Thank you for continuing to give our girls the chance to go to school. Earlier this summer, we were prepared to start the recruitment process for three new classes of Kindergarten through referral forms submitted by local partner organizations. Before we could start, however, the Ebola outbreak engulfed Liberia's capital, Monrovia. On July 30th, President Sirleaf recommended that schools close and large meetings cease. We decided to close summer school at the MTM Academy for the safety of our girls, staff, and community.
On July 31st, the girls and their families came to school for their last day. We gave care packages to the girls that included workbook pages to keep them busy and learning, medicine for fever and bacterial illnesses, Ebola awareness posters, health care referral forms, oral rehydration solutions, chlorine, soap, and rice. All students, parents, and staff also attended an awareness class led by doctors and staff from UNICEF, the IRC, and Ministry of Health. While the school is closed, all expat staff members have been relocated to the US. To date, we've had no reported cases of Ebola related illness in students or staff.
On Friday August 22nd, our founder Katie Meyler arrived back in Liberia to help the West Point community, where the majority of our girls live. You can follow her journey at http://racingheartblog.tumblr.com/.
Thank you for your continued support. We hope to reopen school as soon as it's safe for our girls. Until then, we will keep fighting for a better, faster, more organized response to the outbreak, both in West Point and across Liberia. Please direct any questions, comments, or words of support to email@example.com.
In this together,
Emily & the MTM Team
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to finish out this year strong and continue planning for next year!
For the girls,
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.
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