We are excited to tell you that the More Than Me Academy opens on September 7th! We can't wait for this new adventure. The opening has come at a crucial time, as the BBC recently reported that out of 25,000 high school graduates taking the entrance exam to the University of Liberia, 100% failed. You read that right. 25,000 out of 25,000. You don’t need to be a statistics genius to know that something is desperately wrong with the education system here.
And we’re ready to take on this challenge.
One of the most important things we did to prepare for the school opening was doing a full baseline assessment of our girls, showing us strengths, needs, and grade levels. On August 17th, we gave the first assessment to our girls. This meant a lot of math and reading on a Saturday. Luckily, the girls love tests (weird, but true)!
Because of our high standards, we were expecting to do some remediation. However, the results were more surprising than we expected: none of our girls are at grade level, and many do not have skills as basic as phonemic awareness and algebraic thinking.
We’re taking an innovative approach to bring the girls up to speed as much as possible, via an intensive math and literacy intervention. This curriculum will be accompanied by the beautiful new building, international and Liberian co-teachers in every classroom, a cutting-edge aquaponics garden (thanks, Sustainability without Borders!), health and nutrition classes, an extensive after-school program, one-on-one tutoring, access to a computer lab, and so much more!
THIS WEEK ONLY, a generous supporter has donated $5,000 and challenged us to match it before the school opens! We are collecting donations through our More Than Me Girls Academy project on GlobalGiving. Help these girls have the amazing school they deserve!
Thank you for your continued support. Our girls benefit every day because you decided to live for more than just yourself. For more updates, check out our facebook page.
Everything for the girls,
The More Than Me Team
Last Saturday, we had a kickball tournament for our girls. They absolutely loved it! We had cold water and PB&J sandwiches for them thanks to donations from Exclusive Supermarket and UN Drive Supermarket in Monrovia. Our photographer Morgana really captured the fun and excitement of the day!
Our founder, Katie Meyler, was interviewed on MSNBC last Saturday on the Melissa Harris-Perry show. Melissa even promised to visit Liberia and meet the girls!
Our Liberian Teaching Fellowship program is off to an amazing start! We will have orientation in NYC June 14-16. Our fellows are super talented and we can't wait to showcase them in future updates. They are going to make big changes in Liberia this year. We can feel it!
Match Day is coming up on Wednesday, June 12th. On that day, your donation will be matched by 50% and will go toward giving these girls the ability to make choices for themselves. Will you partner with us in opening the MTM Academy doors by donating on June 12th? To give you an idea of how much school costs in Liberia, one girl can attend school for a year on $350 (That's less than a dollar a day!).
Thank you so much for your continued support! Until the next update!
- The More Than Me Team
Hello! Hello! Please enjoy the most recent updates from Liberia:
We are going to give the girls the California State placement test in the next few weeks. Last week Marleen wrapped up her last day (sniffle sniffle) at the school with a Zumba class! It was worth getting completely drenched in sweat :) The girls loved it! Otherwise, the computer class is still going on. We are in negotiations with iLab to run a computer class at their facility on a regular basis for our top ladies.
Before she left Liberia, Marleen taught the girls how to crochet! She taught them both the basics and different patterns for hats and headbands. You can't deny that the girls are really into it from the photos below! We are so thankful for Marleen's devoted service to the girls in the past year and a half. The girls will always have the skill of crocheting and so many other memories to remember her by. We'll miss you Marleen!
We're working on getting the guest house up and running for visitors and our staff. We are working on getting power from LEC. In the meantime, our staff is negotiating a deal with Anglers to get 15 amps from their generator per month. Inside white paint is done! Looks beautiful. We bought the paint from a wholesaler at a crazy cheap rate and we have about 13 buckets left over which is enough to paint the outside as well. Our brand colors in Benjamin Moore paint will be arriving on the container. We'll use those to create splashes of MTM branded color throughout the house. It's gonna look great!!
We are getting an estimate for solar panels to power the school. It's a bit expensive to setup, but will save us LOTS of money in the long run. We're excited about this project!
Our 2013 Teaching Fellowship applications are due on May 10th! We are so excited about the enthusiasm we've received so far and can't wait to choose 8 incredible candidates to spend a year in Liberia with us. Learn more here.
THANK YOU for your continued support. Through all of these little projects comes the end goal: getting more girls in school and off of the streets. We couldn't do our work without you, and we are so, so grateful for your generosity. We look forward to updating you again soon!
Abigail was on the streets. She was exploited. Abused as a vulnerable 10-year-old girl. And now?She is now 13 and in the 7th grade. She's a top student. She knows how to bake, a skill that she can use to earn an income. She dreams of being a leading voice for millions of girls just like her - and we expect her to do it!We are only able to open her life up because of you. It's that simple. It's not complex. She is off the streets and on a path of impact because of... you.We have a couple incredible opportunities in front of us - and we need you:1) Nike (yes, Nike!) nominated us to join the organizations they partner with to help girls around the world. All we need to be ELECTED is a whole bunch of you to vote (by donating as little as $10) and it'll be official. Nike wants to see that we have grassroots support - let's show them and change some lives right here. Go now to the voting/donation site at http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/educating-to-end-child-prostitution/2) The biggest opportunity we've had is also looking right at us. It's a chance to end the atrocities that Abigail and all the girls in her situation stare down everyday. We can't give you the details yet... but we can say we don't need $ from you for this. We need people with large and small online audiences to galvanize their friends and family to help -- it won't take much but it will mean everything to Abigail and girls just like her. Stay tuned, and we'll let you know on November 14th when we're allowed to talk about what's going on. Email us: email@example.com if you'd like to be more involved!Together we can do this for Abigail!
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