Saturday, May 3, 2014


Very few children actually have a book in their home. So having our library at the school is something special and precious to them. Shelves and shelves of books. Many at my church St. Paul's United Methodist, the local Kiwanis and Altrusa, book clubs and friends have provided much needed funds for our teams to take books.

In my four trips to Rwanda I have taken over 600 pounds of books. Storybooks, science, spiritual, art, easy readers, math, and many others.

Since the teachers were excited about the trainings I decided to present a training at the library. Two teachers, one a translator, accompanied one of the second grade classes. I talked about what a library is, how to behave in the library, what you can discover in books and how there are several ways to read books. The kids all participated in this discussion clicking their fingers with arms raised and waving as that is the custom when wanting to answer.

With Ignace translating for me I asked the class to tell me what they thought the unopened book I was holding might be about. All they saw was the cover. Many had humorous answers but we all agreed that by opening it we could discover something new and exciting.

The next day I arrived at the library to meet with the other second grade class. They had arrived early and Ignace had begun. I smiled, gave him a thumbs up and sat down with the kids. He agreed to do all the library trainings going forward. Our being there is about empowering the teachers to step up in new ways. Next would be a class on selecting books and the care of them. Then they would choose a book to read.

It was decided at the meeting of the parent association that during the term break the library would remain open to the students and their families and others from the community. Many of you have opened a new world by sending books to Rwanda!!

Teacher Training

Teacher training has become an important part of our ministry in Rwanda. We use teacher classroom projects in the US as a springboard to presenting new and imaginative ways to teach.

This year our Rwandan teachers decided to have a training everyday for an hour during their lunchtime. Initially I led the meeting presenting the projects and asking the preschool and elementary teachers to determine what grade level would take on each project. The teachers shared ideas on how to implement them in the classroom and what materials were needed.

Then I stepped back and had the teachers begin leading the trainings. They discussed how well the project worked, what were the difficulties and how this could lead to additional projects. They shared the students excitement and that kids in other classes asked when they would begin.

We realized that all the classes would begin working on the art and writing and not just one or two at a time. These collaborative projects and the teacher trainings would happen during three weeks while I was there and while classes were in session.

Teachers Training the teachers!!!