Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni

by Acres of Mercy, Kenya
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Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Build A Community School for 200 Kids in Nguluni
Children Learning the Alphabet
Children Learning the Alphabet

Dear friends,

September is here...

Here in Nguluni, Kenya it is hot and dusty though the peace felt as you gaze at the cerulean blue skies trumps the heat. The hope of our mission keeps us focused. We must deliver to these dear children their passports into the future, on time.

It is four weeks now since we re-opened school to a new term, and three months since we last touched base. Since then a lot has happened. Before I delve into the report find some time to read the words from the poem September, The First Day of School.

I think this poem speaks of us, of you and I and the parents and guardians as we work, live and give hope to the children we serve so faithfully every day. I hope it resonates with you and trust that you will be encouraged to continue making a difference.

And making a difference we are! Recall, in our last report where I reported that we had started a 10 minute story book reading time for children between Pre-Primary One (PP1) to Grade 3. At the end of the second term in July we gave the children an Oral Fluency test which showed an average improvement in reading fluency rates by 28%. (Correct Words Per Minute).

When we started the term we set a target with the Pre-school teachers to read 60 books to the children by end of term. So far we are at 41 books read, we have reached the 68% mark with one month to go. This means the children will be hearing more vocabulary through the stories they will be hearing than ever before experienced. Our goal is to continue growing their contact with English and build their love for reading.

The total books borrowed for 2nd Term (3 months) was 217 Books

The total books borrowed in the last one month stands at 291 books. At this rate the students would be reading over 500 books at the end of this term, even with our CupBoard Library as we have. (Picture)

This shows a big growth in the Students Reading Culture.

The impact is being evidenced in students' confidence in speaking in English. 

Our teachers are also teaching more in English rather than in Kiswahili. Observations show students' responses show an improving level in listening comprehension as they respond to their teachers.

Before school closes on October 26th for the December break we trust to have in place an AfterSchool Program to help children get their hands on a good foundation...Together we are making the above impact possible.

Our Future Plan is to complete the space needed for a Literacy Centre within the school.

We have an ongoing building project and would request you as our partner to consider increasing the coming months either individually or by inviting friends and family to take part in any way possible including sharing ideas, best practices and web resources.

Thank you for making it happen, again!

I celebrate you all...

 



 

Cupboard Library-AoMLC
Cupboard Library-AoMLC
Current Building Project
Current Building Project
Birthing a Reading Culture
Birthing a Reading Culture
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Students Working on Their Own
Students Working on Their Own

Dear friends,

April, May and June have been months of gifting students in a unique way- mentoring and ttraining their teachers.

We started in April with coaching teachers to read to their students every morning for 10 minutes. hrough this we aim to improve the listening and communicating vocabulary as well as fluency of the students. This initiative is being carried out from Pre-School level to Grade 3 level.

The older students from Grade 4 are being given opportunities to borrow at least 1 book at their reading level at from the library daily to aid with the same goal- improving fluency and comprehension.

In May and June the teachers were trained by volunteer teachers from the U.S. on how to identify special needs students and plan for lessons that would accomodate their needs. The training also touched on how to plan for lessons that would ensure minimal student indiscipline and maximise their engagement.

The training also involved other 4 schools from within the school zone.

We are already seeing the impact. "My students are now able to have more agency in their learning," remarks a teacher after incorporating some of the strategies learnt during the training.

We are hopeful that the same impact will be experienced school-wide iin the coming months.

Thank you for your continued support.

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Classroom Construction Progress
Classroom Construction Progress

Dear friends and partners,

Easter Greetings!

The first learning quarter in 2018 gone. I want to ask for your indulgence once again as I share about our work here.

36 years ago, in a little village on the shores of Lake Victoria a little life made the first entrance onto this place called Earth. He had no idea what the future held. These were tumultuous times. There was a thirst for change. There were forces that clamored for a kind of transformation that would lift the masses out of a perceived iron fisted political oligarch. This little boy had no idea just how far these forces could go, as was manifested four months later when a bloody coup threatened to forever isolate the community he was born into. This was Kenya. The year, 1982. The little boy was me.

Today, as I celebrate my 36th birthday, much has changed. However, the oppressive forces that surround us. Poverty is still high, corruption is a monstrous force threatening to destroy the future of our nation and social injustice is keeping communities chained to a millstone that is the lack of life transforming progress.

Technology has brought you and I together to fight for the people where they are. Together we are affecting change through innovations like GlobalGiving. Humanity is winning. Care is bringing hope to where it is needed. Since January we have continued to see progress and hope. Yet again Acres of Mercy became a part of the stories of hope that are being woven across the global community through your involvement. We have enrolled 4 students who had been denied the opportunity by the public-school system to complete their primary school education because they were not able to make the grades. Armed with the believe that every student can learn, and every student deserves every opportunity, we took them in and started the hard work that will enable them and the other 100 students have the 21st Century skills they need to succeed; The problem-solving skills, the basic literacy skills, collaborative skills and the character they would need to navigate their next level of learning.

Noticeable is our declining student enrolment. This is Our One Big Challenge. The other is difficulty recruiting the right teachers for these students. We need advice on how to access teachers who can deliver on the learning objectives that will equip our students for life. As fate would have it, and I make a big assumption here, our crop of trained teachers who are locally available at our current remuneration offering isn’t skilled enough to teach students in the way the child can learn. We have a Human Resource challenge even with the curriculum changes happening in our education system. Our challenge, together as partners is How do we leverage technology to bring great teaching to these students? Can we overcome the challenge of accessing the best teachers using technology? Is it even acceptable as a matter of policy? How do we as grassroots organizations access the wisdom of others who are successfully intervening elsewhere around the globe with the same set of challenges? What market-based strategies can we implement to resource, train, and keep the best teachers?

Meanwhile, I call for more sustained support from you our partners. When we get more partners giving recurrently we can attract the best teaching talent from outside our locality. Let’s call upon friends and friends of friends to support the cause and let’s give the students what they deserve because the world needs better people everywhere to truly progress.

Thank you for doing it yet again these last three months. The gains are real. The challenges too, but together we are pressing on, building a better world, one child by one child, one teacher by one teacher, classroom by classroom.

P.S. Consider rallying friends to help us complete the new classroom block. Thank you

Student Studying
Student Studying
Student Athletes
Student Athletes
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Grade 8 Students Just Before their Finals
Grade 8 Students Just Before their Finals

Dear friend,

It has been a great 2017. Since our last report “Rising Stars” we saw the end of what we could term a fairly impactful school year. I will touch on a few key highlights from the year 2017.

The school year started in January 2017 with 146 students. The term lasting through to April 2017. We started by investing in Textbooks so we can give every student better access to textbooks. During this term students participated in term one Ball Games and Athletics, an activity that plays a big role in helping us identify and nurture students’ talents in various sporting areas such as soccer, volleyball, netball, track events and field events. In 2017, we encouraged students to try their hands at Javelin and Shot Put.

When schools reopened after the April holiday, we had them participate in Drama and Music Festivals. Over 30 students participated in Performing Traditional Dance, Giving Speeches and Reciting English and Swahili Poems. We continued investing in story books and revision material for students. In April student population dropped to 138 as some parents opted to transfer their students. This was after we demanded more responsibility and involvement from parents and guardians.

In October 2017, Grade 8 students sat for the national examinations to facilitate their transition from Primary level education to High School. 24 students-12 boys and 12 girls, sat for these examinations (Kenya Certificate Primary Education).  79% of students got the opportunity to join High school while 21% would get the opportunity to go to Technical Schools. I

The exiting students did a simple exit assessment where we were learning from them which areas we needed to work on. Below are some of their responses.

“When I came to our school (Acres of Mercy). I did not know how to read, but now I can read.” J.

“I liked the good lunch and having textbooks so the pupils can learn well.” E.

“I liked the arrangement (of the classroom) in groups because we helped each other to learn what we had not understood.” H

“I liked the no corporal punishment policy in the school.” R.

Hearing these words coming from the students make us believe we had an impact in their lives.

The older students received continuous mentoring from community partners throughout the year with a team building activity in September and a group mentoring session being held in October a week before the schools closed for December holidays.

The year ended with us having one teacher to every 12 students, 1 textbook to 8 students and a school population of 134 students, of whom 65 were girls, 69 were boys. I would like to thank you for making these and many more happen in the lives of all the students we worked with in the year 2017. Thank you for the generous and continued support. I wish you an awesome and successful year 2018 on my own behalf, the children, the staff, and the Board of Acres of Mercy.

Some of Our Girls
Some of Our Girls
Teacher's Planning Together
Teacher's Planning Together
Students and Teacher's During Outdoor Learning
Students and Teacher's During Outdoor Learning
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Boy in reflective mode
Boy in reflective mode

Dear friend and partner,

We are in the middle of a ‘STORYWORLD’ session with one of our students. ‘STORYWORLD’ is a do-it-yourself effectiveness kit we use at GlobalGiving to improve our effectiveness by ensuring our work is relevant to the children we are working for. I am talking with a 15-year old Class 8 girl. Let’s call her Yves. She tells me about how she sees her present environment, and talks about her dreams and aspirations. My eyes are opened to the realities and challenges she and girls like her have to contend with on a daily basis. Despite being orphaned at age 7, she has remarkable strength of character, foresight and a good dose of hope for the future.

When we first enrolled her at Acres of Mercy five years ago, Yves was just learning how to read. I ask her a question and she works hard to find the right words to paint the picture of the situation she is trying to describe. We are talking about the challenges facing girls her age in Nguluni. Yves, talks candidly about teenage pregnancy and sex outside of marriage and its impact on girls’ education. I dared suggest to her to feel free to use Swahili to which she replied. “I am now learning English. I want to become better at English. I will just talk in English.” Her resolve to want to better herself and her community is so strong she echoes the same sentiments when she says, “I need someone to help me become better at Math. I need someone to help me every day so I can become better at Mathematics.” You see the same force of character when she takes up her position as a midfielder playing for her school soccer team.

Yves has come a long way. With the help of the dedicated team of teachers, partners like you and supportive guardians and or parents she and other girls and boys at Acres of Mercy are working towards fulfilling their dreams. It is this partnership that has made the changes we see in Yves possible. Thank you for making it possible. Friends, In three weeks, she and twenty three others will be sitting the national examinations that will see these students transition to High school in February 2018. Asked what she is doing to make a difference in the community, especially on the teenage pregnancy issue. She responds, “I will continue talking to the girls, give them advice. ’And in future, I want to be a teacher…yes, I want to be a teacher, to make a difference in the lives of students.” The future is lit. Thank you for keeping these flames alive.

Girl with Book
Girl with Book
Brain Break
Brain Break
Meagre but...we learn
Meagre but...we learn
Acres of Mercy Learning Centre
Acres of Mercy Learning Centre
One of the rising stars
One of the rising stars
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Organization Information

Acres of Mercy, Kenya

Location: Nairobi - Kenya
Website:
Project Leader:
Jimmy Oluoch
Nairobi, Nairobi Kenya
$22,686 raised of $50,560 goal
 
457 donations
$27,874 to go
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