Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Volunteering at Red Rose

Hi! My name is Clare. I am an American student from St. Lawrence University volunteering at Red Rose. I teach Class 2 with Ms. Rose, a compassionate young teacher who really cares about the students. She and the rest of the staff put so much effort into educating and supporting the kids. I’ve been here for four weeks and every day has been wonderful!Most mornings we begin by playing a few games of Tic Tac Toe, Go Fish, or Hangman--in English and Swahili--to get the kids ready to learn. Then we progress to some lessons in English, Math, or Social Studies. The kids especially like going up to the blackboard to answer individual problems. They're been great about teaching me new Swahili every day, and their enthusiasm has created great opportunities for us to talk about different cultures.Later in the morning we have uji--Kenyan porridge--and I usually read a couple of stories. The kids love Curious George and Dr. Seuss! I've been teaching a lot of art lately, because the children really enjoy expressing themselves through drawing and painting. Yesterday we painted watercolor pictures... and the children ended up painting each other! After art we usually go outside for some free time and play kickball, football, marbles, and jump rope. It's always hectic!

After lunch we have computer time. The kids love spending time in the computer lab; we've been playing games and practicing typing almost every day. I brought a "Mr. Bean" dvd in last week as a treat and it was a huge success! The kids also like dressing up and playing with my camera... one day I painted their faces and they put stickers everywhere and pretended to be Masai warriors. Afterwards, we had fun looking at the pictures in the computer lab.It's been such a pleasure to teach at Red Rose. I've been lucky to work with the staff and get to know such bright and enthusiastic kids... I will miss them all so much when I leave Kenya in December-- I can't wait to come back next year! Asante sana, marafiki!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Celebration Party at Red Rose

Today we had a very wonderful day in which we celebrated the first ever Christmas party at the Red Rose School. All the children who were able to attend this celebration that took place after a two-week summer vacation learning enrichment camp at the school had a lot of fun (yes, December is the summer time in Kenya). We did this party for the kids because to some of them this could be the only chance they have to enjoy themselves this December holiday season, with people paying great attention to make them feel special.

We had a lot of activities including singing, dancing, and games. Our kindergarten and grade one students performed a nativity play for the whole school. Food was in plenty, including candy, juice, beef pilau, kachumbari, and chapati. Megan McDonald, (our new Red Rose Ambassador currently at the University of Nairobi as a Rotary Club Fellow) was our Santa Claus for the day, giving the kids the presents that she and her friends came over with.

The wonderful day of celebration came to an end late in the afternoon, but the kids still did not want to go home. What a day we all had!! Asante sana to the Children of Kibera Foundation for the ideas and funding support that made possible the wonderful two-week learning enrichment camp and this special day for the kids here at Red Rose. More than 70 children participated in the camp.
Click on the pictures to the right to view the three different photo albums from the Christmas Party and the Learning Enrichment Camp.