Eight teachers were given a wonderful opportunity to focus on methodology and strategic approaches for teaching young children reading and writing skills prior to entry to first grade. Our three Mana Gammachuu kindergarten teachers plus five missionaries spent five activity-packed days at the Teacher’s College in Assella.
The eight men enjoyed kindergarten like never experienced before. They cut, colored, pasted, played games and enjoyed other tactile experiences that will now be translated to the classrooms of our kindergarten and the literacy programs in church plants where there is no government school available.
Traditionally, school in Ethiopia is rote learning with children facing a blackboard reciting and copying. This new method of hands-on experiential teaching may seem SOP for us here in the U.S., but it is revolutionary for Ethiopian early childhood educators.
The goal: learning to read!
Kindergarten education — In a rural M*slim village, NewLife offers pre-school, pre-K and kindergarten to 60 of the poorest children ages 4-7. Through support from individual sponsors, children are given an important educational foundation free of charge. They are provided a uniform, school supplies, a daily vitamin and nutritious lunch along with a chapel time twice a week where bible stories highlight positive character development. The missionaries working in this village visit the students’ families, many of them single mothers, getting to know their struggles and lending a sympathetic ear. They end their visits with prayer to Messiah Jesus.
Literacy programs — Many M*slim villages where we have started churches do not have any school for their children. The missionaries have initiated literacy programs in their newly erected churches – all are welcome at no charge. These amazing missionaries teach 50-90 wiggly children several times a week, culminating each lesson with a riveting bible story. NewLife provides a blackboard, alphabet posters, pencils and exercise books. You can help us supply these much-needed resources here. Early readers are being developed in tribal languages that, once published, will be purchased to promote reading fluency.