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August, 2009:

September Update

Dear Friends of MCLC,

The staff met the last week of August to prepare their classrooms and set their goals for the year. September is noclip_image002w here and students are returning to school. The grounds have opened with an exciting library addition going up. Some classrooms now have a cement roof, which is actually the second floor’s floor for three new spaces: one indoor and one outdoor classroom for book production and teacher training as well as a community bookstore.  So far the Commonwealth School Interact Clubs, Rotary Club of Skidaway Island and Rotary Club of San Juan have jointly raised $17,450 for this Library II Project. We will need approximately $20,000 more to complete all the rooms and make furniture.
Construction for an “Arts Village” on campus has also begun with funds from the estate of artist Jocelyn Ruth Edelston. The small cottages will house the Local Arts Initiative. Seed money for these cottage art industries came from the National Episcopal Church Women.

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Owen Thomas, a Lesley College student, has returned to Cambridge, MA, after 3 months of living with a host family and volunteering at MCLC. He achieved his goal to become bilingual! He helped a group of youth learn to record their hip-hop songs using a program called Garage Band on our Library’s Mac laptops. Owen plans to continue working with the group during his vacations and collaborate with other youth to organize and develop other activities of their choice.

Sincerely,

Chris and Abner, directors; Millienne Angervil, secretary
Contact Chris at christinewlow@gmail.com if you would like to do your own fundraiser for the school.

August Update

Dear Friends of MCLC,

Even through the summer, there are many activities happening at the Matènwa Community Learning Center.

Ridge and Christie cam to visit in June. Christie teaches at St. John’s High school ( one of our partners) and Ridge just graduated from St. John’s. Etienne was their guide and translator. Etienne is our language teacher for English and Spanish. Etienne is one of our school librarians. You can read about their trip on Ridge’s’ blogspot.

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During July our staff held classes for children that needed more one-on-one instruction. MCLC teachers received some individual training time. For a week each morning Meg Bruton, Tina Jaillet, Kathryn Delacourt, Sarah Roche, and Owen Thomas observed in individual classrooms and then worked together with the classroom teachers to design lessons and games for the next day.

In addition, for 3 weeks the staff had professional development time to practice speaking French and English.

Most impressive was their personal growth during the Education Is A Conversation Program on Children’s Rights. (See www.kathleencash.com <http://www.kathleencash.com/> ). This program consists of twenty two-hour sessions. It is a very effective methodology Kathleen Cash designed to stimulate people to have active discussions and role plays about problems in their community. This program enables communities to uncover deep underlying root causes as opposed to just treating surface symptoms of their problems. For MCLC staff, male teachers began to comment that the conversations were rich, but if they did not start being role models in the community for Children’s and Women’s Rights, nothing would change. In a society where men hold so much of the power, we were pleased to see that they saw themselves as part of the problem and the solution: they need to model respect for their wives and participate in chores that are traditionally for women and children; women’s rights means equal rights for all, not taking away men’s rights.

Thanks again for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Chris Low and Abner Sauveur Co-directors
Millienne Angervil Secretary

July Update: Summer Activities and Training

Dear Friends of MCLC,

Even through the summer, there are many activities happening at the Matènwa Community Learning Center.

During July our staff held classes for children that needed more one-on-one instruction. MCLC teachers received some individual training time. For a week each morning Meg Bruton, Tina Jaillet, Kathryn Delacourt, Sarah Roche, and Owen Thomas observed in individual classrooms and then worked together with the classroom teachers to design lessons and games for the next day.

In addition, for 3 weeks the staff had professional development time to practice speaking French and English.

Most impressive was their personal growth during the : Program on Children’s Rights. (See www.kathleencash.com <http://www.kathleencash.com/> ). This program consists of twenty two-hour sessions. It is a very effective methodology Kathleen Cash designed to stimulate people to have active discussions and role plays about problems in their community. This program enables communities to uncover deep underlying root causes as opposed to just treating surface symptoms of their problems. For MCLC staff, male teachers began to comment that the conversations were rich, but if they did not start being role models in the community for Children’s and Women’s Rights, nothing would change. In a society where men hold so much of the power, we were pleased to see that they saw themselves as part of the problem and the solution: they need to model respect for their wives and participate in chores that are traditionally for women and children; women’s rights means equal rights for all, not taking away men’s rights.

Thanks again for your continued support!

Sincerely,

Chris Low and Abner Sauveur Co-directors
Millienne Angervil Secretary