So many things have happened since the More Than Me Academy opened it's doors on September 7th. Here are some of the highlights:
President Sirleaf cut the ribbon at our Grand Opening Ceremony. When asked what the #1 way Americans can help Liberia is, she said, "To support More Than Me and get all these girls in school!" Seriously! See more of the Opening Ceremony here.
We tested our girls before opening and found that they were all severely behind grade level. We placed them into three different levels (instead of grades), and are testing them each quarter to monitor their progress. Our focus is on remedial reading and math. We've already seen some girls jump grade levels and are hoping to bring every student up two grade levels from where they started by the end of this school year. It's exciting, frustrating, and exhilarating all at the same time.
We had our first parent-teacher conferences - and they were immensely successful. Our principal, Maritza, who spent the last eight years as a teacher in the South Bronx, used to dread parent-teacher conferences. Why? Simply because no parents would show up. On the day of conferences at the MTM Academy, she expected the same thing. As she gingerly walked to the entrance of the building, Maritza couldn't believe her eyes. A mob of people stood waiting outside the front gates.
Nearly ALL of the parents of our students showed up. Most of them have never received an education themselves. Teachers talked to parents about how they can help their daughters with their homework and encourage them to excel in school. It was a beautiful day that reinforced the importance of what we are doing. The community of West Point wants to see their daughters succeed. And together, we will make sure that they do.
Right now, you can do something to ensure that these girls have the support network they need to become powerful leaders in their community. Today, Microsoft is matching donations up to $1000 at 100%. That means that $100 = $200 - from now until matching funds run out! Will you join us in supporting the daughters of West Point? Thank you for your continued generosity - we couldn't do this work without you!
For a better world,
Emily and the MTM Team
Dear People Living for More Than Themselves,
We are thrilled to open the doors to our More Than Me Academy on September 7th. The President of Liberia donated the building and will be coming to speak at the Opening Celebration!
Our girls are practicing the More Than Me rap (yes that's a real thing) and a drama to perform at the opening. Latte, our Art Director, and Lauren, our Creative Development Fellow, have been working with them for weeks, and their progress is amazing. Mercy can make herself cry on command. Ruth will be a famous rapper some day. Regina is preparing a speech that she'll perform for over 100 people. These girls are going places.
The opening of the More Than Me Academy is monumental, not only for our girls in West Point, but also for the Liberian community and MTM supporters around the world. In honor of the opening, a generous supporter has given $5,000 and challenged us to match it before September 7th by donating to this project. Will you help us meet this challenge?
Thank you for your continued support. You are changing these girls' lives in a HUGE way. We couldn't do this without you.
With love and gratitude,
The More Than Me Team
Hello! We're super excited to announce that the More Than Me Academy will open its doors on September 7, 2013! Here's the latest news:
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!
“They are so determined and motivated…If you give these girls an inch, they take a mile. They really have huge dreams for their lives, and we believe in them.” - Katie, during her MSNBC interview
Our Liberian Teaching Fellowship program is off to an amazing start! Among our fellows are a Liberian refugee who will help with business development and communications, a marketing and fundraising genius who went on tour with U2 working for Bono’s ONE Campaign, a Nigerian Broadway dancer and public health professional who will run our creative development program, and a data whiz who’s going to ramp up our monitoring and evaluation practices. We can’t tell you how excited we are for these fellows to hit the ground running in Liberia! More on them to come...
Over 40% of Liberian girls ages 10-14 have never gone to school.
The families of the girls we sponsor make, on average, $17/month. So even though education is supposed to be free in Liberia, our families can't afford to pay for the associated costs of attending school like shoes, food for lunch, and clean drinking water.
When a girl in the developing world receives 7 or more years of education, she marries 4 years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
We'd like to invite you to partner with us in opening the MTM Academy doors by donating on Match Day - 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. Just $15 supports a girl in school for 2 weeks, $30 supports her for a month, $60 for two months, and $350 for a year (That's less than a dollar a day!).
Thank you for your continued support! We look forward to updating you again soon.
Happy International Women’s Day! On Friday, we celebrated the accomplishments of our girls and the progress on the More Than Me Academy at our first ever Gala in Morristown, New Jersey. We couldn't do the work that we do without amazing supporters like YOU.
Progress is being made every day on the ground in Liberia. We’re still actively hiring teachers, painting the school, looking at classroom furniture, conducting after-school activities, getting clean water for the girls, and much much more! It’s all very exciting stuff. We have great new photos of the construction progress that we wanted to share with you! See below.
Again, we can’t thank you enough for your support.
This Wednesday – March 13th is GlobalGiving’s first Bonus Day of 2013. Starting at 9am ET, every donation made to the More Than Me Academy project will be matched by 30%. Our goal is to raise $20,000 for our Academy on Bonus Day! Will you help us?
Here’s what you can do:
Thank you for making dreams come true! We look forward to providing you with more school updates as they come.
Right now, we are making the best use of the current school, but it doesn't have enough space, it has no electricity and you have to climb through rocks and garbage to get to it. Despite these challenges, we have been teaching the girls to sew and have been continuing computer lessons with them. They absolutely love working with the laptops and have already made so much progress in their learning.
Most importantly, the new school is about to open and the girls, along with our team, could not be more excited! Right now, we are picking out the colors for the walls, deciding on the name, and working on an awesome curriculum! We have also been busy hiring teachers and staff and have been able to add some incredible individuals to our team. We even have some extra space outside of the school that we may be able to tranform into a playground for our students.
Thank you so much for all your support in this project! It is undescribable to watch our dreams become a tangible reality and it would not be possible without you!
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