We came, we coded, we can change the world! The students at QAE joined about 70 million others worldwide in an hour of code. The kids helped Anna and Elsa create a winter wonderland and then some. We also learned a thing or two about left/right and degrees (angles and turning). I found myself frustrated trying to code at first, but after watching your kids and learning from them, I started to catch on and found myself coaching others! Coding is about breaking down a problem or task and what an empowering skill to learn! My guess is that your child came home excited to tell you about their experience. I'd love to get your comments about what they reported.
On Monday Mr. Elliott and Ms. Ward launched Dwankhozi week at our Monday Morning Meeting. Throughout the week we read stories, watched videos and went to a Dwankhozi gallery walk that featured different aspects of Zambian life. At the gallery walk Ms. Ward shared about Fabric Uses that included how they use one piece of fabric for a variety of purposes (such as carrying a baby). Ms. Amsel shared a Print Making and other African Crafts station and the printed fabric is hanging in the cafeteria. There was a Maize Table where most kids sampled nshima, one of Zambia's staple foods made of corn and eaten with the hands. Ms. Stone ran a Drum Circle, Ms. Marks lead the Zambia Futbool station where she showed kids how to make soccer balls out of plastic bags. Mr. Bailey had a Story Telling area and I ran the Water Awareness station and got to share my experience of what I observed first hand while in Zambia.
It was fun to be part of this connecting experience and watch kindergartners-fifth graders' (and adults) fascination at work. The Dwankhozi partnership brings our school together and connects us to new friends and the way of life of those halfway around the globe.
We had a closing assembly on Friday and had a chance to meet Charles Masala, who grew up in Zambia and was the originator of the Seattle-Dwankhozi connection. Mrs. Stone and the 4th graders sang a special African song and the older students taught us about the Hungry Season and how it impacted the students at our partner school. They introduced the Raise for Maize Campaign our school will be participating in for the next two weeks.
In rural southern Africa, subsistence farmers experience a Hungry Season (January-March) when their stored food grown is depleted as they wait for the rainy season to end and the March harvest to be ready. That means their children are coming to school hungry, which makes learning very difficult for them. The school day has to be shortened during this period as the students have no energy to learn. About half of the students don't make it to school as their focus is on finding food.
They told us that some women in the Dwankhozi Primary School community are willing to make the students a school lunch during this Hungry Season. They just need us to help buy some maize. Then they invited us to participate in a Raise for Maize Campaign that will start on Monday. They encouraged students to ask friends and family if they could do chores, or service projects, for a Raise for Maize donation. They suggested things like raking leaves or cleaning extra parts of the house or caring for a pet.
Dwankhozi is a community of people who care deeply about their school and want to help. When the students are provided with a nutritious meal during the school day for the duration of this tough season, school attendance remains high and the students’ and teachers' momentum for learning is sustained.
$10 feeds 60 students for one day.
$50 feeds 300 students for one day.
$100 feeds the entire school for one day.
They only need to be fed for 6 weeks
(30 school days.)
That's $3,000. ~ which is our fundraising goal.
To keep 600 students learning!
Here are some videos that highlight our partnership.
2014 Dwankhozi Week
2014 Zambia Trip
2013 Zambia Trip
"The Martin" Video, this was also a video that helped launched our Water PBL unit
"The Martha" Video captures the day-in-the-life of a female student from Dwankhozi
All this fun and Caroling too!
Dashing through the rain, in an almost single-file line, over to the other side of the hill we go, caroling all the way, ha ha ha. Did you do it? Did you sing that line to the Jingle Bells melody? The kids had fun caroling in fron of the Trader Joes Plaza on Friday. Eventhough it drizzled on us on our walk to the Ave., we were all smiles as we caroled to some of our favorite holiday songs. Thank you to Ms. Sara, Ms. Karen and Ms. Chris for joining us and a big thank-you to Ms. Stone for organizing the trip.
Photo credit: Ms. Sara