Africa Education Partnership held a successful "grilled cheese" fundraiser for Grace International School at St Peter's Episcopal Church South Windsor, CT, on Sunday September 24. The menu from the Whey Station offerred seven varieties of delicious gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. The Whey Station (www.wheystation.com) generously donated all proceeds to the cause of Grace international School. We are very grateful for their kind generosity.
July 14- Our last day...
We returned for a last look and follow-up...sadness as we prepare to leave. Jonathon, one of our students who aspires to be an artist, presented me with his rendition of the school- very touching! The drawing will hang in my office.
We return to Bishop John's house for final goodbyes before setting off to return to Kaduna...we were both presented with gorgeous outfits which we will proudly wear!
July 13- Workshops for secondary teachers...
This morning, we got. To unpack and catalog the supplies we brought-a classroom set of microscopes for the biology lab, classroom resource books, and teacher guide books. We also donated money to have bookshelves built to accommodate the additional books...they should be ready in about a week.
The afternoon was spent with the secondary teachers. WE reviewed lesson planning, moved on to respect agreements in classrooms, and ended with less room strategies.
At the close of the day, the board of education chair-woman addressed the group, along with Bishop John. What a day!
July 12- Workshops for elementary teachers...
In the morning, we had time to interview students about their dreams and hopes for the future...how articulate and focused they were! We also asked them to identify needs for the school and they honestly shared their ideas with us. We will renew our efforts to get them the supplies and equipment that is needed, especially computers.
The rest of the day was spent with the elementary teachers. We worked hard on lesson planning- and then switched gears to setting up respect agreements in classrooms. We also reviewed reading strategies. Teachers appreciated the time to work together!
July 11... students and staff
Students were busy studying for upcoming exams, as the end of the school year was rapidly approaching. Teachers were hard at work scoring some review tests and helping students with content. All appeared very focused on reviewing and studying.
July 11, continuing the tour...
The wall construction has been a priority for both safety and demarcation of the property. The plot of land is a large one- 400 by 400 meters- and has taken a long time to undertake due to the funding needed.
Workmen are almost done with the last two rows of blocks- then the wall can be filled with cement for additional strength and capped. After capping, the gates will be added.
The land has been walled just in time, as homes have been constructed right up against the property "line".
Many generous donors have brought this project to completion and it was a wonderful sight to see the progress. We now have enough to finish everything in time for the start of the new school year in September.
Rice has been planted in the walled field in an attempt to generate additional income.
Today we had time to tour the examination hall that is nearing completion. The building committee decided to move the hall portion to the second floor (bottom left), to avoid the additional weight of sectional walls. The first floor (bottom right) is now sectioned off into administrative offices, a library, several classrooms, and bathrooms.
The hall was recently used to administer WAEC and NECO exams to students from Grace International School as well as other students throughout the region who registered. Results should be ready in September.
The hall is ready for the interior work of wiring and plastering...and can be made available to rent out for community events in the future.
We are picked up in Kaduna mid-morning by our friend George and the our driver Adam. Husband Bob and I settle in to the school van along with our armed guards and head north. It is a four hour drive to Gusau, depending on traffic and road conditions.
The roads are generally in fair condition and we dodge the roadblocks set out by residents of small villages to slow down traffic so people and livestock can safely pass. The roadblocks consist of logs or large rocks set out each morning and pulled in at dusk, as there is no lighting on the roads. We continue on and pass through the southwest corner of Katsina State where the roads deteriorate rapidly. The roads have potholes large enough to swallow small cars!
We continue on to Zamfara State and up to Gusau where we see camels used to carry goods and plow fields. We are dropped off at our hotel- it is good to get out and stretch! We get to freshen up and then go to dinner with George, Bishop John, and his wife Helen- so good to see our dear friends!
Board member Elaine Chagnon and her husband, Bob, made the trip to Nigeria and spent a week in Gusau at the school. This was Elaine's eighth trip and Bob's fourth. The week is outlined in the following blogs with the activities and photos.
The dinner will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 239 Graham Road, South Windsor CT. The purpose of the dinner is to raise awareness of the needs in northern Nigeria for quality education. In addition, detailed updates from the summer trip regarding teacher training and enrollment will be provided.
The speaker Dr. Lois Tioluwa Olokunde, a Nigerian medical doctor, who will tell her own story of how a quality education equipped her for medical school both in Nigeria and here in the USA.
While there will be no charge for the dinner, freewill offerings will be gladly accepted. Our goal is to secure funds through pledges for the next three years as we plan the largest building, an administrative-media center- science lab structure.