Education  Kenya Project #13015

Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!

by Kenya Connect (KC)
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Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Empower, Engage, Educate in Rural Kenya!
Building Towers!
Building Towers!

"Look at how tall my tower is?" says Mweni at Muthetheni PS.  Mweni and her friends are building spagetti towers as part of partner LevelUp Village's Storybook Engineer class.  These grade 1 and 2 students are learning how to collaborate together and critically think as a group in this hands-on activity that is designed to rescue the characters of the storybook that was read to them.  Future activities will include building bridges and boats. Complimenting the Kenyan competency-based curriculum, the LUV program helps build confidence and engage learners in hands-on activities in a creative way.  

While these students are building towers, other students are creating Heart Stories during the afterschool LitClub program.  After piloting the program last year in two schools, we have added four more schools to this LitWorld program.  The LitClub program is built around 7 strengths: Belonging, Curiosity, Friendship, Kindness, Confidence, Courage and Hope through hearing stories, creating artwork and telling their own story.  Teachers have been asking our staff, "What are you doing in this program? The students are so engaged in learning now and willing to ask questions in class!"

In our quest to become "The Village that Reads" and to nurture reading, our 3rd annual Reading Challenge was launched with some help from Garrison Forest School students who created colorful reading guides.  This year's theme is "Water" and the guides are filled with word games, fun facts and other activities surrounding water.  Students are challenged to read at least 25 books and the girl and boy who read the most books will be crowned King and Queen Readers.  Edith, our The School Fund Student who scored 10th overall nationally on the KCSE exam, has been part of the team issuing the Reading Guides to the students before she heads to University in October.  Sharing her story is motivating students to read and achieve in school.  The students flock to her and are excited when she is the intern handing them their guide.

All of these engaging enrichment activities are thanks to you!  Your past donation has provided funds to support our talented staff, provide resource materials and enable us to engage students with meaningful programs.  As a result, we are seeing students eager to learn, asking questions and being prepared to be leaders in life.

On Wednesday, July 14, Kenya Connect will be participating in GlobalGiving's July 14th Bonus Day campaign.  As our new LRC Annex is being built, our staff is dreaming of materials to help us reach more teachers, students and parents.  Will you wave your magic wand and help our dreams come true?  Donations of $100+ are eligible for matching funds from GlobalGivng AND the Kenya Connect Board is offering $7500 in matching funds.  Just think, a donation on July 14 will be matched in two ways!

Thank you for your past support.  Students at our 62 partner public schools are joyfully participating in a wide-array of learning activities thanks to you!

LitClub Heart Stories
LitClub Heart Stories
Your Name is Powerful LitClub Activity
Your Name is Powerful LitClub Activity
The 3rd Annual Reading Challenge has Launched
The 3rd Annual Reading Challenge has Launched
Edith Distributes Guides to Students
Edith Distributes Guides to Students

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Book Check Out!
Book Check Out!

Have you read a good book lately?  Kenya Connect library card holders sure have!  Our Magic School Bus and Reading Rover Truck have been visiting schools every other week bringing boxes loaded with books for check out.  As the students see the bus pull in, they cheer with excitement when it's their turn to return the books they have borrowed and to gather new ones.  Jackline, a student from Kaliambeau commented, "my favorite story books from the Kenya Connect library are the Magic Tree House stories. I also like doing STEM lessons and reading science subjects."  Our collection includes a range of books including early readers, chapter books, picture books, young adult fiction and knowledge based books for all levels in Kiswahili and English!  We have also included Kenyan curriculum revision books so students can continue their studies at home.

As we analyzed our students KCPE scores from the Primary School National exams, we saw a correlation of higher scores for students at our partner schools who participate in our library days program. We also saw that students who are part of our four Empowered Schools that include LitClubs, LevelUp Village classes, the Library Program and teacher professional development scored on average of 303 vs. students at other partner schools with an average of 268.  This continues a trend of seeing improved scores at schools that fully participate in our programs.

We are also beyond thrilled to announce that Edith, one of our The School Fund students was the top 10th scorer for the National Secondary School exam NATION WIDE!  In addition to receiving funding from KC's The School Fund program, Edith borrows books from our library, has participated in our mentor program and has received tutoring during school breaks. She is currently in the process of applying to university and serving as an intern with Kenya Connect.

These students are achieving because of donors like you who make our work possible.  Thanks to donations on GlobalGiving, we have expanded our library program to 25 of our partner schools. Your donation helps us purchase Kenyan authored and published books in English and Kiswahili.  These books are among our students' favorites. 

As Dr. Seuss said, "The more you read, the more things you will know.  The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."

Thank you for helping provide the joy, wonder and knowledge of books and for paving the way for a lifetime of reading.

Jackline Loves to Read
Jackline Loves to Read
LitClub Circle of Hands Project
LitClub Circle of Hands Project
Edith Scored Top 10 on National KCSE Exam!
Edith Scored Top 10 on National KCSE Exam!
What Book Should I Choose?
What Book Should I Choose?
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Watering Moringa Trees
Watering Moringa Trees

Happy Earth Day!

Our community is tied to the earth.  Most families are subsistence farmers or woodcarvers and are dependent on weather patterns that bring rain on a regular basis. As a result of climate change, our community has experienced more droughts, locust invasions, and erratic weather in the last decade. We know it's important to prepare students to help mitigate these changes and to empower them with knowledge so they can care for the community through caring for the earth.

As we work with students, we are nurturing them to be Earth Champions through our various programs. Students at Ngangani Primary School are planting Moringa Trees to learn about the life cycle of trees and how to care for them.  Students water and till the soil and take measurements of growth. They learn about enriching the soil and the many benefits of growing trees. Other students participated in LevelUp Village's Water Discovery class and learned about the life cycle of water and the importance of clean water for life on earth. Empowering students through hands-on classes, interactive projects, and knowledge-based solutions are instrumental in creating Earth Champions!

This month we are piloting a special Lifelines program with Creative Connections with students from Miondoni Secondary School. Our students are learning with students at the John Wintrhrop School in Connecticut and the Instituto Nacional de Edcacion Diversificade in Guatemala about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to the environment. Students are creating artwork to share with their partners on the environmental issues affecting their communities. Through this program they are working to come up with solutions to mitigate environmental challenges.  Students hearing about challenges around the globe help them to see that Climate Change is a worldwide problem.

Our new GiveLove composting toilets are also helping us "Keep Poop in the Loop" to create rich compost that can be used to plant trees and to enrich the soil for agricutlure. A special student booklet was created with GiveLove that will be distributed to students to teach them about how composting works and the value for the community. Students will also get to use new Kenya Connect microscopes to discover microbes, beetles and worms found in the compost. Just imagine how exciting it will be for them to see through a microscope for the first time!

Your donation to Kenya Connect is helping us to grow a community of Earth Champions through our enrichment programs and activities. Donations help us to provide microscopes, books, and magifying glasses for hands-on learning.  We couldn't do it without you.

As you celebrate Earth Day, know that your support of Kenya Connect is helping us to grow Earth Champions in Kenya! 

Learning about the Water Cycle
Learning about the Water Cycle
Books like the "Water Princess" teach students
Books like the "Water Princess" teach students
Miondoni students learning about Climate Change
Miondoni students learning about Climate Change
Discovering water in LUV's Water Discovery Class
Discovering water in LUV's Water Discovery Class
Keeping Poop in the Loop!
Keeping Poop in the Loop!
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Creating and testing the bridge
Creating and testing the bridge

Creativity, Collaboration and Critical Thinking.... these concepts are at the heart of learning in Wamunyu.  Thanks to partner, Level Up Village, 2nd graders at Muthetheni and Kambiti Primary Schools are learning about water and wind through Storybook Engineers and Water Discovery Classes.  These classes are done in conjunction with a partner class in the U.S. in which the students exchange video letters.

Students at Kambiti participated in Storybook Engineers and created two projects: making windmills and a bridge. They tested the bridge by making toy cars and creating a river using locally available materials. It was so much fun for the students! Team work, critical thinking and creativity were evident in all groups. The book "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" was read. Students were very motivated during the course when they watched their partners' videos. Goolsbye a student at Kambiti commented,"I enjoyed watching my partner's video and listening to the book about William. I learnt that windmills can produce electricity and pump water". Mrs. Elizabeth (their teacher at Kambiti PS) said,"Students have improved their listening skills. They could understand their friends' language.They were so interested in projects and their thinking ability has improved. This is in line with the new competency based curriculum."

Students in Muthetheni PS (Grade 2&3) have been doing the Discovery Water course.  They participated in two projects: making water containers for storing water and planting seeds to test whether seeds need water to grow.  Ivy commented, "I have learnt about the water cycle.  I liked seeing my partner's video and her photos.  What I liked most was the Read Aloud."  Another student, Mutheu, commented, "I learnt that our friends do not wear school uniforms like us.  My favorite topic was on water storage." Madam Muteti (grade 2 teacher) said, "My students gained more skills, knowledge and attitudes which they need in class.  The two projects enhanced creativity and innovation amongst learners as they were able to make a model of a water source using the locally available materials."

Learning should be fun and engaging.  Hands-on classes through LevelUp Village are captivating our youngest students' imaginations and nurturing them to become self-driven learners.  Teachers participating in these classes are also gaining ideas on incorporating these 21st century learning techniques into other content areas.

Bringing the joy of learning to our students is as result of donors like you who are providing the financial support that helps us offer these dynamic learning activities.  Margaret, Monicah, Brian, Cyrus, Patrick, and Esther, all members of our staff have embraced these programs and are enthusiastically working with students and teachers to provide hands-on creative learning.  We are grateful to you for making the "three Cs" the cornerstone of learning in Wamunyu!

A toy car created by the students
A toy car created by the students
We can make water containers!
We can make water containers!
Seeds need water to grow!
Seeds need water to grow!
"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" Read Aloud
"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" Read Aloud
We're learning about the wind!
We're learning about the wind!
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Happy World Read Aloud Day!
Happy World Read Aloud Day!

"Happy World Read Aloud Day!!!" chanted the children at Ngangani Primary School. Ngangani was just one of Kenya Connect's partner schools who participated in World Read Aloud Day 2021 as part of our quest to become "The Village That Reads."  The celebrations on February 3rd included students and teachers reading books aloud, the creation of reading champion crowns, and inspirational stories by Kenya Connect  staff and teachers.  The staff issued 137 new library cards and inaugurated two new LitClubs with partner LitWorld.  Since 2018, Kenya Connect has issued over 3500 library cards and built our book collection to 10,000.  Engaging children in reading is one of our strategies to strengthen education in Wamunyu.

We also premiered two special "Read Alongs" as part of the celebration.  Students in Kenya, Canada and the U.S. participated in the joint reading of "Sulwe" by Lupita Nygong'o and "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind" by William Kwamkamba.  Children, teachers, and our staff read pages of the books which were woven together to tell the story.  This powerful WRAD activity connected our communities in a meaningful way.  It was especially fun for the children in Kenya to see their peers reading together!

As most readers will say, the heart of a literate community is the library.  We are thrilled to share that we officially broke ground for the LRC Annex on Friday, January 29th.  This building will house a proper library that will include reading chairs, study carels, a children's kiddie corner for read alouds and our book collection shelved properly for easy access.  The library will be open to students, teachers and community members. The LRC Annex will also host meeting space for teacher professional development and other workshops, a recording studio, and staff offices. Local and county officials, teachers, students, parents, the architects, and business leaders were part of the festivities. They sang the praises of Kenya Connect reporting that Kenya Connect partner schools have shown the highest student achievement for the subcounty for the last decade.

In addition to sharing our "Lit" news, we want to invite you to a "Virtual Field Trip to Kenya" with our Co-Founder and Executive Director James Musyoka on Thursday, February 25th at 7:00PM (ET). James will share information on the culture, geography, food and traditions of Kenya while also providing a glimpse into the work of Kenya Connect.  Participants will also be able to ask questions and learn about future volunteer opportunities. You can register for this FREE event on eventbrite.

Our work continues to grow because of donors like you. Your support allows us to offer our many literacy, STEM, and empowerment programs. Thank you for being a Reading Super Champion!

Student Read Aloud at Sofia PS
Student Read Aloud at Sofia PS
James awards a new Library Card!
James awards a new Library Card!
WRAD Book Checkout!
WRAD Book Checkout!
Watching the Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Watching the Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
Groundbreaking for the LRC Annex!
Groundbreaking for the LRC Annex!
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Organization Information

Kenya Connect (KC)

Location: Wamunyu, Machakos - Kenya
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KenyaConnect
Project Leader:
James Musyoka
Wamunyu, Kenya
$166,226 raised of $250,000 goal
 
2,569 donations
$83,774 to go
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