2016 SUMMER NEWS.
MAKING EDUCATION POSSIBLE!
HIGHLIGHTS FROM ELMINA, GHANA!!!
Thanks so much to our donors and our Pay It Forward (PIF) students.
The new Kindergarten Resource Room is complete and active to improve early childhood literacy.
The Girls Club at Christ Cares and the Reading Club at Bantuma are thriving. Another Girls' Club has been started at Abrem Essiam.
Performance and enrollment at Christ Cares is way up with Otoo as Headmaster.
We now have 20 PIF students, with 14 of them at Christ Cares.
We added four donated laptops to the Computer Lab bringing our total to 10.
We have 12 HS scholarships, 10 more just graduated. Lawrenda is #1 of 770 in her class while Emmanuel is the class prefect
Our 5 university students are doing great. Francis, Eric and Chris achieved honors.
PIF (Pay It Forward Student) Esther in Resource Room with KG2 showing use of "rek-n-rek" for numeracy and magnetic letters for literacy.
Thanks to donors John and Nancy who visited Elmina and saw the need.
PIF Rockson made the rek-n-reks
Thanks to donor Jill for the sewing machine for the girls club.
PIFs Joana and Esther and Philo guide the girls' club.
Special thanks to Jason and Ethan of Phi Kappa Psi for 3 laptops.
PIF Joseph is the PIF leader and Computer lab teacher.
Lawrenda is first in her junior class of 770.
Emmanuel was voted the class prefect.
PIF Otabil is math tutor for the 6 first year students.
Mary got A and Faustie got B last term.
STARS PAYING IT FORWARD
We now have 20 students "Paying it Forward". Their dedication is amazing as they "Make Education Possible". They work hard every day mentoring and tutoring, helping teachers, managing the KG Resource Room, Computer Lab, Science Lab, Libraries, Girls' and Reading Clubs. They are the heart of Tomorrow's Stars.
Rolland, Justice, Francis (front), Richard and Daniel (back) just graduated from Edinaman.
Leticia, Sharon, Philo and Joana handle Resource Room, Library and Girls' Club.
Eric, Rockson, Joseph (leader), Emmanuel, Chris and Otabil. All have done PIF for more than a year. Eric and Chris have achieved honors at University in Chemical Engineering and Herbal Medicine. At Right: Otabil who keeps computer lab running showing a notebook that was donated needing a screen, he got it done.
We had a PIF meeting to discuss PIF mission and assignments. We also developed a policy and application for TS support for university as they move on with their education.
George with Rudolph and Solo who have completed university and continue to Pay it Forward. Rudolph will be a doctor in May, Solo hopes to be a HS teacher at Edinaman when he completes his national service.
HELP OUR STARS GO TO UNIVERSITY
Our PIF students earned HS scholarship to Edinaman, then have worked hard to prepare for university. At Tomorrow's Stars, we intend to support them as they pursue their continuing education and careers and they will continue to Pay It Forward.
There are three good universities in Ghana and some other tertiary choices. UCC is nearby University of Cape Coast. KNUST is Kwame Nkrumah Inst of Sci and Tech in Kumasi about 4 hrs away.
Yearly university costs are about $700 for tuition fees and $500 for a room. Please help us support these STARS!!
Joseph was the prefect and top of class at EHS and has been PIF leader for the past year. He has been accepted to Journalism school in Accra. PIF Rockson is a "get it done" guy. He was key in getting the resource room designed and painted and equipped. He is attending Media Journalism school part time.
Chris completed first year at KNUST, Otabil has been accepted at UCC for Physicians assistant.
Back: Leticia is working to improve her math score to get into nursing school. Esther will continue as PIF this year. Front: Joana plans distance learning in business and Philo wants to begin teacher college in Sept.
George with Eric and Chris, first year complete at KNUST, also Julius the Christ Cares science teacher.
Emmanuel on right has applied for business at UCC.
SUCCESSES AT CHRIST CARES SCHOOL
Tomorrow's Stars started at Christ Cares (CC) school in 2003. Recently, past CC graduate and TS scholarship student Otoo took over as HM, delaying his national service after achieving a teacher degree from UCC. His leadership has been remarkable (with lots of help from our PIFs) and the school improvements are impressive. Enrollment and performance and school spirit are all greatly improved. Our 9th graders recently took their BECE exam. We have high hopes for best performance ever.
School Management painted the "story" building. Enrollment has gone from 180-260. A gov't agency provided training and bed nets to students to prevent malaria.
Otoo said he could keep bathrooms clean if TS helped with some upgrades. We had a wager of honor and he has won. He requested some old photos which George brought.
As they were posted, they brought much joy to the kids.
Teachers: Cecelia Primary 2, Agnes P1, Osborn P4, and Kofi P6. At Right: Teacher leaders: Christina KG/Nursery leader, Doreen-JHS Eng, Fred JHS leader, Kofi and Osborn Primary leader.
Cecelia teaching Circuits in Primary 2 using Science Lab materials.
A well attended PTA meeting with Otoo, Chairman John and local leader Mr. Addo. PIFs were introduced to help explain impact of Tomorrow's Stars. They were still at school at 5:30PM for meeting.
EARLY CHILDHOOD LITERACY
RESOURCE ROOM (RR)
Early childhood education in Elmina is difficult. Local languages are often being spoken in the home and much early schooling is rote learning and repeating after the teachers. Improvements are being made in public schools, but slowly.
Tomorrow's Stars believes in learning through play and reading to/with children using both languages. Our new resource room (thanks to donors John and Nancy) is an example. Students from Kindergarten 1&2 and Grade 1 each spend one period in the room with play and learning activities DAILY. Christ Cares provides class teachers and Tomorrow's Stars provides a PIF assistant/RR coordinator. The children love it. Volunteers Sue and Toni are reading specialists and help train the teachers and PIFs.
Small group tables and class size of 6-12 and lots of exercises. Letter bingo, magnetic letters, plastic blocks and fruits for naming in both languages. And "rek-n-rek" (like abacus) for counting and add/subtract (photo in highlights) are among the exercises. PIF Rockson was a big part of outfitting the room with our donations. Esther, Joana, Philo and Sharon help the kids learn.
Games period Friday with Grade 1 teacher Agnes jumping rope.
Esther laughing at boy taking picture of me taking picture.
Class photos: Hajara and Joana with KG1. Christina and Esther with KG2.
Agnes and Sharon with Grade 1. Joycelyn and Philo with Nursery.
LIBRARIES AND GIRLS CLUBS
Tomorrow's Stars has libraries at three schools. Christ Cares, Bantuma and Abrem Essiam. PIF students manage them. They have many appropriate books as well as a few e-readers and tablets with apps. Students are welcome and it is a happy place to go. At Christ Cares we have library class on the schedule. Librarians also lead "clubs" for girls or reading. These have taken on various projects to enhance education as well as provide support for girls at junior high age.
Leticia at Christ Cares with Grade 1 library class. The girls' club painted the room.
Joana and Philo and Esther with CC Girls' Club sewing machine. The Club awards a one term TS scholarship to a deserving student. This term is Abigail. The last two were Precious and Cecelia who both responded by being #1 in their class.
PIF Richard manages the Bantuma reading club and library. The library is always busy and students feel welcome there. The club was fortunate to join an excursion to nearby Takoradi to see the port and naval base. They wrote their stories and sent them to their pen pal at volunteer Sue's school in SF.
We have a new girls' club in Abrem, led by Kate. There have been exchange visits with Christ Cares.
Their mission is to provide support, guidance and enable self-confidence for the junior high girls.
Abrem PIF librarians Isaac and Eric under the leadership of Star and "optometrist" Francis manage the library and provide mentoring and "backtrack" learning support for 5 9th graders. Backtrack helps students study together with guidance instead of listening to lectures. The BECE exam results will tell us how we did.
ICT (COMPUTER) LAB AND SCIENCE LAB
Tomorrow's Stars stocks and manages a Computer (ICT) lab and a Science Lab at Christ Cares school. The ICT lab has 10 laptops thanks to recent donations by Jason and Ethan and RJ. PIF Joseph is the teacher and leader, while PIF Otabil continues to provide equipment support. The lab has an internet router as well as a projector and white board for demonstrations. I think it is the best JHS computer lab in Elmina.
The science lab has a new PIF, Justice who is being trained by past leaders Chris and Eric who return to University (achieving honors in science) in Sept.
Justice preparing demo of distilling drinkable water from sea water, followed by a demonstration with the 9th graders. We have to gravity feed the condenser cooling water.
HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARS
Tomorrow's Stars provides scholarships to Edinaman HS for students from Christ Cares, Bantuma and Abrem who do well on their national 9th grade BECE exam.
Scholarships usually include room and board (~$600/yr) which helps the students focus on their studies. Edinaman has nearly 800 students in each of the three classes and our students are only about 6-8 per year. However we have had many Stars. Valedictorian two years in a row and going for three. Class prefects also. After graduation they return to their school to Pay it Forward. Stars in the making!!
Lawrenda: #1 in academics and a science student. Emmanuel is class prefect and a business student. He already pays it forward at Bantuma Library during breaks. At right, Angela who is #12 in first year.
Mary, Faustie and Helen with Otabil, at right with Elizabeth, Theo and Ben. They are day students and doing well with Otabil's help as math tutor after school. He uses the "backtrack" method to help them solve math questions together. Mary got A last term, Faustie B.
Joshua and Constance are finishing second year. Third year students have graduated and many are paying it forward, see above. At right, Otabil with the reference books that Tomorrow's Stars purchased for the Edinaman library for our students.
FUN THINGS WE GET TO DO.
Traveling to Elmina and having many friends provides opportunities that most "tourists" don't have. Here are some photos.
Our friend Godwin built the Royal Sail restaurant. George dined there with Christ Cares HM Otoo and PIF leader Joseph. Restaurants are unusual events for them and it gave us a relaxing setting to discuss the future. At right, our friend Kwesi Koomson met us (again George, Otoo and Joseph) to discuss the successes at the school he has built. He is from a small village an hour away, then 20 years in Philly area. Some of our students will go to summer classes there in August.
Trips to Abrem always include a visit with Nana, Francis' father and my good friend. We were going through old photos of Francis as a child. Francis is seventh of seven children and all have been well educated.
At Right, my friend Bright. He is a former scholarship student who did poorly in school but is handy, good at graphics and a hard worker. He now has a few small businesses and has just finished paying off his taxi and was happy to have the opportunity to give me a free ride home.
In Abrem, they make palm oil out of palm nuts the old fashioned way. Boiling and separating and squeezing the oil from the nuts. They look like giant bunches of grapes on the palm tree.
Our friend Osei who was computer man at Edinaman is now at Komenda teachers college. He is married now with two young girls. We walked to the beach and visited the Komenda cave. Komenda was used as a British military base and hideout for royalty and important folks during the German bombings in WWII.
Christ Cares has four "houses" for competitions and mentoring. The "red" house is named George house.
We celebrated some recent successes and had some Friday lunch, compliments of Tomorrow's Stars. Otoo is a former member of George house. George was lacking red clothes.
A good turnout for the tradional golf game. However, we were rained out with a storm after hole 2.
Right to left: Eric, Solo, Joseph, George, Emmanuel, Otoo, Otabil and Chris.