|You can read a lot about a person by with what they choose to decorate their walls. Photos of family members might suggest close ties, wooden carvings might point to the likelihood of a world traveler residing there. Similarly, you can read a lot of a school's values by what the director and teachers choose to put on the walls-- student art, a mission statement, inspirational quotes, bible verses, etc. In the Dominican Republic, the Ministry of Education requires schools to have an exterior wall or fence enclose school campuses. Edify has partnered with several schools to provide access to capital to finish such walls which also help to create an environment of security and peace where students can learn apart from busy thoroughfares and commerce. In AMO --a holistic method of teaching built upon biblical foundations-- teachers learn that a Christian education can be a wall itself. Earlier in August, I sat with a table of school teachers as we discussed… Read more »|
Inside School Walls
|Earlier this month I visited La Fontaine Elementary School. My purpose in being there was to follow-up with the school’s leadership team enrolled in Edify’s SALT (School Applied Leadership Training) program. I wanted to learn more about how implementation of their action plans (and the content they learned) was going and ask how we might be able to better support them as they get ready to start a new term. I often try to time my school visits with recess so I have a chance to connect with the students for a few minutes before meeting with the school leadership or spending time in classrooms. As a former classroom teacher, I miss being with kids on a daily basis and I love this informal time. Fortunately, I arrived at La Fontaine and was greeted by a schoolyard packed with children at play. Recess was in full swing. A few girls in P6 rushed over and gave me big hugs. They asked… Read more »|
AMO Training in La Romana
|Two years ago we had our first AMO training with Esperanza in La Romana. This July we were able to host our second AMO training in La Romana and were thrilled with the outcome. With more than 65 participants from partner schools we witnessed the enthusiasm of participants once again as they engaged in the weeklong training (to learn more about the AMO program read more HERE.) Despite the gap between trainings, schools have been actively engaged in getting AMO up and running and have remained dedicated to the follow up services we offer. Measuring the impact of the AMO program in the lives of students, teachers, schools and communities is a multifaceted process, but one great indicator is the ownership we’ve seen the directors and teachers assume. One director in is even considering working on our team as a follow-up representative in the Eastern region of the country. She… Read more »|
Prayer Requests from the Dominican Republic
|1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. APRENDI's day retreat for teachers- On August 22nd APRENDI will be hosting a daylong event for teachers in Santo Domingo. It will be a chance for teachers to attend new trainings, share ideas and resources, and relax before the start of the new school year. We pray that the trainings would impact participants in a powerful way. We also pray that this would be a day in which teachers feel valued and encouraged in the work they are doing so that they start the year off strong. Esperanza business training- As we continue the business training series in the eastern region of the country, and begin trainings in the north, we specifically ask for… Read more »|
Is Your Student A Christian?
|I was so encouraged and challenged when I read this post on the Gospel Coalition blog from Brian Croft, entitled, "Is Your Child a Christian?" I highly recommend reading the entire post. In summary Pastor Croft states,"Admitting the obvious—that we are not God and cannot see the heart—I maintain certain evidence can help us discern the legitimacy of a child or teenager's profession of faith" and he offers the following five evidences for consideration: 1. Growing affection and need for Jesus and the gospel. 2. Heightened understanding of the truths of Scripture. 3. Increased kindness and selflessness toward siblings. 4. Greater awareness of and distaste for sin. 5. Noticeable desire to obey parents. What might this tell us about how to support Christian schools in the developing world as they faithfully encourage and instruct children as they grow in faith? Let me offer two ideas on this application to Edify's mission to expand and improve Christ-centered education in the developing world: Schools should see their mission to faithfully carry-out Gospel… Read more »|
|"Grandma, why do you always talk to yourself in the kitchen?" "I'm planning out solutions to my problems; I'm thinking about our future." "Grandma, when I get older, I want you to teach me how to think like you. I want you to teach me how to think of those plans that make things come out looking right." Sophia was raised by two forces, she says: a strong will and heavy consequences. Fathered by a man who disowned her and her other illegitimate siblings, she was expected to cook for the family at age seven. By the time she married the first time, she was the owner of three rental properties and had taught herself English to make herself a more marketable housekeeper. Sophia always plans. She plans meals with expert economy. She only executes house repairs after comparing prices. She is a businesswoman, a coveted employee, and the matriarch of her extended family. Sophia never finished 8th grade. Sophia is teaching her two grandsons… Read more »|
July 2013- Cornerstone Leadership Academy
|I'd like to take a little bit of time this month to share with you a program we launched in April in partnership with the Cornerstone Leadership Academy. Although it lacks a very official title, on the ground we refer to it as the CLA Student-Mentor Program. We have engaged four gap-year interns; Godfrey, Lawson, Hellen and Edith who are split into two co-ed teams. These interns are exceptional Cornerstone Leadership Academy Rwanda graduates who were selected based on strong recommendations from the CLA headmaster. The teams have been assigned to and are working in two partner schools; Solidarity and ETAK. The interns are working in these schools daily and are spending time with all grade levels. Their primary role is to deliver the CLA Christian leadership curriculum. The content of this curriculum focuses on universal principles such as integrity, compassion, honesty, kindness, hard work, humility, and serving others as exemplified in the teachings of Jesus. While the program at CLA is… Read more »|
Play with me?
|I bet we all can remember a formative child playmate: a neighbor, a cousin, a sibling, a best friend. These early relationships are where we explore our self-identity, often from where we draw our self-worth and the context within which we adventure more and more into the world. During school hours, students relate with each other in a multiplicity of ways: as classmates, as co-learners, as competitors and as playmates. In the recent years, we've become more collectively sensitized to how bullying can affect a persons' entire life and be the impetus for a life of insecurity and pain. We've also began to make greater strides toward intervening in what was in earlier decades considered "childish fun" or "harmless teasing". I can put myself back on that playground and remember when the girls didn't want to let me swing with them because I ate lunch with Tori and they didn't talk to… Read more »|
The Greatest Threat To Private Schools In The Dominican Republic
|If you ask a school proprietor in the Dominican Republic what is the greatest challenge they face as a school owner/director there is a good chance they'll tell you, "Parents that are late or never end up paying their school fees." When schools don't get money on time it makes it tough to pay the bills, the mortgage and most importantly teachers. In a recent survey Edify did, the majority of schools said that they never even end up collecting 15-20% of the students tuition revenues. When a school is charging a mere $10-20 dollars per month the loss of those much needed dollars can be hugely detrimental to their operations or even cause them to have to close their doors. Furthermore, the amount of time and energy that school directors spend trying to collect late fees pulls them away from their primary role of building a functioning, sound… Read more »|
Edify’s Mid Year Report
For Edify, the start of summer signals a ramping up of activity. As school lets out in Africa and the Dominican Republic, it is time to build! June and July are our busiest months for loan activity to fund expansion and physical improvement of the schools. Training ramps up as well since the proprietors and teachers are out of school. Edify builds into the lives of these wonderful teachers and proprietors both spiritually and professionally by helping them to become better at their craft.
I would like to encourage you to look at Edify's Mid-Year Report to see what God has done so far this fiscal year. In the report, please don't miss the link to the short video about Teresa's school. She is a wonderful woman that is making quite an impact on her community. Over the last few years she has become my friend. I'd also like to ask you to pray for Edify as we Build On!