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Posts Tagged ‘school’

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I have been home for a week from a most amazing trip to Tanzania, Africa and still processing the experience through blog posts.  You can read them all:

Tanzania Travel Journal #1, #2, #3, #4, #5

Today I am celebrating our school visit.  The Grand Circle Foundation sponsors a number of schools in Tanzania.  The one we visited is Endoro Primary School in Karatu.

The head teacher, “Mother Mary”, took us into her small office to tell us about the school and answer any questions. Most of her students come to school from the Iraqw tribe. They do not know the national language, Kiswahili. All subjects in primary school are taught in the national language, and English is one class. Later, in secondary school, all subjects are taught in English. These students not only have to master many subjects, they must do so in many languages.

They begin school at 7 AM with cleaning and eating a breakfast of porridge. The classrooms were very basic with a chalkboard at one end and 10 desks in 3 rows with 2-3 students at each desk. The desks consisted of a wooden bench and a short wooden table top. Their supplies include pencils, assignment books, and textbooks. There are no computers at this school.

While we were there, the regional director passed by, Sandra.  It was amazing to hear her speak of the foundation and their mission to improve education.  The Tanzanian government has made all public schools free.  But that means there is no longer a $10 tuition fee per year.  Costs for supplies, books, uniforms, food, etc. are not covered.  Grand Circle Foundation recently built more classrooms and installed toilets at Endoro School.

Sandra assured us 100% of the donations go directly to the schools. She told us the cost of textbooks is about $3-$6 each. What a bargain to us in the US!

Endoro Primary School, Karatu, Tanzania

Endoro Primary School, Karatu, Tanzania

School motto

I was charmed by the students that I met.  One girl told me her name is Martha, my third daughter’s name, so we made an immediate connection.  I hope to establish pen pals for my students.

Visiting with school girls

Visiting with school girls

My birthday is August 11th. For my birthday, I am asking my friends to donate to the Grand Circle Foundation specifically for Endoro school.  You can donate by emailing me for a donation form, signing on to the Grand Circle Foundation Website, or sending a payment to me through Pay Pal and I will donate. Just think what $10 can do for these kids!

Here is a video of the students singing a welcome song and my small group singing their National Anthem. (Sorry, it’s quite loud, so turn down your volume.)

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for Tuesdays Slice of Life Challenge.

Twenty-eight years of teaching,
Three years in the same classroom,
Relocation notification from B-hall to A-hall.
5,878 steps
Boxes, bins, games,
VCR tapes, cassette tapes,
masking tape, Scotch tape,
scissors, glue,
hot glue gun, glue sticks,
paint, paint, paint, paintbrushes.
Two sets of Encyclopedias!
Books, books, books!
Boxcar Children, Magic Tree House,
Harry Potter (fills a whole box)
Professional books: Aimee Buckner, Ralph Fletcher,
Donalyn Miller, and Georgia Heard.
Yellow, pink, blue sticky notes: thumbs up!
The Easy button,
our sacred writing bell,
pillows, a blanket,
two painted author’s chairs.
Pencils, pens, erasers, markers, crayons,
Letters, cards, “I Love you, Mrs. Simon”
“Your (never you’re) the best teacher ever!”
Mugs, vases, photos,
stories, memories,
voices of many children,
the heart of one teacher.

My poet friend, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater and blogging friend, Kimberley Moran, have teamed up on Sharing our Notebooks to get us ready for summer writing. Head over there and see my post about found/black-out poetry. You are welcome to contribute a Try This as well. Here’s the link to Amy’s Google doc.

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