Tuesday, December 4, 2012

We're Still Working

We have watched these kids grow up over the past nine years since LOEP began collecting school supplies to send to them in their classrooms.

LOEP is a very small organization, as most of our supporters know.  There is no office, no staff, and no overhead costs.  All of our resources are spent directly on our programs.  Our fundraising plan is about as simple as it gets.  Once a year we send a letter to our friends and supporters asking for continued support.  We are always so gratified when these folks come through (and we breathe a sigh of relief that LOEP programs can continue for another year).
With much more work to be done, LOEP will be reaching out to new friends in the coming months. As we come into 2013 we expect to make better use of this blog forum to share details of our work and stories of our friends and colleagues in Liberia. Stay tuned!

Sharing LOEP
We share stories and pictures of our work with church groups, Rotary clubs, womens' organizations and others throughout the year.  The response to our presentations has been fantastic and we have made many new friends.
If your organization would like to know more about LOEP, please contact us to bring a presentation to you. We have volunteers from Atlanta to Washington, DC and also in the Midwest so we can most likely bring someone to you wherever you are!  

We are still working in Liberia and still counting on you to make a real difference for teachers and students in Liberian classrooms! 

Donations to LOEP can be made through the LOEP website or mailed directly to:  
370 Browntown Road
Browntown, VA  22610

Stay tuned here for more on what your support does in Liberia!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

More Training!

One of the many great things about working with Liberian teachers is their enthusiasm for professional development and teacher training!  Our once a year workshops are just not enough to satisfy their excitement for learning new classroom techniques. 

 Fortunately we have found that networking with another US-based teacher training group can help our friends in Liberia get at least two workshops per year.  Liberia NOW is a Texas-based group whose training team regularly travels to Liberia in June to deliver quality professional development workshops.  LOEP and Liberia NOW have partnered in developing training programs in the past year.  This month our friends at New Life School (pictured above) are attending Liberia NOW workshops on Critical Thinking Skills, Professional Ethics, Developing an Administration Team, and Guided Reading.
New Life School was established by a local church in answer to their community's need.  We have featured pictures of New Life on this blog in the past.  The small stick-built building is a heavily-used facility with more than 500 children using it all day for school and adult literacy students attending class in the evenings.

More than 80% of Liberia's schools were destroyed during the war and re-building is an enormous challenge.  More than half of children in Liberia do not attend school because there are simply not enough schools for them.  Community schools and mission schools such as New Life stand in that gap, trying to meet the needs of their community's school age children.  Reports from Liberia are that teachers and administrators from New Life are getting the most out of their professional development workshops this month!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thanks to Volunteers!

Thanks to LOEP volunteers Tom, Sydney and Matt!  LOEP has a wonderful book donation all stored up for the next shipment to Liberia.  A whole elementary reading program ready and waiting to go into Liberian classrooms - so exciting!
Most readers know LOEP is an all-volunteer organization with no overhead costs and no administrative costs.  All our funds go directly into Liberian classrooms and schools.  Thanks to all our great Volunteers! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Reading Books!

This is the fourth load of books we have picked up this week and we will continue transporting books through next week in order to get them all transferred.  There are a LOT of books! An entire K- 4 Reading Program has been made available to LOEP.  The set is fully intact and gently used.  LOEP volunteers are retrieving the books and putting them in storage.  As soon as funds can be raised for shipping, they will be sent to our partner schools in Liberia.

These reading books are a significant donation for our partner schools in Liberia where text books are hard to come by and generally not available in sets complete with Teacher's Editions, word cards, group readers, work sheets, etc.  LOEP is working to raise funds to ship this valuable resource to our colleagues in Liberia by October 2012.

You can help us get these books into the hands of children in their classrooms. 
To help with shipping costs: 
1) make a donation to LOEP through PayPal (see the donate button here or you can go to the webiste at: www.loeproject.org)
2)drop us an e-mail and let us know your donation is for book shipment  

Thanks for your support!!

Wednesday Snapshots

Rev. Emile Sam-Peal works closely with the senior students at Lott Carey School as they begin to look to their future after high school.    Lott Carey's seniors took their West African Exams in May and are awaiting results before they can confirm graduation.  Passing the standardized test is a requirement for high school students to graduate.
Ok, you try to get a group of boys this age to stand still and be serious for a photo! These boys have a ways to go, yet, before they begin to bear the weight of graduation exams.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Thanks to Volunteers!

The LOEP team is gearing up for our jam-packed, one-week visit to Lott Carey School in August when we will be delivering a workshop for the LOEP Trainers of Teachers (LOEP ToTs), a mini-workshop on Guided Reading and making visits to our partner schools in the orphanages and at Hope for the Deaf.

We are grateful for support and consultation on LOEP Guided Reading training materials from educators Nancy Lee and Heather Campbell of Frederick Douglass Elementary School in Winchester, Virginia, USA.  Ms. Lee and Ms. Campbell are well-trained in Guided Reading and have led workshops for educators here in the U.S.   Their help in developing the LOEP training materials was a great asset as we prepare for a very busy trip in less than two months!

Nancy Lee and Heather Campbell 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wednesday Snapshot

The Future looks bright for Liberia, even when the sun isn't shining!  These girls, and their  male peers represent some of the best and brightest.

Friday, May 25, 2012

More Good News

Sometimes change is not so obvious to those who are busy with the day-today work of making that change.  Certainly the evidence of recovery in Liberia is amazing to those of us on the LOEP Team. How gratifying that our continuous chorus of uplifting reports of progress in Liberia are being substantiated by a recent flurry of similar reports in the media.
Liberia is making a remarkable recovery because of people like those we work with in the schools and others like those featured in this story (link).  For every one of the hard-working, determined Liberians we hear and read about and for each of those we know personally, there are many thousands more.  Check out this report of  success in Liberia!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Shipments and Workshops

 Littlest LOEP volunteer, Andrew, inspects the mobile classroom before shipping.
 Supplies for establishing learning centers and Guided Reading programs are packed in this year's mobile classroom shipment.
Three mobile classrooms delivered to the shipping agent today!  Chock full of classroom supplies, learning centers, fun stuff thanks to donations from LOEP friends and the packing and painting skills of Browntown Church ladies!  A training workshop in a box was also sent for specialized training scheduled in August for LOEP Trainer of Teachers (ToTs) at Lott Carey Mission School.

LOEP Team members Phylis Benner and Beth Iden will follow up the mobile classroom shipment with a trip to Lott Carey Mission School in August.  Phylis, a child development specialist and an experienced trainer of adults, developed the first LOEP training workshop and has closely monitored the progress of LOEP Trainers of Teachers (ToTs) since she conducted the first LOEP workshop in 2009. Phylis returns in August to spend a week with the ToTs helping them build their skills as trainers and evaluators.  She will also teach them how to facilitate workshops using professional development resources such as those available from online sources.

The LOEP Team will visit partner schools at CRM, AAMOM, New Life and Hope for the Deaf School during the very busy week in August in Liberia.  Stay tuned for all the news!  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Conference Sponsor Opportunity

Remember last December when the LOEP training team went to Liberia for the First Teacher Training Network Conference?  Read about it here:
As soon as the December conference ended our Liberian colleagues were talking about the next one.  We started planning for the next Winter, 2012 Teacher Training Network Conference right then and plans are coming together.  

One of the 2012 Conference topics will address meeting special needs in the classroom. This is a brand new challenge for Liberian educators because children with special needs have not generally been included in the general school population.  New laws and Liberian Ministry Of Education standards for education are changing, however, and Liberian schools and teachers must adapt.  The Teacher Training Network will provide a forum for teachers from more than 10 schools to study new requirements for meeting special needs and help them learn to adapt and make changes in classroom instruction methods. 

Plans for the Conference include presentations by officials of Liberia's Ministry of Education and  policy makers who influence education policy in Liberia.  Stay tuned for some exciting details.

LOEP is seeking a major corporate/organization Sponsor for the Conference.  Companies or organizations interested in sponsorship can contact LOEP directly through the LOEP website or through the LOEP Facebook page. 

More to come...        

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Liberia Today - Brenda Bush

Brenda Bush has been an active and valuable LOEP volunteer board member from the beginning.  She was on the first board of directors, a member of the first LOEP Training Team and, like other LOEP volunteers, has recruited her family to join us in our efforts in Liberia - more about her daughter Archel in later posts.  

Brenda is Liberian and fled the war as a young woman with her family.  Her story is hers to tell and, at the same time, it is the story of so many of our Liberian friends.  She is a voice for that story and as a producer for CNN she has a unique opportunity to tell it.  Please check out these links for her interesting views of Liberia as it is today!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wish List for Liberian Classrooms

We are preparing to ship three Mobile Classrooms in May for our colleagues in Liberian classrooms.  Teachers will be using the materials to set up learning centers in their classrooms - a new concept in Liberia.  The teachers are so excited about using their new techniques and teaching methods but they need some materials.  Check out the list and see if you can help them out!
Wish List

Puzzles and games that involve logical thinking (looking for patterns, sequences, process of elimination, inference, etc.)
Arithmetic and graphing calculators with instructions on how to solve common types of problems (e.g. percentages, averages, etc.)
Maps, charts, timelines, Web sites -- vivid examples of how math and logical thinking can relate to social studies, science and language arts
"Math manipulatives," such as unifix cubes, pattern blocks, cuisinaire rods, and geoboards
Materials for attaching things to other things (glue, staplers, sewing materials, nails and screws, pins, clips, etc.)
Wood, metal, Styrofoam, recycled containers, bottles, cardboard, and tools to work with them
Various types and colors of paper and cardboard (for creating a homemade board game, etc.)
Variety of writing implements (markers, crayons)
Variety of fabric scraps
Modeling clay
Word games (Boggle, Wheel of Fortune, Scrabble, Password)
Creative writing tools (variety of pens, paper, etc.); tape recorder; magazines that can be cut up for images; story starter books and cards

Thank You!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Inauguration Day!

Today Liberians will enjoy another milestone on the path to lasting peace with the re-Inauguration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf for her second term.  In spite of some disgruntled politicians and instigation of some who thrive on chaos in their quest for personal power,  most Liberians refused to allow themselves to be drawn back into unrest and instability.  Even some who wanted to see changes in the Executive Mansion stood firm for democracy when the election was finalized and President Johnson-Sirleaf declared the winner.

Congratulations to all our Liberian colleagues!  Lasting peace is the real "Peace Prize" and you are nearly there!