Matènwa Community Learning Center Rotating Header Image

2 New Job Opportunities – May 25, 2016

Friends of Matènwa, Inc.
Development Coordinator

Position Description

Friends of Matènwa (FoM) seeks a 4 day/week Development Coordinator for our Cambridge, MA office. We seek a dynamic people-oriented person with strong administrative, planning and communication skills. This individual will:

• Work with the FoM Executive Director and FoM volunteers primarily in the Cambridge, MA area to educate and to encourage the support of present FoM donors and potential new supporters in the work of the Matènwa Community Learning Center (MCLC).
• Develop an annual communication and fund raising plan (the Development Plan) in collaboration with the Executive Director and a volunteer–staffed Development Committee.
• Prepare materials for website, newsletter, press release and e-mail communications consistent with the Development Plan.
• Oversee the implementation of the Development Plan, ensuring all tasks are completed in a timely manner. This includes: working with the Executive Director (and sometimes Board President) to insure all tasks are scheduled and implemented; keeping track of expected donations based on donor visits and outreach; projecting achievement of fundraising goals (working closely with FOM’s volunteer finance officer).
• Plan and participate in FoM development-related events.
• Perform other duties, including support in preparation of grant proposals, as assigned.

Qualifications

• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
• Ability to write expressively and effectively in English
• Proficiency in use of social medial tools
• Proficiency in use of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
• Ability to budget Development Plan costs and adhere to budget in its implementation
• Ability to maintain accuracy in data recording and reporting
• Ability to organize and prioritize work
• Ability to work both collaboratively and independently
• Ability to take responsibility for a project and get it done well
• Excellent interpersonal skills
• Knowledge of Haitian culture and Creole language a plus
• Commitment to social justice and human rights
• Bachelors degree required
• 1-3 years of related work experience, preferably in a not-for-profit organization, is a plus

This position will pay approximately $32,000 for a four-day week, depending on experience. Some flexibility in schedule is acceptable. Position to be filled by September 1st, 2016, or earlier.

To apply, please submit a resume with a cover letter describing how your skills, experience and interests make you a strong candidate for this position. E-mail these to Christine Low at Matenwa1@gmail.com, with “Development Coordinator” in the subject line.

For more information on FoM and MCLC, please go to www.matenwaclc.org and search for Matenwa on Youtube.

FoM is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

Program Coordinator

Position Description

Friends of Matènwa (FoM) seeks a 4 day/week (with possibility for full-time) Creole-speaking Program Coordinator for our Cambridge, MA office. We seek a dynamic people-person with strong administrative, budgeting, project analysis and communications skills. This individual will:

• Work with the FoM Executive Director and the Matènwa Community Learning Center (MCLC) team in Haiti to gather and write-up information on our work.
• Participate in budget planning, development, and monitoring (tracking, reviewing and reporting program expenditures, assure timely budget spending).
• Create and maintain project schedules; monitor and evaluate progress; coordinate grant reporting.
• Oversee and ensure timely submission of grant reports and other required materials.
• Provide information for internal purposes such as grant proposals.
• Coordinate activities and participate in the translation and production of publications such as the Mother Tongue Books.
• Organize and maintain project’s records and filing system.
• Coordinate project logistics such as meetings, travel arrangements and procurement of supplies and services.
• Participate in other aspects of our work, including fund raising events, community outreach and various administrative operations, as needed.
• Travel to MCLC on La Gonâve once or twice annually to meet with MCLC administration to go over all grant requirements and deliverables.
• Work with volunteers, as assigned.

Qualifications

• Bachelors degree, required
• Minimum 2 years previous administrative work experience
• Ability to read, write and speak Haitian Creole fluently, required
• Ability to write and proofread effectively in English, required
• Ability to read, write and speak French a plus
• Ability to multitask
• Ability to work both collaboratively and independently
• Ability to take responsibility for a project and get it done well
• Commitment to social justice and human rights
• Strong knowledge of Haitian culture
• Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
• Strong analytic skills, including facile use of Excel for project budgeting and analysis
• Proficiency in use of Word and social media tools
• Availability to travel to Haiti
• Availability for occasional evening activities such as attending fund raising events.

This position will pay approximately $35,000 for a four-day week, depending on experience. Some flexibility in schedule is acceptable. Note: we will consider redesigning the role for a candidate with significant experience above and beyond the requirements listed here. Position to be filled by September 1st, 2016, or earlier.

To apply, please submit a resume with a cover letter describing how your skills, experience and interests make you a strong candidate for this position. E-mail these to Christine Low at matenwa1@gmail.com, with “Program Coordinator” in the subject line.

For more information on FoM and MCLC, please go to www.matenwaclc.org and search for Matenwa on Youtube.

FoM is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Employer.

May 2016 Update

Dear friends of Matènwa,

1Integrated learning is thriving at MCLC! Using agricultural activities to teach subjects such as math, science, language and art has become an integral part of the learning process. In a recent lesson on seedling development following transplantation, the third graders practiced a range of skills, from counting the number of new leaves on each plant, to writing, illustrating, and discussing their observations. To help stimulate new root growth, they add organic fertilizer to the soil around each young plant. In the secondary school, the 8th graders studied some of the similarities and differences between the school’s indigenous and laying hens. 2

Education through conversation
3Learning through dialogues in an environment of mutual respect is very important to MCLC. This is reflected in its commitment to the Reflection Circles and Open Space programs. In their latest Reflection Circle, the fourth graders talked about what makes a good or bad judge. Some said that a good judge is someone who is impartial. A bad judge, to many, is someone who “sells justice” by taking bribes. In mid-April, we had an Open Space session with parents as well as the 10th and 11th graders on the following theme: Does it make sense for men to work on women’s rights issues? Some participants argued that men who are violating women’s rights in their private life should not be allowed to work on women’s issues and that politicians may highlight the issue during their campaigns but do not focus on it once they are in office.4

Visits from Kellogg Foundation and Beyond Borders
5Because of educational principles and programs such as those mentioned above, visitors from different parts of Haiti and beyond come to Matènwa to observe. April 17th – 19th, we received three people from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and 12 of their other collaborators in education, as well as three Sisters of Notre Dame led by Beyond Borders. Following his visit, Alix Cantave of Kellogg wrote: “It was an amazing learning experience which will inform our efforts to improve access to quality education in the communities where we are working in Haiti.” Thank you, dear friends of Matènwa, for your role in making us into a school that others can learn from.

Vana Edmond, MCLC Direction Committee and Chris Low, Executive Director FOM

Update from Meg/Profile of Abner

DSCN3654DSCN3659Starting this week, older elementary students have been reading with younger ones at LKM once a week in our new Reading Buddies program. DSCN3658This program is a natural fit for Lagonav, where older and younger children often gravitate toward each other in play and learning. For Reading Buddies, students in higher grades are matched with students in lower ones: third grade reads with preschool, fourth grade with kindergarten, fifth grade with first grade, and sixth grade with second grade. Students sit with their partners and read the books they have picked out during weekly library visits.DSCN3657

DSCN3663On Wednesday, I visited the first-grade classroom to see how things were going. Fifth grade had brought their library books and come to read with their partners.

I saw a classroom full of focused, interested pairs of students. It seemed that with someone else to share a book with, students looked more deeply into the book they were reading. Many were new books that our library staff bought in Port-au-Prince over Easter vacation, and students were enthusiastic about them. In some pairs, I saw the older student reading to the younger student; in others, the first-grader was reading, encouraged by the fifth-grader. Here are some pictures so you can see what I saw.

We are continuing with profiles of the school staff. This week’s profile is of Abner Sauveur, co-founder of LKM and Pedagogy Director for LKM’s Institute of Learning.AbnerSauveur

Abner grew up in Matènwa and went to school through 9th grade. After 9th grade, his increasing responsibilities as a community literacy teacher and provider for his family meant that he could not continue. In 1996, Abner and Chris Low founded LKM. Abner says that they wanted “to create a school that worked with a different method.” Some of their goals were for children “to learn in their mother tongue, to learn to read and write well, to learn without physical punishment, so that they can be comfortable in school. For the school to put agriculture together with education, for the students to learn with concrete materials and to get enough to eat in school.” Another goal was “for others to come see the work we’re doing, and spread our message.” All of these goals have now been realized, both in LKM and in our network of 35 partner schools on Lagonav.

Abner’s favorite parts of his current responsibilities are training teachers in pedagogy, visiting partner schools, and working in school gardens. He says that his greatest pride is the influence LKM now has over many other schools on Lagonav. “The message is clear: for children not to be beaten. Many children on Lagonav are not beaten anymore, and that makes me proud. Another thing that makes me proud is the teachers at LKM. They feel it’s a necessity for them to work for change; their work isn’t just a job.”

Finally, Abner says, his vision for the future is for the school’s influence to grow even more, and for every school on Lagonav to someday become like LKM.

Update for April 2016

Dear friends of Matènwa,

1MCLC is continually seeking new ways to improve its programs and make learning more fun and collaborative. In this spirit, we are using paired reading to help increase fluency among students and promote peer collaboration. 2 Students of different reading abilities, from different grade levels, are paired together to read aloud to each other. The third graders are reading aloud to their new kindergarten reading partners in these pictures (above).

Learning Through Play

3Students now have the option of playing fun educational games in the computer room during recess time. Because of the high demand there is a rotating schedule. There are several computer math and puzzle games currently available to the younger students. One of our current interns, Maureen Plaisimond, has also identified some computer games and applications that can be useful in the language classes. We are looking forward to exploring how they can be more fully integrated into the curriculum. If you know of any great educational computer game or application, especially in Creole, we would love to hear from you.

Learning Through Creation and Reflection
4MCLC welcomes anew art teacher, Alan Caristin. Mr. Caristin will be teaching weaving classes to students from third grade and up, showing them how to make different types of woven chairs and other products. Here he is already at work with the fifth graders (on the left), leading a class on how to prepare the wood that will be used for a chair’s frame. MCLC students love their art classes because they provide an opportunity to develop new skills and create functional products. Another popular program among the fifth and sixth graders is Reflection Circles. In this program, students meet once a week to discuss a text that usually has a moral dilemma. They first read the story together, then break into small groups to read the text, then they come together in one large group to further share their questions and insights. During their last meeting, the fifth graders had a very lively discussion about the story they read, “A Thief Who Became Wise.” Through such discussions, students increasingly sharpen their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 5

Samila Edmond, MCLC Direction Committee and Chris Low, Executive Director FOM

March 2016 Update

March 2016

Dear friends of Matènwa,

1Students are always excited to work in the garden and go to the library. Here are the third graders (pictured left) creating a new vegetable garden. Together with the garden technician, they discuss the shape and dimensions of the garden. Next, they go over some of tools they need such as rakes, strings, hoes, picks, shovels and a measuring tape. They then gather some of the tools and go to work. For their next class, they will be putting homemade organic fertilizer into the garden.

2In the library, the kindergarteners have a great time reading with librarian and director Delson Engerville. They enjoy choosing books to take back to class each week.

Training Updates

3There were several trainings for and by MCLC teachers. After a follow-up evaluation of the primary school teachers, Chris Low facilitated several refresher workshops on the use of concrete materials for different courses. Teachers got to practice how they can make math lessons more concrete by using students themselves, for example, to represent denominators and numerators.
Two professors from the MIT-Haiti Initiative came from Port Au Prince to give Matènwa a day training on some MIT physics and math computer applications that have been translated into Creole. Secondary teachers are eager to learn more about these programs so that they can integrate the ones pertinent to the 12 grade curriculum.

4From February 23rd to the 26th, COSPES (a consortium of private sector school organizations in Haiti) brought 8 teachers from the mainland of Port-au-Prince to Matènwa for training. The first day of the visit a couple teachers had reservations of having the language of instruction be solely in Creole. However, upon observing the MCLC classrooms and seeing how students were learning and interacting, the COSPES teachers quickly saw the benefits of mother tongue education. They loved all the music and gardening. COSPES director Caroline Hudicourt said she is eager to bring more teachers from the mainland each year.

Samila Edmond, MCLC Direction Committee
Chris Low, Executive Director FOM

February 2016 Update

February 2016

Dear friend of Matènwa,

aWe are always pleased to update you on some of our program activities. Our weekly school assembly continues to be a big hit among students and staff. The performances are great and often carry important messages that students want to share with the community. For example, the second graders recently performed a song with the following lyrics: “Education enriches us. It uplifts us all when we are down. Collaborate, lend your support. Education does not fall from the sky. Join hands with us so this great work can continue. Let’s put our minds together so we can work even better.”

What we are Learning in Health Class

bThe third graders’ had a great discussion with the school nurse on what good personal hygiene consists of . Together they talked about how bathing frequently, brushing one’s teeth 2 to 3 times a day, wearing clean clothes, and sleeping in a clean bed all help keep the body clean and
healthy.

The High School c
In keeping with MCLC’s elementary reading model, the secondary school also encourages pleasure reading. Pictured here are the eighth graders in the library. They have each selected a new book for the week.

Training Update

dTo help fight economic insecurity in Matènwa, GreaterGood is piloting a jewelry-making initiative with
a small group of artisans and MCLC parents. GreaterGood facilitated another workshop this month on how to make earrings, which will be for sale on GreaterGood.com. If the earrings sell well, the artisans will continue to receive technical assistance. They will earn fair wages for their work and be able to provide for themselves and their families. e

Our teacher trainers at MCLC’s Institute of Learning are excited to see positive changes beginning to take shape at most of our partner schools. In the pictures to the right, you can see materials posted on what are usually bare walls of a classroom at the Community School of Denyèmak and students working in their new garden at the Agodag School. The Matènwa model is spreading!
f
Samila Edmond, MCLC Direction Committee and Chris Low, Executive Director FOM