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Aug 15, 2016

Growing Threats, Growing Resolve

Teacher Supporting Student's Reading
Teacher Supporting Student's Reading

Dear friend and partner,

The risks facing our children and students at Msingi Bora Learning Centre- Acres of Mercy are growing by the day.It seems more apparent that more and more teenage parents are unavailable for their children. Some of the caregivers are seemingly not taking care of the children left under their care. The results are worrying trends of children being abused. Some parents are not following up their children's education progress, discipline at home is next to zero and families are becoming more risky places for many children. These are the growing threats we are facing now. These are the threats we have been encountering in the last three months.Threats which teachers must be equipped to handle yet they are overwhelmed. Overwhelmed because the needs are vast, and the physical, and emotional resources to counter them limited. 

Yet there is good progress made in some areas. Class 8 attendance that was at 83% last term rose to 93%. This means truancy rates in this class improved greatly. The students are seeing the need to be in school and do well in their studies. Test scores improved by over  an average of 10% in most classes. Thanks to a few "outlier" teachers in the school. In his own words, Tom a student in class 6 said,"Teacher I have Improved in English because I have never achieved these kinds of marks in English before." You can sense the gratitude and encouragement to go on doing well.

The teacher in this class has been consistently employing Daily 5 strategies and the level of independent learning in this class has soared. We are now working on getting more staff to implement the strategies across the school. This level of sudent engagement will yield the kind of quality teaching and learning we all want to see passed on to the next generation. As we work together to impart skills to our team of teachers in dealing with the risks above and others that might crop up, I am positive that we will continue to see great results in all areas of our students' development- in academic and non-academic areas including the areas of teacher motivation, teacher skills and teacher commitment to excellence.

Thanks to your commitment, Thanks to your giving generously, consistently. I would like to kindly urge us to maintain the momentum and invite even more of other friends and partners to join in and support teachers and in efffect the students they teach, mentor and inspire.

And finally, teachers and friends came together to celebrate students' birthdays falling in August. The children had fun And so did the teachers. I guess all work and no fun can make teaching a boring calling. We would like it to be different here at Acres of Mercy. A few photos attached. You can help us celebrate September children and help teachers and student engage at a fun level. 

Thank you.

Boy Reading
Boy Reading
Celebrating Students' Birthday
Celebrating Students' Birthday
Happy Birthday Celebration
Happy Birthday Celebration
Aug 15, 2016

Learning Improvements v.1.0

Students in Class
Students in Class

Dear partner,

I trust you have been well, having had a successful last three months in your endeavours. I can report that that we have had quite some success. Our success together since we are partners in this work together. This is our shared success. Thank you for making it happen.

Having started the last quarter to achieve the following

a. Improve writing so children can write legibly.

b. Teach students at least 200 key sight words

c. Teach students 300 word meanings through vocabulary instruction

We were looking to have a 20% improvement in students test scores as a measurementt of whether we are improving r not. In this regard I am glad to report that in the areas of Reading and Language we achieved and surpassed the 20% improvement target. On Average the whole school improved English Language scores by 21.48% from 50.09% at the end of Term 1 to 60.85% at the end of Term 2.

In Class 5, the students were taught 150 Key Words and about 150 Word Meanings Wghich yielded an improvement score in English of 18%, from an average score of 33.88% to 40.13%. 

These are the first step towards achieving higher scores in comprehension and reading across the school in all subjects taught in English.

Next term, we will have a school wide handwriting contest to assess students' handwriting. 

 However our challenges still remain the following:-

1. Low Pupil to Student Text Book ratio of 1 Text book for 8 children, a  ratio that must come down to 1:2. 

With your help we can raise $250 per month over the next three months to achieve this feat especially for Social Studies, Mathematics and Science. We would also like to have at least 5 English dictionaries for the five Upper level classes (Classes 4-8)

2. Vocabulary & Word Centres to help anchor learning and create a Word rich class environment ( 110 students) .$ 130 will enable us achieve this target.

Let's continue making a difference together. Increase our impact by making a new giving committment.

You, your friends and family can give now by directly going to our project page on https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/give-the-gift-of-education-to-180-children-annually/

Thank you again for being our partner in helping children have a better fighting chance in life through supporting their education.

Note Taking
Note Taking
Class Time
Class Time
Student Being Assessed
Student Being Assessed
May 16, 2016

Magnifying The Power of Help

Children Learning Together
Children Learning Together

Dear friends and partners,

There is an old quote by John Bunyan that says that you have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. Our heartfelt gratitude for changing lives through your giving.

In the past three months have seen lots of changes at the school. The Project Leadership are taking a more pronounced role in delivering education to the children by becoming more involved in teacher coaching and training. In this way education outcomes for at risk children who need the most help will improve consistently over time. This is because quality will be ensured through weekly monitoring.

Our targets for the next three months are as follows:--

a. Improve writing so children can write legibly.

b. Teach students at least 200 key sight words

c. Teach students 300 word meanings through vocabulary instruction

The improvements above will be measured by looking at their relative improvements in the End of term standardised test scores. We are looking at 20% improvement in each student's current scores.

Our challenge remains how to raise sufficient support. For us to succeed we will need to increase $75 given to this work over the past three months to $600 in the next three months to enable us do the following:-

1. $ 105 for Handwriting Tracing Packs for 50 students

2. $ 130 for Vocabulary & Word Centres for a Word rich class environment ( 110 students)

3. $ 300 for Key Reader Text Books for 110 students

4. $ 65 for measuring and tracking progress

Let's make a difference together. Increase your impact.

Give now by directly going to our project page on https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/give-the-gift-of-education-to-180-children-annually/

 
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