Now we jump on a plane in New Zealand and end up in Ramsgate in England! Here we are greeted by teacher Debbie Nelson and her class who have also been studying Madagascar. I have the pleasure of going to meet the students, show them some pictures and videos of Madagascar and answering there many prepared questions. These students each raised money over their Christmas holidays, doing little chores at home, to help the children of Madagascar.Here is a picture of their classroom that was turned into a veritable jungle!
Debbie decided, after hearing that many children in Madagascar don't have underwear, (as it can't be bought 2nd hand), to collect underwear (knickers) at her school through a drive and send them to the students in Madagascar! Knicker Girl and Knicker Boy were stars at a school assembly, and then Debbie and her class began the job of weekly visits to the classes and drop off bins to collect the donations.
And boy, did they raise underwear!! 1,245 pairs! All of our students got new underwear!
Thank you Debbie Nelson and the whole Dame Janet Primary Academy Upper School!
Over the past couple of years I've had the chance to communicate with schools all over the world, thanks to this webpage and our Facebook Page.
Conscientious teachers who want their children to really understand Madagascar have helped their children to learn about life here, and then have raised money to actually act out of the compassion they feel and do something tangible.
Most recently the students of the Hurupaki School, in Whangarei, New Zealand have studied Madagascar, made a movie, and have agreed to sponsor two more children through Toonie Twinning! Their teacher, Carol Tyson, had already sponsored Safidy, last year with her class. Safidy left our school because we helped his village to have a school of their own, and now he doesn't have to walk 1.5 hours to our school. He is able to still write letters to Carol and her class from his new school! I will try to post the video, and below are some pictures of the class and the work they've done.
Here is last year's class, below, and the work they did in learning about Madagascar. You can see the lucky student, Safidy, who received a letter from each child!
This is Carol's last year's class who did all these projects you see.
Hats off to Carol Tyson and her marvellous students from this year and last!
So, I'm just getting ready to head to the airport and take off for Madagascar for another almost three months. I'm very excited and feel ready for another chance to work with the students and staff at our growing school. One is never quite sure what the opportunities and challenges will be presented, but it's always exciting and enriching.
We are pleased to welcome three volunteers this time over, two Waldorf teacher/trainers, one Canadian, one European, and a young woman from Pickering, Ontario to teach English to our students. We will also welcome Jo Saunders and her daughter who will come and plant an orchard for us.
The Waldorf teachers will be training our teachers with this holistic approach, sharing their experience and skills with our whole staff, and Ashleigh will be working with teachers and students in helping them become more at ease in English.
My goals for this trip are to:
- bring a variety of authentic assessment methods to teachers
- continue to work on developing story-telling practices in classes
- bring leadership tools to build an accountable local committee
- work with staff to plan and carry out our first festival to celebrate our 6th anniversary at Tenaquip School
- oversee the building of a chicken barn for layers
- oversee the building of a second water reservoir, the digging of the source and the installation of a new solar water heater
- Toonie Twinning pictures, letters and class lists
- oversee the building a clay bread oven (Waldorf mentor's work).
- continue the expansion of gardens
- witness the growth of rice in our own rice fields
My trip will end with a visit to a wonderful group of supporters in Kent, England who are doing a Toonie Twinning version called "Quids for Kids".
It never ceases to amaze me how helpful people are in giving in all ways to this project. I have had the opportunity to learn from so many Canadians as they share their knowledge and experience. I've had help with how to start a co-operative, how to find importation and certification contacts, research into Madagascar's roots, how to develop a team and a community, as well as help in staying in tune with the United Nations goals for development.It is amazing how helpful and gracious people are in their willingness to help.
I will try to write more often than in the past. Stay Tuned.