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With 160 students enrolled in seven grades for the January 2013 term, the spacious, bright classrooms of the new building buzz with the noise and activity of children engaged in learning. After two years in the new building, its effectiveness as a learning environment has been confirmed. Now the need is to equip the classrooms with the storage units, books and other educational materials necessary for a pleasant and productive learning experience and environment. Is a donation for storage and/or educational materials something you might be willing and able to make?
Gentle Bells Gets Laptops
KCEF has teamed with One Laptop per Child ( http://one.laptop.org/ ) to provide training for three teachers at Gentle Bells School in the use of XO computers created, manufactured and distributed by OLPC. A three-day workshop in November 2012 prepared staff members in the use of educational software and the integration of the software with the Gentle Bells curriculum. Three US Board members - David Mering, Dick Cairns and Craig Hammon - will hand-deliver 10 XO 1.5 laptops to Gentle Bells in February. These computers will enhance the students' learning experience and introduce them to a variety of uses for this technology.
With New Water Tank and Good Rains, Agriculture Thriving
Water is always an issue for a place like Longonot - rains are unreliable and droughts can be severe. Water storage is an essential solution to this problem. Gentle Bells has acquired in the last three years several water tanks; with the installation of a new, 5,000-litre water tank in 2012 and decent rains, the agricultural program at the school is now thriving. This enables the students to participate in the growing of beans, maize (corn), sukuma (kale) and other ingredients for the feeding program. In order to manage the growing needs of the school, new, large water tanks will always be a need.
School Feeding Program A Key Factor in Academic Success
Children line up for their noon meal. When the school first opened, the staff quickly learned the obvious lesson that hungry children can't concentrate and don't learn. Now Gentle Bells provides two hot meals a day. For many of the children, this is the only food they'll eat that day. Breakfast is a simple meal of porridge, and lunch is rice, beans and vegetables from the school garden. These nutritious meals transform lethargic, passive children into active, enthusiastic learners who recently outscored 86 other school on a standardized government test.