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Updates

Updates

Update from Emilie

Bonjour,

This is about the last CCH trip to Matenwa and what happened when the team got back to their schools in Jacmel.

We sent a principal with the teachers and our new CCH Education Liaison, Dave Pierre. Dave started to work for CCH in February. He has been one of our translators for several years, so he is familiar with what we are trying to accomplish in the schools. He is communicating between the schools and the US education team. We now have monthly Skype calls with the principals and Dave, and he lets us know what is going on at each school. It is wonderful to have a Haitian at the schools for encouragement and to let us know how the schools are implementing the new methods. Dave was a much needed hire for us to be able to continue the progress and facilitate our work.

Mariline, the principal from Lavanneau, has wanted to have her students author books since the last time she was there. After going a second time she is “fired up” and has the confidence to start the process. I will be there in August to help her plan. We have money budgeted to make it a real book!

Mackenguy, a principal from EMEVO, was afraid to go to Matenwa because of a near death experience in a boat as a child. However, because of what his teachers have learned from the last two trips, he wants to go on the next trip. We are thrilled about this!

Dave has scheduled and is scheduling times to work with each staff on implementing the methods and strategies they are learning in Matenwa and from the seminars and lessons we are providing. They are meeting several times this summer.

The schools had asked us to work last year on learning to ask deeper questions across the curriculum. We did that using Bloom’s taxonomy. We are finding the teachers are asking deeper and more thoughtful questions now. They also asked us to do a seminar on discipline. We did that in May. (Of course, we have been talking about discipline throughout our time in Jacmel, but this was a focused program that we developed.) Then they went to Matenwa and had it reinforced. Now this summer we have several people coming with us who are well versed in conflict resolution and restorative justice. It is wonderful for the teachers to hear it different ways from different sources. Another big difference is that they now report an improvement of the reading skills, and especially comprehension, of their students. And that they now love to read!

Our summer professional development is going to be delivered in a science/soccer camp for rising 5th and 6th graders from three of the rural schools where we partner. We will be providing instruction on things the schools have asked for: science, discipline, student leadership. The students and teachers will be involved in hands on science, and we will again model how writing and reading is essential across the curriculum. The students and teachers will also have opportunities to develop ways to use student as well as teacher leadership in conflict resolution and restorative justice.

Thank you again for helping us with the schools in Jacmel. Dave was so excited about what he learned with our teachers while at Matenwa. He believes in what we are doing and what you have been doing for years in Matenwa. We will be sending him back to Matenwa with others soon.

With gratitude,

Emmy/Emelie Parker

June 2016 Update

June 2016

Dear friends of Matènwa,

1Picture this: It’s the 18th of May, Haitian Flag Day, and the streets of Matènwa are filled with the sounds of MCLC students and teachers marching and singing about their flag. “My flag, my flag, my beautiful flag!” Created by Dessalines, sewn together by Catherine Flon.” Some are donned in their flag colors of blue and red and others are proudly waving flags. All are joyfully singing in the traditional parade and will wrap up the celebration with more performances at the school assembly. How we wish you could have joined us to share in the fun!

Beyond Nutritional Health
2One of the bonuses of having a school vegetable garden is the opportunity to teach students about the nutritional value of the plants they are growing. This naturally encourages a more balanced diet combatting malnutrition. With the addition of classes with the school nurse, students are learning about their overall health and the common diseases affecting their community. In the lower grades, the nurse is currently teaching a series of lessons on protecting the body. This month she led a discussion on how microbes can enter ones body when playing in the dirt. While we encourage students to explore their environment, we also want them to keep their bodies healthy/safe. 3

Training Updates
In May, we hosted teachers from several partner organizations on Lagonav and from the mainland. Alliance for Children sent two separate groups of teachers from Kenscoff for weeklong trainings on the Education Is Conversation program and the Mother Tongue Book methodology. A group of 4 teachers from Haiti Partners and another 6 from Community Coalition for Haiti also came for Mother Tongue Books training. These groups had an opportunity to observe how our students eagerly write, illustrate and read their mother tongue books. 4

5Our SASA! Rethinking Power team held a special training for teachers from MCLC and the Christian Union School, a partner school in Matènwa. The goal of this training was to create a network of teachers equipped with the knowledge and skills to intervene when there are power imbalances between women and men. The community is glad to be engaging in this work to balance power.

Sincerely,
Samila Edmond, MCLC Direction Committee &
Chris Low, Executive Director FoM

6

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