The first major milestone for Graceland International School was achieved with the completion of the first block of classrooms and administration offices. The building was completed in time for the September start of school. Graceland International School will open its doors to register and receive the first classes of students.
Our fervent hope is that this group of students will achieve great things in this academic year.
Challenging Summer Trip to Nigeria - part 2
The day before the scheduled teacher training session, Elaine discovered that word about her training had spread to other schools! Comfort Fearon, wife of Bishop Josiah Fearon, Archbishop of Kaduna, had mentioned it to a teacher at St. Michael’s Primary School in Kaduna; she wanted to attend with a few of her fellow teachers. Representatives from a small local school that Elaine had visited on her first day were also coming.
On Monday morning, Comfort Fearon personally accompanied Elaine to the diocesan offices where 8 teachers were gathered. Materials had to be judiciously divided so that everyone got something, with the bulk of materials still earmarked for Graceland International School in Gusau. Luckily, there were enough folders, paper supplies, and writing utensils.
The day passed very quickly– they didn’t even stop for lunch! Teachers were actively engaged in training, asking questions and creating classroom materials to bring back to their classrooms.
Day 2 found Elaine energized and ready for another wonderful day. However, violence three hours northeast of Kaduna put the city into lockdown. Elaine was not able to safely leave the clinic compound. The others packed up everything Elaine had brought to the diocesan offices on Day 1 and traveled to the clinic site. In a dorm conference room, a much smaller space, everyone squeezed around a table and borrowed chairs from nearby rooms. The group had grown to 10 teachers representing four different schools! Lessons over the two days focused on phonics, math games, a writing workshop, and conflict resolution (which worked well when dividing up the materials!)
Elaine was also able to connect with a variety of people, one of whom provided her with a copy of Peace Clubs, a conflict resolution program designed for children, piloted in Kenya. She also connected with two other Nigerian women, both of whom have non-profit organizations designed for the empowerment of women. They agreed to try and help promote the Peace Club program both in Gusau and in the local schools.
The training was so successful that Elaine has been invited back next summer to teach to a wider group. She’s looking forward to being there again. If you want more information or you have some ideas to share, contact Elaine at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interior work on the building completed in time for the opening of school in late September.
Elaine Chagnon arrives for 2 days of teacher training in Kaduna- travel north to Gusau is not recommended. Teachers travel from Gusau to Kaduna to participate in a two-day teacher training workshop. Teachers worked on reading strategies, math games, and ideas for expanding writing.