Summer in Kasiisi Project Schools

Abigail Schoenberg filming at Kasiisi
Kirsten Ayers working with Kasiisi Project teacher on OLPC
Alice Bator and Kasiisi Project Community Nurse Kabjansi Lucy

This last summer was a time of intense activity in Kasiisi Project Schools. Abigail Schoenberg, Harvard University media student, was in Uganda making the first “Handwashing” video in Rutooro for our health education program. Nick Doiron, Carnegie Mellon environmental education student spent 2 months leading  projects that had the students using their OLPC computers to make paper and digital maps, listen to talking books, make digital sensors to measure factors that impact the health of their environment and to begin a project to test the quality of water sources around the schools. Vanderbilt University was well represented with Kirsten Ayers developing programs to help integrate the laptops into the academic curriculum and Alice Bator and Scott advancing the goals of both the Girls  and the Health
Education programs. They also made significant advances towards the project sponsored production of locally manufactured, sustainable sanitary pads.

Weston educators teach Kindergarten class at Kasiisi
Krimsky-Kee family paints the alphabet on the wall at Kiko Primary school

Weston, MA was equally well represented  as we welcomed back 2 old friends and 2 new visitors from Weston public schools in a 5th year of exchange between the 2 school districts. Co-teaching with Ugandan colleagues in  Kasiisi Project classrooms, consulting on special needs and playing soccer against a school team they combined hard work with a wildlife safari. The Kee family of Weston volunteered for 2 weeks, promoting connections between Girl Scout troops in Uganda and the US and lending a hand decorating exterior walls with large scale educational aids and treating ancient blackboards to a new coat of paint.

Kasiis Project scholar Kazairwe Maureen catalogues books in Kasiisi Library

Weston educator Barbara Stevens,  director of The Literacy Project,  built on her successful launch of a real working library at Kasiisi Primary School in 2010 by importing, cataloging and shelving more boxes of books including 4 donated by UK charity Bookaid International. The program which has transformed literacy instruction at the schools  has generated an impressive interest  in reading in the children. A new initiative was introduced where mothers and grandmothers of children under 6 will meet regularly to discuss how to build the foundations of literacy in the very young.

Kasiisi Project school administrators discuss enterprise development

Pam Bator and Cindy Mahr of Weston Public Schools led seminars to discuss a new program to develop income generating enterprises both in Kasiisi Project Schools and in their communities, with the goal of making the project more self supporting. Some schools have already taken the first small steps in this direction by growing bananas and keeping chickens.
If you would like to read in more detail about what went on in Uganda this summer you can access detailed reports through the following links. Literacy at Literacy Program 2010 : Handwashing movie at Handwashing Movie: Science and technology at Computers and the Environment: Weston teachers in Uganda at Weston Teachers and Kasiisi Project Schools: Computers and the curriculum at Computers in the classroom : Girls and Health Education Programs at Girls and Health Programs: and income generation at Kasiisi Project Enterprise Development

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