Monday, February 25, 2013

My Peace Corps Grant (PCPP Grant)

After a long, detailed process, my grant to fund a Kindergarten and Kindergarten teacher training for local teachers has been approved by Peace Corps!
The money raised will fund a quality kindergarten for low income families who cannot afford to send their children to other schools. It will also fund a training workshop for Kindergarten teachers at each of the public schools in my town.
Kindergarten is a relatively new idea here in Ethiopia. It’s only been in the last few years that schools have begun KG programs. Most schools only have one KG classroom, educating approximately 20 students each, leaving most families with only two options, 1) Pay high tuition fees to send their children to private schools, or 2) Don’t send their children to school at all. Unfortunately, most families can’t afford to send their children to private school, leaving many school aged children without the benefit of early education.  It’s very common, at least in my town, to see these 5-6 year olds on the streets, alone, or even taking care of younger siblings, while their parents work.
We all know the benefits of early education. We all know how crucial it is, and how success in Kindergarten can mean success throughout a child’s education. That’s why I’m asking for your support with this project. Not just monetary support, as I know times are tough for everyone, but support by spreading the word to others.
The Kindergarten will serve 30 students this year, and will expand to serve 60 students next school term. The grant will provide the funding to make repairs and improvements on the school compound, provide teaching materials for the teachers, toys and games for the students, a computer for record keeping and teaching aid creation.
One of the goals of every Peace Corps program is sustainability. The grant will fund the acquisition of a small Suk (shop) whose proceeds will continue to fund the school year after year. It will also fund a training workshop for every KG teacher in each of the public schools in my town, thusly improving the quality of education for thousands of students.
“Why is the training workshop so important?” you might ask. Well, I’ll tell you. At the moment, KG teachers are only required to have one year of training before being certified to teach Kindergarten.  The quality of education is very poor because these teachers do not know how to teach and begin teaching without experience. If the teacher cannot succeed in teaching, the students will not succeed in learning and they will carry that with them throughout their professional and educational careers.
Donating money to any cause can be iffy, as one is never quite sure how money is being spent, or even if the money is getting to those who need it. If ever you wanted to donate but never did for fear of corruption, now is the time to donate without anxiety.
The grant was approved by the United States Peace Corps after a very lengthy, very detailed, planning and writing process. Every dime is itemized and is expected to be accounted for. I’ll be blogging this itemized list on an upcoming blog, so you can see for yourself how the money will be spent. I’ll be posting updates every week, internet permitting.
Here is how you can learn more and donate;
2. Enter my last name ‘Wymer’ or my project number  ’13-663-004’ in the search box.
3. From there you can click on the project name to read more, or you can email the Peace Corps directly with any questions about donating, how grants are selected, or about Peace Corps in general.
4. If you find my project worthy, DONATE!!
5. Share the information! Spread the word! Help educate my kids and teachers!
Every dollar goes a really long way! Please don’t be afraid to ask me any questions. No question will go unanswered. I want to make sure you feel good about where your money is going and how it’s being used, so here are the ways in which you can get a hold of me.
You can contact me by;
·         Leaving a comment on this blog
·         On Facebook.  I’m ‘Berdette Wymer’
·         On Ravelry. My Ravelry name is OneSquareBird. If you are a member of the Doubleknit Podcast group on Ravelry, there is a thread dedicated to my project. (Thanks Erin!)
·         By email at littlebirdbk@gmail.com
·         Or, if you’re friends with my mom or sister, you can get in touch with me through them.
I’ll be posting updates and more information on my blog, so keep checking in. Until next time, here is a photo of the KG students I’m currently working with. If the grant is fulfilled these are the very students who will make up my Kindergarten’s KG II students next school year. Until next time…..!

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