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!
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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Yvonne loves using a keyboard!
Yvonne loves using a keyboard!

Schools have reopened in Kenya and students are thrilled to be back in the classroom. Our "Magic School Bus" is rolling back into school yards filled with beautiful books and our staff is excited to engage children in reading. At the same time, we have resumed computer classes at our Learning Resource Center. This week Yvonne, a student at Makaalu Primary School, came to the LRC for a basic computer class.  

"Today I was very happy to use the computer. My favorite part was using the keyboard. I was amazed that I could erase what I had written using the backspace key. It was my first time to ever use a computer keyboard and only the second time I've used technology.  I would like to learn more about using the computer and be able to create my own game. My favorite subject in school is science and I would like to be a nurse when I grow up."

As we begin this new Kenyan School year, our team remains committed to providing programs to enrich education.  Reading, technology, and empowerment clubs take place on a daily basis.  At the same time, we are working closely with teachers at our four Empowered Schools to provide professional development to help them engage students in a meaningful way by incorporating the key tenets of the Kenyan Competency Based Curriculum.  Creating Professional Learning Communities (PLC), providing classroom resources, and fixing and painting classrooms are a way to create more vibrant learning.

Part of our strategy to strengthen education in our community is through breaking down barriers.  With the threat of the coronavirus, we are providing face masks to students who don't have them and we are installing additional hand washing stations at schools. Teaching how to make liquid soap and effective hand washing is helping keep students healthy.  Students are now using compost toilets at two or our partner schools, and due to the collapse of pit latrines at the Mbaikini School, we have sprung into action and are building another bank of compost toilets so the students will have clean sanitation.

We have big dreams for 2021. At he heart of our plan is to help students and teachers, who lost over 9 months of learning, to improved and dynamic education. We could not do this without friends like YOU and we thank you for your past donations. Our community feels your support and is grateful that you chose Kenya Connect on GlobalGiving.  

Patrick, Director of Education and Technology, commented last week, 

"My heart is full of joy to have students back in the technology lab in the Learning Resource Center. It's heartwarming to see how excited the students are to be using the computers. I'm always uplifted seeing how quickly they pick up what I teach and their eagerness to learn more."

We will continue to keep you upated on our work. In a couple of weeks we will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day while at the same time expanding our LitClub and LitMom program. For daily updates, please follow us on facebook, twitter and instagram.

LitClub member Daring Derrick (not real name) commented, "In LitClub I love doing the brain breaks and assignments.  Our mentor is friendly and carng. It's helping me in school."

The Kenya Connect team believes in the power of education. Our caring, committed and community driven team is empowering the next generation of Kenyan students thanks to friends like you.

Book Checkout begins in 2021!
Book Checkout begins in 2021!
LitClubs Nurtures Readers
LitClubs Nurtures Readers
Bright Empowered Classroom
Bright Empowered Classroom
Engaged Teacher Professional Development
Engaged Teacher Professional Development
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Brave Ben!
Brave Ben!

"My name is Brave Ben. I am in grade 5 and a member of the Simba LitClub at Sofia Primary School. I live with my father, mother and 2 brothers. At home I like to graze cattle and collect firewood. In LitClub I love the read alouds, the brain breaks and how our mentor teaches us. My favorite book is “The Magic School Bus.”  My favorite subject in school is Science."

Launched early in 2020, LitClubs have been our newest iniative to build strong, confident and lifelong readers!  Mentors, trained with LitWorld materials, meet weekly with the students with hands-on engaging activities.  Read Alouds, word games, and creative writing are all part of the program.  Underlying the curriculum are LitWorld's 7 Strengths:  Belonging, Kindness, Curiosity, Friendship, Confidence, Courage and Hope.  Students like Brave Ben are inspired and become curious readers.  

This week Kenya Connect hosted our first LitFests at Sophia and Maanzoni Primary Schools.  Parents and teachers celebrated the LitClub students' accomplishments and cheered when students gave speeches and recited poetry.  Playing word games, using digital readers, and reading together provided parents and students the opportunity to learn together.

One parent commented, "I can't believe how much the students' have grown this year, especially in their sense of confidence!"

We have BIG PLANS to expand LitClubs to 3 more schools in 2021.  Donors like you have made these type of programs possible.  You have also provided resources to purchase books like the Magic School Bus series so budding scientists like Brave Ben have books that expand their horizons.  During the pandemic, our LitClubs and Library Program have been a true learning life-line for students in our rural community.  Our Library Team, masked-up, visited schools bringing books and encouragement to learners missing school.

We are deeply grateful to you for being a Kenya Connect donor and friend.  As the year draws to a close, we wish you and your family a healthy and joyful holiday season and one filled with some good books!

LitFest is FUNtastic!
LitFest is FUNtastic!
Word Game Fun for the Family!
Word Game Fun for the Family!
Engaging Read Aloud!
Engaging Read Aloud!
LitClub Students Soar!
LitClub Students Soar!
Mama Gets to Use the Digital Reader too!
Mama Gets to Use the Digital Reader too!
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LitMom Theresia
LitMom Theresia
Theresia only completed school through grade 3.  She liked school and her parents supported her learning until they died.  She now decorates woodcarvings to help support her 7 children.  She says that schooling is important so her children will become independent and help improve the family standards.  Theresia is part of our first LitMoms club in partnership with LitWorld.

I am hoping that through LitMoms and the women empowerment program that it will help me learn since I love learning and maybe will compensate for the time I dropped out of school.  It brings my mind relaxation through sharing ideas with other women.  Today I learned the skill of decorating a personal journal.  I would also like to learn more income generating skills such as cooking, crocheting and knitting. ...Theresia

Ann grew up in Syokisinga, Yatta and completed grade 8.  Despite liking school, Ann had to stop her education since her parents lacked the school fees for secondary school.  Ann has 5 children and farms to provide income for the family.

I loved school and I want my children to get a higher education than me.  It's my dream that they complete secondary school and attend college/university so they can get jobs.  The LitMoms and empowerement program is broadening my mind.  I am hoping to learn more technical skills to generate income.  LitMoms is also bringing togetherness and love to our group.  My favorite part is singing the hello and goodbye song.  Literacy and reading is important because I have seen my brother become successful since he can read..... Ann

We know to effect true change in rural education we need parents like Theresia and Ann to be partners in our work.  We also know that these women have dreams not only for their children, but for themselves.  The LitMoms and Women's Empowerment program is helping us make deeper connections in our community to strengthen education for not only students, but their parents.

Your support of Kenya Connect means that we can provide enriching and empowering programs for Moms, students and teachers.  Education is a true gift and we are deeply grateful to you for helping us make it possible on so many levels. Ann and Theresia and their children are benefitting from our work.  Thank you for partnering with us.

 

 

LitMoms learn
LitMoms learn
Esther Leads the Way in LitMom Learning
Esther Leads the Way in LitMom Learning
LitMom Ann
LitMom Ann
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Organization Information

Kenya Connect (KC)

Location: Wamunyu, Machakos - Kenya
Website:
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Twitter: @KenyaConnect
Project Leader:
James Musyoka
Wamunyu, Kenya
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3,122 donations
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