TOMORROW'S STARS NEWS
VOLUNTEERS COME TO ELMINA
For more pictures, see: Pbase Tomorrow's Stars Photos
Toni Saul (retired reading specialist) and Aaron Biel of Spokane WA both came to Elmina in March to help make education possible. Toni worked with the KG teachers improving the play centers and helping with learning tools. Aaron brought three laptops and he and Otabil turned the ICT (computer) lab at Christ Cares into a big success. See stories below
George with Stars Solomon and Rudolph. Solo will graduate from UCC in May and hopes to do his national service as a teacher at Edinaman HS. Rudolph graduated from KNUST in herbal medicine and is doing national service at a hospital near in Eastern Region. Both continue to make education possible.
TOMORROW'S STARS COMPUTER (ICT) LAB
Students are really excited and we will see great usage and success.
PIF student Otabil is teacher and technician for the Tomorrow's Stars ICT lab. He and Aaron have made great improvements to the lab.
In two weeks, we went from two working laptops and an inkless printer to 8 working laptops (7 have good batteries and internet capability). All for less than $300. Thanks to Rick Biel and Larry Midla for laptops. The batteries are a big deal because local power is often "lights out". Their efforts included new louvers for windows, a ceiling fan, redone wiring and ink for the printer to print school exams.
The internet router donated by Fred Graham is in use during classes and we have a modem that is also used for single computer browsing.
Aaron and ICT teacher Esther with students.
Esther is pregnant and will be off next term and Otabil will take over.
We have MS Office software as well as a typing program and software for National BECE exam practice questions.
New louvers on left to help keep out humid sea air, new ceiling fan on right.
PLAY CENTERED KINDERGARTEN
As we try to implement a play centered learning in both KG1 and KG2 to get away from traditional rote learning, we have many toys and centers where children can play, the rooms are much more inviting to the children now. Toni Saul spent most of her time helping teachers make better use of the materials for reading and math.
Students really enjoyed the puzzles and a tricky boy hid one of the pieces, but pulled it out with a grin at the end. Toni also showed how to use lego type blocks for math and counting as well as colors and building things.
Construction center on the left. In the background you can see chairs and other centers with books, kitchen things, etc. At right, Toni and teacher Christina holding class on the veranda, KG2 room was downwind of some burning and got smoked out.
KG1 kids posing for camera. Toni and teachers (Christina, Hajara and Joana) on Saturday talking about new learning materials Toni brought.
Toni with Grade 1 teacher Osborn. At right, KG1 teachers Hajara and Joana.
We are working on centers for Osborn, he says he needs them by September, or the new kids from KG2 are going to want to go back to KG.
E-READERS AT THREE LIBRARIES
We have added 5 e-readers to bring our total to 7. Each has over 100 stories many are African stories. They also have the stories the Bantuma reading club and Christ Cares girls' club wrote last summer with ISABT, see previous news pages. The students LOVE the e-readers especially seeing their own name and photo in "about the author".
We had a reading contest between the three libraries and the Christ Cares girls club won, so they got the third e-reader. We got the best readers together for prizes and to help tell our story for the Worldreader blog.
Stars from Bantuma reading club on left, Christ Cares girls' club on right.
Photos from Abrem Essiam library are in their section below.
E-readers being used at Bantuma library.
Every time I walk in, I see students reading them.
Worldreader is having a two day users conference in Accra in April. All of our librarians are going, Richard from Bantuma, Leticia from Christ Cares and Isaac from Abrem Essiam. I am sure they will be talking about how great it is to read THEIR OWN STORIES on the e-readers.
EDINAMAN HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIPS
We now have 20 scholarships at Edinaman, nearly all boarding. Over the years, it is nearly 100. In Feb at their 37th anniversary, Tomorrow's Stars was awarded a citation/plaque to recognize our support. Solomon and Osei represented us and many of our past and present students stood to show our impact.
Solo and George showing plaque. View south from Edinaman, of Coconut Grove hotel and golf course and the Bay of Benin.
Joseph and Isaac on left. Joshua, Veronica and Lawrenda on right.
Edinaman now has over 2000 students, about 700 per year (3 years). Joseph is third in his class (senior) and was also class prefect. Isaac is second in his class (junior). Lawrenda is 8th in her class.
Esther on left and Justice and Daniel on right.
Esther and Joseph will pay it forward at Christ Cares when they graduate in June.
George at first startup of projector, Cynthia teaching science.
We are fortunate to have Enkei America as a friend, they have again donated a projector (as well as spare lamps) to the Edinaman computer labs. We have repaired an old one and now have projectors in both rooms making the teachers more effective. Cynthia, the ICT teacher and manager, is very thankful, as are the students.
CHRIST CARES INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
We have 8 students preparing for the grade 9 BECE exam in June. We hope they all earn scholarships. HM Maxwell and our PIF students help them prepare using student centered "backtrack" tutoring.
PIF student Chris is working on a handwashing program, we have two "Veronica" tanks with taps and use water from the water tank. He is trying to improve habits and make it a routine.
Mary Ann Barnett donated a microscope and Elva Burlingham a kit with slides and other science experiments. Science teacher and PIF student Eric is in charge of the science lab.
Aaron practicing volleyball for the local school games, Christ Cares performed well. Girls' club knitting items for Sue to sell at a fundraiser. Leticia continues to lead and mentor the girls.
Pay it forward students in ICT lab, Rudolph with primary kids, they are always glad when he comes back to Christ Cares.
Richard (top right) is doing a great job in the Bantuma Library. We how have a laptop with a modem for internet for students to use as well as two e-readers. He also leads the reading club and provides extended hours in the library for interested students.
Toni Saul greeting the reading club.
ICT teacher Bismark teaching internet with router donated by TS supporter Fred.
ABREM ESSIAM SCHOOL
Toni interviewing best e-readers at Abrem, group photo of best readers and staff.
Rudolph and Francis addressing best Grade 9 students to introduce backtrack method to be used for BECE prep. Librarian Isaac who will be attending Worldreader conference.
FUN THINGS WE GET TO DO
Elmina Castle was built by the Portuguese in 1482 and is a World Heritage site. It was later used as a slave holding fortress by the Dutch. The tour was a reminder of a sad part of history.
Views of Elmina fishing village show the piroque boats still used. The yellow bridge is being replaced and is closed for vehicular traffic. This is a major disruption for the town, we hope it will be done before the Dec 2016 election.
The Coconut Grove was the scene of some spirited ping pong matches with George, Otabil, Eric and Aaron. Otabil was overall winner but all matches were close.
As usual, we had a golf game at the Coconut Grove course, Aaron was the champ beating course pro Daniel. Note the horses roaming the course.
Also on the golf course are cashew trees. Interesting that the fruit is the "cashew apple" with the nut being at the bottom of the hanging fruit. The "apple" has the texture of a tomato, but tastes somewhat like a tart apple.
Hotel crocodile pond on left has 11 crocs mostly about 6-8 ft long.
Rudolph with Dr. Nduom, a great entrepreneur, presidential candidate and son of Elmina. He owns hotel and built a local mfg plant and is now starting a local university. He took time to learn about Tomorrow's Stars and counsel Rudolph about beginning a local clinic.
Mr. Kofi (John) Annan. "The Chairman"
Elder of the village and friend of Tomorrow's Stars.
Mr. Annan was a true friend, mentor and wise counsel for many years.
George says "I always felt better after talking to the chairman".
He passed away shortly before our arrival. He will be missed.
Rest in Peace Chairman.