Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Getting ready

The picture shows Rev. Sam-Peal unpacking the Classroom-in-a-Box units used for the LOEP teacher Training in February, 2009. The Classroom-in-a-Box units were packed in Summer, 2008, shipped in October 2008, and unpacked in February, 2009 when we arrived in Liberia for training.

The Classroom-in-a-Box units each contain subject-specific materials - one is math/science and the other language arts/social studies, for example. This particular pair of units also shared a "Teddy Bears" theme based on the generous donation of 30plus teddy bears from a Fredericksburg merchant and donation of hand made costumes for each bear from a LOEP supporter. The Language arts/social studies unit included story books and instructional materials with bears and woodland themes. The math/science unit included "counting bears" color/counting games (top picture) and environmental lessons on preserving bear and other animal habitat. Part of the learning process for young children is creative play and teddy bears with fancy, fun costumes certainly filled a good part of that requirement.
LOEP training is based on subject matter and focused on how students learn so each classroom-in-a-box unit is filled with instructional materials and companion lesson plans that are coordinated with the concepts and principles in the LOEP Teacher Training. This means that our training program, training materials and the classroom-in-a-box units have to be ready months in advance for shipment so all will be there and ready when we arrive in Liberia for the training.
Developing a single LOEP Teacher training requires a full 12 month timeline
We have been preparing since April for the next training trip in January, 2010, putting together the first shipment of instructional materials. School supply donations are coming in and every evening we are sorting and packing for the first May shipment - we will deliver it to the shipper this week-end for shipment next week from Baltimore, MD. A second September-October, 2009 shipment of training handbooks, training guides and instructional materials for hands-on teaching and demonstrating will follow this Fall.
The January, 2010 training is geared to teachers in upper Elementary, Middle and High School grades so the themes and materials are very different from cute little costumed bears.
All the same, packing on this side and opening boxes on the other side is like Christmas!

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