Emily and I spent this past Sunday collecting all the children for the start of the 2009 school year. The day was as hectic as ever but everyone has arrived safe and sound at Usa River Academy, ready to go for a new school year! All of the students within the TFFT Scholarship Program, with the exception of Asha and Zawadi in Lushoto, will be attending Usa River Academy. The decision to move all of the children into one school was made with their best interest in mind and we are looking forward to a very successful 2009 school year!
Fikiria Kwanza students are joining past Usa River Academy students and it has been a smooth trasnition thus far. The new students are so excited to be at Usa River and are having a blast discovering all the new things about their new school and the other 32 TFFT students there. Most were surprised to learn that there were other TFFT students outside of their respective schools, so it will be great for everyone to be together at the same school this year.
This week I am working to get a Big Brother, Little Brother & Big Sister, Little Sister Program up and running for the children. I will be pairing an older TFFT student with a smaller one in the hopes of bringing them together and creating a greater sense of community within the students. The older students will be a source of leadership, support, and stability allowing the younger ones to look up to them for help and guidance. I believe creating these connections between the older and younger children will have a great positive impact on their education and development as well as the transition of new students into Usa River.
We are looking forward to continuing the Tuition Program as I have seen great results within the students over the past couple months. They have been working very hard with tutors and teachers after school to raise their grades and with great success! Most students working within the Tuition Program have brought their grades up in individual subjects as well as their overall grade averages. They are all very pleased to see results of their hard work and have already asked if we will continue to assist with Tuition this coming school year. I am so proud to see their hard work and dedication paying off as well as their eager attitudes to begin tuition again this year.