Bishop John and Helen Visit
Arriving on September 22, Bishop John Danbinta and his wife, Helen, embarked on a whirlwind visit before departing from New York on October 6.
After a day of rest, the Bishop joined the AEP Board for an all-day meeting to discuss progress and next steps. Board members Angela Dimezza and Paul Frank joined us, having driven up to Connecticut from Akron, Ohio. Aside from being a wonderful reunion, it was a great day of fellowship and dialogue. We were able to outline a clear vision of our next steps and determine costs and a possible timeline.
After meeting with the Board, Bishop John and Helen attended churches in New London and Bloomfield, leading weeknight bible studies. Free-will offerings were collected and connections made for possible partnerships in the future.
A potluck dinner was held at St. Peter’s Church, our home base, to serve as a meet and greet for supporters from both St. Peter’s Church and Trinity Church, Tariffville. About forty guests were in attendance. A wonderful time was had by all, with time to talk with the couple and share experiences.
For the final few days, Bishop and Helen traveled to New York, where they stayed with pastor friends until their departure early on Friday morning, October 7. Connections were made for networking with another church in the Bronx. The couple returned safely to Nigeria and has taken time to settle back into a routine, after the wedding of their daughter on October 22.
Next Steps for Graceland International School
The AEP Board met with Bishop John on Saturday, September 24, for a full day retreat. Board members from Akron, Ohio joined us. Angela Dimezza and Paul Frank made the trip east to spend time in discussion and planning during a wonderful day of conversation and sharing.
The next steps for Graceland International School were clearly outlined:
1. Finish the administration offices and computer lab on the first floor of the examination hall.
2. Complete the wall around the remaining property to ensure security and that encroachment does not happen.
3. Provide a well for a constant supply of clean water.
4. AEP has recently begun working with a grant writer in the hopes of securing funds for the large remaining capital projects. Members are working to provide the grant writer with the necessary background information that will form the foundation for the requests to different groups.
Excellent WAEC Exam Results!
At the end of April, 12th grade students sat for the West Africa Education Council (WAEC) exams. These are the equivalent of our SAT College Board exams and are used to gain entrance into a university for further study. All of the students passed, some with distinction! This sets a high standard and has earned Graceland a reputation state-wide as a “tough” school. Enrollment has been steady, helping the school to recover from the decimation as students and families left the area in anticipation of conflict after the 2015 presidential elections.
We hope to track these exam cores in future years to help drive instruction and help teachers and administrators improve instruction and student preparedness. While it is just our first set of data, we are now in a position to easily determine in which courses our students are struggling and in which courses they excel.
Over time, we will be positioned to layer-in each year's performance to identify emerging trends from class to class.
The numeric values range from 1 (excellent) to 9 (fail). Scores from 1 to 3 are in the good to excellent range and what we most want to see. Scores from 4 to 6 are acceptable with the student receiving credit on the exam. Scores from 7 to 8 receive a pass; a score of 9 is a fail rating.
AEP Board member Elaine Chagnon made her seventh trip to Nigeria from July 22-August 7. Four of the days were spent in Gusau. While there, Elaine met with school administrators to discuss concerns and needs. In addition, she presented the administrators with school supplies donated from the United States.
This page compiles information from outside sources, as well as AEP's own blog updates.