The Ripple Effect
We finished out our week at RCM with Classes 5A and 5B, both which were sent murals from their U.S. classes. Class 5A’s mural was from their friends at Cliff Valley Grade 6, and 5B’s was from Vail Mountain School Grade 6. Both classes chose to draw symbols and pictures depicting their holidays and celebrations. Each student got a chance to draw something on the mural and to create an individual drawing. Because our time was relatively limited and there are so many students (30-40 in each class) we managed the time by rotating them from working on letters and drawings at their desk to adding something on the mural. Some of children wanted to make big pictures and we had to ask them to be conscious about not taking too much space when they draw so everyone can contribute. Some of them enjoyed drawing on the mural so much that they kept adding details and additional pictures until we moved them along so someone else could have a turn.
When we do murals we leave bags of markers, crayons and pastels near the mural for them to choose from. Most of the children had never used pastels so they would defer to markers, so we encouraged them to try the pastels. When they did, they loved using them. On this day, we had several kids ask us at the end of the class if they could just take one color marker or pencil for themselves. Having one is a big deal because they usually only have access to ordinary pencils. But giving even just one out to each student would mean we would get swarmed by all of the kids—including kids from other classes who want them. This is one of the unfortunate things about the schools here in Ghana. School supplies are rare and precious and even things like pencil sharpeners are somewhat of a luxury. Most of the kids use a razor to sharpen their pencil—yikes!
A fun aspect of Friday’s classes is that in addition to the mural in Class 5B, they were also sent a DVD of three girls singing a U.S. holiday song. Since we don’t have the capability to projecting the DVD, we called up five kids at a time to view the DVD. It was really fun just to watch their reactions. They were obviously taking in as much as they could—all the nuances seemed to intrigue them and they loved it when the girls had a big finish—waving, jumping and yelling “Bye, Bye, We love you!” In return, we asked if any of the students had songs they wanted to share. At first, we had a few brave individuals who wanted to sing solos for the camera and then the groups got bigger and bigger—more and more kids wanted to share songs and then finally we ended with the whole class singing the Ghanaian national anthem with LOTS of enthusiasm. We’re sure the kids in the U.S. are going to love hearing their songs which are a combination of songs in their native language. Ewe (pronounced A-way), mixed in with a few gospel songs in English.
At the end of the day, we stopped by the school EP Ho. We wanted to make sure we were scheduled to come this next Monday and Tuesday. When we arrived we were surprised to see that government officials from the Department of Education were awarding the school with 24 laptops! The whole school was gathered outside. As the computers were presented, a big cheer erupted. They were soooooo excited about receiving these computers and we are sure that one of the big reasons EP-Ho was a recipient is because they already had a computer lab. This is the same computer lab that Children Inspiring Hope helped to bring into fruition in collaboration with Entire Village Computer Organization, (EVCo) in 2010 - www.evcoafrica.org. The ripple effect continues!