’s results on the BECE will determine to which high school they will gain admission. At CH School we have been making efforts to ensure that our students will be prepared to take the BECE, whether they are taking it next year or in the following years, while at the same time offering our students greater opportunities for developing critical thinking skills that are sometimes lacking from the national curriculum. One way that your donations have made a large contribution to preparing our students for the BECE is by providing brand new English text books for all of our students in JHS1 and JHS2. Most students do not have money to purchase their own text books and often resort to copying large amounts of text into their notebooks to be able to study at home. By purchasing classroom sets of English textbooks, we have been able to provide each student with a book so that they can study in the evenings and on the weekends. Students will also learn responsibility, as each book has been marked with a number and that number has been recorded next to each student’s name by their teachers. Students know that they must keep the books in good condition so that their younger classmates will also get the opportunity to use them next year. Through your continued support, we hope to provide students with textbooks in other subjects.
Thanks again for your continued support! We know that our students will make us proud next year on the BECE as they make us proud everyday with their numerous achievements!
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!