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Stars Are Shining

Stars Shining

I wanted to share with you one way your donations directly impact the children here in Uganda. As the education coordinator it is very difficult to teach all of our registered students as well as the countless “non”-registered students when I don’t have a guide for teaching them. I have tried on several occasions to get information from the school that we utilize space from. I am told that each teacher uses their own syllabus and they don’t have a set curriculum that they follow.

I have then asked if I could get a rough idea of what the topics being covered might be and when the exams will be happening. Again no straight answer, so I reach out to the kids and again nothing. The kids are not great at taking notes, they are not great at asking questions from adult authority figures. So what happens is I teach everything I can from the 4 basic subjects English, Math, Science, and Social Studies.

Might I remind you I am not a certified teacher, but soon will be taking classes online J to become one? I have the obstacle of teaching to kids who don’t understand fluent English, so I use a translator when I can. I am pleased to say that all the hard work is starting to pay off.

We restarted an incentive program for participation in the learning aspect of our ministry.  It launched during the holiday break between 2nd and 3rd school terms and continues through until the end of the school year. The kids earn stars for participation, retention of knowledge, and improved test scores. During the holiday we “taught creatively” and had specific classes ranging in cooking, science experiments, writing short stories, and a spelling competition to name a few.

During the school term each day after school I have a program planned on a subject and give assignments where those who perform at their capacity earn stars. Those stars translate into tangible gifts for use in school; pencils, pens, notebooks, rulers, math sets, a gift and finally a field trip. We have lined up for the next holiday break to take three trips and the kids who earn the stars get to choose what trip they take. The choice vary from a rafting trip on the Nile to a seeing a movie at the movie theater and having lunch with us, to attending a Uganda national team soccer match. The trips are suggestions that the staff and the kids said they were interested in taking.

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We are also working on goal setting with the kids; a very new concept. We have the kids set goals academically for themselves and then set realistic rewards for them too. It is on an individual basis and when we set those goals it also allows for us to talk one on one with them spiritually also. It lets us find out how life is going at home, and lets us understand better where these kids are struggling. We then can visit homes more intentionally for the kids that really need that extra loving and encouragement and also encourage the family.

The kids have about a month before the end of the term, but today we are for the second time handing out what they have been able to earn so far. We hope this is the right encouragement they need to finish the school year out strong and be proud of all they have accomplished.

Your donations make this possible, to instill some hope that they can achieve the goals set before them. It helps me to locate material and print resources. It allows us to purchase school supplies that families can’t afford, but makes it so they are not getting a hand out but a help up because they earned it. It allows us to show them that we care about their success, not just in sports but in education and a relationship with Christ. We get to show them Christ through generosity, kindness, discipline and love. It allows us to provide for books and resources to help them read, learn and grow.

Thank you, for putting the smiles on their face, but most importantly for helping them see Jesus.