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June Trip to the School with Board Members, Family and Friends a Huge Success

posted Jul 22, 2016, 6:36 PM by Bill Rathfon   [ updated Jan 4, 2017, 10:13 PM ]
Recently several board members, their families and friends, visited Iruri Primary School to do some activities with the teachers, students, and families.  Over the course of 3 days, time was spent visiting the village, a full day at the school of educational activities, and a third day on safari to Ol Pejeta Conservancy with the top 3 students from each class and the 3 top teachers.  Please take a look below at some of the activities.  When viewing the photo albums, select the "i" inside the circle in the upper right corner on the first picture to add the sidebar to view the comments.

Village Walk

When the visiting board members arrived in the Iruri area on Sunday, they went on a village walk.  Head teacher Geoffrey and many of the students were there to go along.  They met some of the secondary school students that have scholarships to attend boarding school through our organization.  They saw families along the way, children playing and helping with family chores.  Over these last four years, we have become a village, US to Kenya, forming a special bond with the families as we work together to help fulfill the hopes and dreams of these deserving students and their hard working families.

Village Walk

KIndergarten Art Project

Monday our activities begin! We start in kindergarten with Victoria Pierscinski, a retired kindergarten teacher, preparing to present an art project on making an elephant. Monah helps her set up and Grade 7 came in to assist as well. What excitement there was in the class as this was the first time these students had ever used scissors!!!!

Kindergarten Art Project

Dental Care

While the kindergarten art project was going on Grade 4 and 5 were watching their first ever PowerPoint presentation. Monah came over to help her Mom, Dr. Nasim Fazel, one of our Board Members, present a lesson on Dental care. Global Grins, a non profit, supplied us with enough toothbrushes for the entire community of 4000 people. Our non profit brought a projector which will stay at the school as we help bring technology to the school. Currently one classroom has electricity but that is one of our goals to improve. So far we have brought them 5 iPads loaded with educational lessons and now they will be able to project those lessons. We accept donated iPads and other technology.

dental care


Dresses and Beanie Babies!

Dress A Girl Around the World, the Rancho Cordova Chapter once again donated 24 dresses, this time for the kindergarten and preschool girls! They could not wait to pose!!! Along with that after Victoria's Elephant art project she gave each one of the students, boys included, a Beanie Baby! We could hear the squeals of excitement throughout the school campus.

Dresses and Beanie Babies

Pen Pals

On our earlier visit we had delivered over 100 pen pal letters from Kirchgater School in Elk Grove to Grade 3. Bodhi personally handed out his class's letters from Kate Sessions School in San Diego to the Grade 2 students. What fun for him to meet all his classmate's pen pals and Sandra too.
Pen Pals

Inflatable Solar LED Lights

Bodhi's teacher, Mrs. Sussman, and Julie Mitzner, a parent coordinator, of Kate Sessions School in Pacific Beach, CA, near San Diego, spearheaded a fund raiser to purchase inflatable solar lights that the children could use when walking home in the dark and using to do homework at their home which most do not have electricity. The lights have three settings including a flashing mode. They brought 48 lights, one each for the students in Grade 2 and all teachers and staff. They were very well received! No more excuses for not finishing your homework!!! Later that day the students went out into the sun to get the lights fully charged which then can stay lit for up to 12 hours!!!
inflatable solar LED lights

End-of-Day Celebration

The school day was coming to a close as Jackson, supported by Justin Binns and Jacqueline Shabaz and Kelvin, supported by Dave and Dee Dee Ackerman came to Iruri to visit. The day ended with performances by the students.
End-of-Day Celebration

Sweetwaters Second Annual Wildlife Day

We brought 25 top performing students on safari with two safari vehicles and one big bus. We rotated students in and out of the safari vehicles so everyone had a chance to ride in one. Here Emmah Grade 7 and Larry Grade 4 watch a slideshow of yesterday's school activities on the iPad. Emmah, Bodhi, Larry and Sandra enjoy watching animals out of the top. And we all shared some of our cameras so the students could try photography. Nasim, Victoria and Monah brought Charity, Catherine and Diana, all Grade 8 girls with them. Ryan also did a little education on the iPad.

Wildlife Day

Cape buffalo and lucky sightings of many rhinoceros in addition to giraffe, zebra, elephant and more. After a morning drive we went to the chimpanzee sanctuary where Jane Goodall has sent rescued chimps from Central Africa to have a safe home on 165 acres. These are very intelligent primates.

Conservation and environmental protection is an important part of our Wildlife Day. Conservationists educate the students. Pictured are three of the teachers from Iruri who earned the best results in their class. Congratulations Stephen, Dorcas and Beatrice. We loved having you with us. And Monah enjoyed spending more time with Catherine, Charity and Diana. And the students got to see the blind rhino, Baraka ( Swahili for blessing) up close!

After some reforestation, it is time to go to the equator!Trying to get all the class photos and our two wonderful drivers John and Jackson in before the big storm rolls in! And it did come!!! Another very successful Wildlife Day! It helps motivate academic achievement which has soared over the past four years in all classes! Congratulations teachers and students at Iruri!