Greetings and Gratitude! We at Girls Ed hope that you had a fabulous summer and are ready for the transition into Fall. For many of us, this means 'back to school' -- but in Tanzania, this means the end of the school year is approaching. It also means that national exams are on the horizon for many of our students.
We'd like to share a few updates from this past summer! First - let me make a big shout out to Lucas and Madaga, our dedicated in-country program managers for all of their hard work throughout the year! We could do nothing without them! Asanta sana, ndugu zangu!
Study Camp - June 2017
Our study camp was excellent this year! We had a record number of students - girls from Form 1, 2, 3, and 4. We joined fellow students from Project Wezesha - boys and girls in Forms 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. Our Form 6 students - Dibeit, Tumsifu and Saidi - were helping us out as teachers. They taught Biology, Chemistry, and Math respectively. It's so wonderful to have them in the classroom in this capacity - paying it forward.
We had many teachers from Kichangachui Secondary School - teaching their core subjects to our girls. We also had a teacher from Amahoro Secondary School, Monica who came in from Mwandiga every day to teach Biology. The girls really enjoyed having two women teachers this year - Monica and Fedha, who taught Kiswahili. We're very grateful to the teachers who gave their time and really motivated our students to give their all during this 4-week intensive camp. We were able to offer them salaries for their work thanks to your support!
My colleague from St. Michael's College, Katie and I taught English classes to Form 1, 2, and 3 students. We had the opportunity to get creative with class time. We introduced the students to many communicative activities that are quite unlike the traditional, teacher-centered approaches they are used to. They enjoyed the variety and impressed us with how much they had to say in English on a range of topics. Here is a snapshot of two activities we did with them. Make sure to click the links and check out the videos of them in action.
Activity - Running Dictation
In our last report, we shared about the fun time our students had on our field trip to Gombe. This video shows them back in the classroom doing a running dictation activity based on a text about Gombe National Park. In teams of four, students choose a person to be the 'runner', a person to be the 'scribe', a person to be the 'reader', and a person to assist with reporting and editing. The runner runs across the classroom where a reader reads from a short text. The runner remembers as much as she can and then reports to her team. The scribe writes what she hears and the assistant helps correct spelling and check for missing words. When teams are finished, we read the text aloud and they check their work. Activities following this one build on the text -- we worked with new vocabulary, comprehension, and did some additional communicative tasks to let students talk about their trip to Gombe. As you can see in the video, they loved it!
Activity - Concentric Circles Interview
Another activity the girls really enjoyed was a mix and mingle activity to let them practice speaking in English without a focus on accuracy (rather fluency). Students form two circles with the inner circle facing the outer circle. They shake hands to make sure each has a partner, then we give them questions to discuss. They each take a turn responding, then the inner circle moves over one space to face a new partner. They continue in this way - discussing questions with new partners until they have talked to everyone in the circle. You can see in this video that they were using a lot of English, giggling, and enjoying class time! What more can you ask for?
Fall is for Fundraising! Launch your own Fall Fundraiser: GlobalGiving has a great tool that allows anyone to start an online fundraiser to benefit an organization of their choice. Simply visit our project page. To the right, you'll see the donation options, followed by payment options, and below that - a blue button that says "Start a Fundraiser". You can raise money in honor of someone or for an event (wedding, birthday, sporting event, etc.). Launch it and encourage friends and family to donate -- then watch your impact grow with each contribution.