Blessing of new computers for our Computer Lab
Thanks to a generous donation from the Austrian Embassy we have been able to purchase 11 new desktop computers, each with Microsoft software installed, as well as a large TV Screen for teaching purposes. This is a significant upgrade to our computer lab, and greatly improves the quality of education we can offer our students. All computers are now up and running, with students getting hands-on experience.
In January, the music theory program being offered at AHLC was greatly enriched by a donation of two new keyboards! Through this donation and the availability of a music teacher, we have an ideal opportunity to provide a positive impact academically, as well as offer this extra-curricular activity which bolsters the self-worth of refugee children through this means of expression through music.
Sarah is a music teacher who began volunteering at AHLC in the fall. She says, “I am incredibly blessed to work here, where the students are eager to learn and incredibly smart! To be able to see music touch the lives of these students is a joy.” As to the choir she has been working with she adds, “they are incredibly talented, putting together pieces of music that they love, adding movement to it, and performing at a high level in front of a large audience! They have already performed twice for the public at celebrations, and will continue to do so this spring!”
Teaching and Learning Committee
There are a lot of things that go into making a school, but teaching and learning are at the center. And at the center of African Hope’s teaching and learning is its Teaching and Learning Committee compromising Dr. Molly, Lesley, Heather, Karen, Kizito and other volunteers. These educators come from Zimbabwe, UK, Netherlands, Argentina, USA, Australia and Uganda and have around 80 years of teaching experience. Together they oversee curriculum development, training and evaluation at African Hope.
Before school returned after Christmas Break, the T & L Committee planned and implemented training for our teachers in how to write yearly teaching plans. Teachers worked for 4 days to identify teaching and learning goals, how to break down the curriculum into topics and weekly units, identify resources for teaching and consider how to best evaluate if their students had met the original goals. Quite an accomplishment for our teachers but they were overwhelmingly appreciative of the new skills they learned and were excited to be able to put these plans into action when school returned.
We are also in the process of acquiring curriculum for Science and Social studies from Grades 1 through 6. Until now, we have had no set curriculum for these subjects so teachers have had to draw from the internet and from their own knowledge of these subjects. This often resulted in gaps or overlaps from grade level to grade level. Anyone interested in helping us cover costs involved in buying these materials can contact African Hope; we would be delighted to hear from you.
Other major challenges and accomplishments that committee members have undertaken this year include:-
Fundraising Event now underway. Save the date and spread the word if you're in Cairo.
- Organizing the Guided Reading resources donated by Cairo American College
- Organizing the Guided Reading program for Kindergarten to Grade 3 one lesson a week.
- Providing additional learning support to highly-at-risk learners
- Providing ongoing teacher evaluation and feedback
- Developing a Strategic Plan for the Teaching and Learning arm of African Hope
- Providing Professional Development Seminars and one-on-one assistance for staff
- Overseeing the development of yearly plans for each subject, at each grade level
- Developing classroom resources for teachers
- Attending the Cairo International Book Fair (the oldest one in the world) to find resources.