Kenya Connect (KC)

Our mission is to connect youth globally through correspondence and service for the purpose of promoting deep cultural exchange and understanding. We hope to ignite youth worldwide through person-to-person connections to understand local community needs and practices in a first-hand, meaningful way. Kenya Connect is working to make significant and lasting changes that contribute to peaceful productive globalization. We believe that the experience Kenya Connect provides to children are precisely those that inspire them to be "world citizens." Our goal is to create peaceful and global citizens who have great respect for the lives of others around the world.
Dec 29, 2015

First Webinar class graduates as LUV Classes get underway!

A teacher recieves a cerficate at the US embassy
A teacher recieves a cerficate at the US embassy

 

Nine months ago, we started English webinar lessons for teachers at the LRC in Partnership with the US embassy in Nairobi. Over 30 teachers have participated in this enriching trainings. The first webinar series ran from April to July with a total of 10 teachers successfully completing the course while the second webinar series ran from September to November with 20 teachers completing the program. The first group of 10 teachers were awarded with completion certificates during an event held at the US Embassy in Nairobi and presided over by the cultural affairs officer Ms. Megan Larson-Kone on October 2015. It was quite exciting for the teachers to have a field trip to Nairobit to visit the embassy!

As a language teacher, the English webinar classes have been most inspirational and quite helpful in my professional development. I look forward to doing more webinar series to make me a better teacher. Mr. Masingi – Participant Teacher.

The 20 teachers who have completed the second webinar series will receive their completion certificates in January 2016. In the meantime, we are enrolling new teachers for the next upcoming webinar series scheduled to start late January next year. We are hopeful the number of teachers participating will keep increasing.

Another enriching learning opportunity has been through our partnership with Level Up Village (LUV). Since September, 2015 a group of 36 students from Kambiti PS have been involved in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) lessons on coding. During the 8-weeks course, students were able to code their own video games using Scratch program and to share the games they created with their partners at Good Shepherd School in USA. At the same time, students were introduced to Minecraft game to learn maths, science and communication skills. During this period, the students learned the engineering design process through identifying a problem and coming up with solutions. They were able to strengthen their critical thinking and problem solving skills while sharing information with their peers through video letters. During the video letter exchange, students learned that although they live worlds apart, they still have so much in common as children.

" I loved creating my own video games using scratch and I was happy to meet and share my experience with Jake my partner in the US." - Muuo a student from Kambiti Primary school

 Another yet intriguing learning experience has been the introduction of Robotics through our partner Global One to One. In the month of November, a group of 15 students were introduced to robotics; a program run by RoboRave International that encourages innovation, discovery and engineering design. The students were partnered with Sandia Preparatory school in NM,USA and both groups have created and coded a robot using the Arduino programming environment and then shared their experiences through letters. The students learned to use digital and analog sensors to instruct the robot to move, change direction and also follow a particular path. This program really opened up the students' minds to realize that they can be innovators. 

" I could not imagine that one day I would code a robot! To code the robot to do different things was my most exciting experience ever."

Mbithe - Student Kambiti primary School

These experiences would not be able to happen without your help.  The Learning Resource Center continues to be the heartbeat of education in Wamunyu.  We remain most grateful to you for making all these innovative learning experiences possible.  Stay tuned for more exciting initiatives in 2016! We wish you all happy holidays and blessings in the New Year.

Webinar class  at the US embassy in Nairobi
Webinar class at the US embassy in Nairobi
Student from Kambiti enjoy their video letter
Student from Kambiti enjoy their video letter
Working on Minecraft game
Working on Minecraft game
Assembling the robot
Assembling the robot
Playing with the robot
Playing with the robot
Sep 29, 2015

Welcome to the world of STEAM and Webinar learning at the LRC!

Student  watching video letter from their partner
Student watching video letter from their partner

Our ongoing training utilizing 21st century  skills has gone a notch higher at the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center (LRC) with the introduction of online STEAM and webinar classes! We recently partnered with Level Up Village (LUV); an organization that partners US schools with global schools in the developing world to offer courses on STEAM. To prepare our students for this course, one of the visiting summer teams comprised of master teachers and led by Board Member Laura Carter, conducted an introduction lesson on STEAM with students of Kambiti PS. In the beginning of September the LUV curriculum started and our students are getting fully immersed! The course will run for eight weeks and will involve students in coding and creating new video games using the scratch program. In addition the students will also be making video letters and learning the Minecraft game. The LUV curriculum has opened a completely new world for our students! They have had an opportunity to interact with their global partners in the US through exchanging video letters. The process of recording video letters for their partners has been an intriguing adventure for the students with the highlight being watching  the videos from global peers. By working with these projects our students are becoming critical thinkers and creative innovators in class!

“I am very happy to learn how to make my own games! Before I started taking the LUV classes, I used to play games on the computer but I never had any idea how they are created. Thanks to Kenya Connect and Level Up Village for making this possible for me. (Mumo: A student at Kambiti Primary School)

At the same time, more teachers continue to embrace our programs on professional teacher development. At the start of September, a second group of 22 teachers begun a webinar series course for instructors of English language. During our first webinar series, partnership with the American Embassy, a total of 10 teachers successfully completed the course. This group of teachers and others currently doing the webinar course will take a field trip to the US embassy in Nairobi in early October to receive their completion certificates. During these webinar courses, teachers have been able to exchange ideas on best practices for teaching English language with their global counterparts through Ning platform.

Since I left teacher training college, I have never had an opportunity for continuous job training but I am grateful for the professional development workshops and webinar courses I have done through Kenya Connect. As an English language teacher, I am gaining invaluable skills that I am applying in my classroom. (Fredrick: Teacher at Mwaasua PS)

Most encouraging is that the above two trainings kicked off at the start of September and have continued despite a nationwide closure of public schools in Kenya following a teachers' strike.  The caveat on teaching in public schools not withstanding, these students and teachers have defiantly continued with their classes; a true reflection of  how they thirst for knowledge and how deeply they value learning in their lives.

Your continued support of Kenya Connect allows us to provide these rich and meaningful learning opportunities that would otherwise not be available.  We continue to be deeply appreciative of your support. 

Board member Laura Carter introduces STEAM
Board member Laura Carter introduces STEAM
"I built this house using Minecraft" - Sarah
"I built this house using Minecraft" - Sarah
Students build an utopian village using Minecraft
Students build an utopian village using Minecraft
Teachers listening to a webinar class at the LRC
Teachers listening to a webinar class at the LRC
Webinar class in session
Webinar class in session
Jul 1, 2015

Powering Up the Center with Solar!

Mumo, a level four student, came to school and was told by his teacher that he was going to visit the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center to use the computers!  Mumo had a Pen Pal through Kenya Connect and heard about the LRC, but had never been to the center, nor had he ever seen or used a computer.  Imagine his excitment!

Over 800 students like Mumo have visited the Kenya Connect Learning Resource Center either taking an eight week technology workshop or having a one day introduction to computer class.  As the LRC has been in operation, the staff has recommended that it become fully energy independent by installing additional solar panels to the roof.  As a result of Global Giving Donors like you, and a grant from the EBay/PayPal Foundation, Kenya Connect installed two additional solar panels, an inverter charger and two batteries.  With our exisiting two solar panels and this new installation we are now halfway to being "Green Energy" Independent center!

Not only will this help in our long-term operational expenses, but also serves as a demonstration site on green energy for the students and larger community.

As Mumo used the computers he was astonished at what they could do and how easy they were to use.  Mumo is going to continue to work hard in school so he can visit the center again.  

On behalf of Mumo and all the students and teachers who have and will visit the LRC a HUGE THANK YOU!

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