By Dr. Angela Ward
In April 2014, Angela Ward, Professor Emerita at the University of Saskatchewan, joined the CODE team of volunteers and went on her first field trip to Kenya. Dr. Ward will be a lead trainer in CODE’s Reading Kenya Project.
Collaboration in Kenya
Beginnings bring both excitement and trepidation. This month I had the privilege of joining the Reading Kenya project in Kajiado county (home to Maasai people).
Although I have been part of a number of international education projects before, this is my first journey with CODE, and was my first visit to Africa. During the trip, I had the good fortune to visit several schools in southern Kenya, and to see enthusiastic Maa-speaking students and their caring teachers working to improve literacy in English and Kiswahili, struggling with very few books or other materials.
Through Reading Kenya, CODE will provide training to teachers from 70 schools and will provide materials for classrooms and libraries as they implement meaning-based literacy strategies. CODE will also work with teachers and trainers to encourage the use of mother tongue as an instructional tool in early primary classrooms.
I am especially looking forward to co-teaching professional development workshops with the articulate, knowledgeable Kenyan education professors I have met. Already I have learned a great deal from them, and look forward to the reciprocal relationship with local experts characteristic of CODE’s approach to educational development.
And yes, on this, my very first trip, I did see my very first giraffes and ostriches in the wild! It seemed an auspicious beginning to an important venture.