Hi everyone! There is so much excitement at Kwithu CBO and at Mzuzu Academy right now. These are some of the projects and developments of the past few weeks:
Constriction of Play Area at Kwithu CBO
I am so excited about the construction of a HUGE brand new play area at Kwithu! Joe Kiwale and his Lilongwe Boys Carpentry have been working hard since last week to give the kids what they need- a place to run around and scream! I have been pushing for this for a long time, and it’s finally happening. Playgrounds are a very important environment for children. Research shows that playgrounds help develop motor skills, language development, and social skills. Furthermore, we expect our Kwithu attendance to become more regular with the addition of this play area. Thanks, Joe, for all your hard work!
Project-Based Assessment at Mzuzu Academy
Teachers at Mzuzu Academy understand the importance of differentiated instruction. Every pupil has a different learning style and a different set of strengths and weaknesses. Though students at Mzuzu Academy are used to ending each term with a one-week exam period, this term they will be challenged in different ways by working on projects for each subject. These projects assess a completely different skill set than exams. Projects demand team work, time management, problem-solving, and making cross-curricular connections. My Year 7 English students are creating “Book Report Alternatives.” Uchizi Tembo created a 3-dimensional diorama of a scene from Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief, while Bansari Patel wrote an interview of the main character from the Judy Blume classic, Otherwise Known as Shiela the Great.
Needless to say, the students are working so hard and having a lot of fun. Our campus is buzzing with the sounds of collaboration and creative thinking!
New Classroom Furniture for Early Childhood
A big thank you to our carpenter, Emanuel, for finally finishing our child-friendly tables for the EC classroom! They look amazing and work very well with our classroom chairs, which came in our container. It’s really starting to come together, and the kids are eager to get into the classroom and work!
Last Thursday, after Patrick and I set up the tables, we called a few of the children into the room to try out the new tables. Their reaction was amazing. They walked into the room extremely tentatively, almost on tip-toes, not saying a word and reluctant to touch anything. It really hit me what a huge change this is from their classrooms in government schools. They’re slowly getting used to working at these tables, but I think it still feels very foreign and special to them. I know how much it means to them to have a special place of their own like this room. I know when it’s “finished,” they’ll be even more excited!
One of our board members donated the colorful mats that you see in these pictures. Thank you so much for everyone who contributed and is still working hard to make this happen!
We also got a very generous donation of art supplies from a special former student of mine, Peter Miller, age 9, of New Canaan, CT. Below, Kwithu kids have fun making him thank you cards.