The AAH Outreach Program provides training, resources, and materials to 26 government-run primary schools in three districts in Uganda, serving over 20,000 students. As part of these efforts, AAH established a sister school program with US elementary schools. The model for our sister school partnerships between US elementary schools and primary schools in Uganda is the special relationship Arlington Traditional School has with our Uganda school, Arlington Junior School.
Tuckahoe Elementary in Arlington,VA was our second sister school, pairing up with Matuwa Primary School. Tuckahoe has since exchanged letters with Matuwa classes, had the principal and two teachers visit and volunteer, and 20 Matuwa students are now sponsored by Tuckahoe families.
We are exicted to welcome our third sister school, Halley Elementary School in Lorton, VA as a sister school to Bumwalye Primary School! This month, Bumwalye sent more than 900 letters to Halley, and Halley students are preparing their responses. Developing a more intimate relationship between students helps to open each student to the issues, ideas and concerns of their peers and broadens their educational experience. We're confident it's going to be an enriching relationship for all the students involved!
By Danielle Fortin - former International Coordinator
Danielle & Phiona with AJS students
As a school that prides itself on providing the best educational opportunities for its students, we are always looking for new ways to inspire creative learning at Arlington Junior School. That is where our new newsletter, “Mulembe Magazine,” comes in.
Originally inspired by Head Teacher Sarah, our student-written newsletter has become a way for students to get a taste of journalism and artistic expression. Every term hosts different events, activities, and visitors. Students are encouraged to report on those happenings to keep our international and local supporters up to date on the latest news at AAH. In the newsletter’s “Creative Corner,” pupils have the chance to create everything from poems to drawings to creative stories.
The former International Coordinator Danielle, along with the librarian, Phiona, created a Newspaper Club to increase participation in working on the newsletter. After recruiting students to join and setting up monthly meetings, the club participants select student editors to edit all content. Student club members also write and edit departments on local news, visitor news, and the creative corner. The hope is that this club will inspire students to think critically of all the events that happen at AJS as well as spark interest in journalism.
By Daphne Mabonga - Assistant Outreach Coordinator
Matuwa Grade 2 students with AAH & Matuwa staff
Growing up in rural Uganda and attaining a good education is a big challenge to many, especially those who come from very needy families. Overcoming this challenge has been Arlington’s goal from the start.
In 2004, we opened our school and started educating 350 students in the primary level. We then expanded our program and partnered with government schools to increase our impact. What started as a small program has expanded into the Outreach Program that works with 26 underfunded public schools in Bududa and Manafwa Districts.
In 2016 we partnered with Tuckahoe Elementary School in Arlington, VA to become a sister school to one of our Outreach schools. The relationship quickly blossomed as the principal became a huge advocate for supporting education in Uganda. The Tuckahoe community has helped to fundraise for library books, the construction of a school kitchen, and the school’s feeding program
This year at Matuwa Primary School, seventeen second grade students have seen their lives changed because of the sponsorship program that was introduced to their school this year. Orphans and children from very needy families were identified as in need of additional support to keep them in school and confident about their studies. The Tuckahoe community again jumped to the occasion to help Matuwa by sponsoring these students through AAH.
In addition to receiving school fees, the students were happy to get new books, pencils, backpacks, sharpeners, a pair of shoes, and a pair of stockings. They also have had their meals paid for at school and were given a new uniform. All these supplies have helped these students to stay in school and focus on their studies. The Matuwa sponsorship program wouldn’t be a reality if it weren’t for the strong partnership with Tuckahoe Elementary School. Thank you, Tuckahoe!