Putti means joy.
Being in Putti Village means extreme joy. We have been brought up to appreciate the big and the little things in life. But the 'little' is subjective. The 'little' has a different definition in Putti. The 'little' is everything someone might have.
Jonathan Netanyahu Memorial School welcomed TWSB Team with unmatched warmth. Enosh, the community leader, made us feel at home, introducing us to his beautiful family. Following a short orientation, our day of heavy work in Putti began. We were excited beyond measure.
We initiated the art project with students who have never been formally trained in fine art. But the confidence and passion we came across, blew us away. We went from pencils to pens to paints and inks very quickly on the very first day. And the teachers were extremely supportive.
Less than 30 feet away, the nutrition team were diligently working on 3 large projects: Installing a rain catchment system to water our garden, implementing a remarkable garden which teaches agricultural best practise and provides access to higher levels of iron-rich crops (that help to alleviate the high levels of anemia in the region); and building our chicken coop which will hold 100 chickens. These chickens provide eggs for the students to eat for school lunch, create a passive income for the school by selling extra eggs, and provide our garden with nutrients from the chicken manure.
Meanwhile, the curriculum team (Michelle, Samantha, Elli, and Lainie) convened at Hadassah Primary School to continue with its fluency testing of the Primary (grade) 2 students to set a baseline for TWSB global reading program. Children were given a short reading passage and timed for 3 minutes. How far they got in the passage will be calculated and analyzed to determine each child's fluency level. In addition, the children were asked questions regarding their reading habits and motivations for reading in English. The range of answers was astonishing as children shared their favorite English book, if they read at home, and how they felt about reading in English, among other things.
The team could not have performed its work without the support of the administration and students. The headmaster and classroom teacher were welcoming and helpful in finding us space to work at their busy school. But we are most appreciative of the young students themselves who willingly came and sat one on one to read aloud to a group of total strangers - with clipboards!
In addition to the fluency test and Primary 2 questionnaire, the team administered a "bus questionnaire." A purpose of the bus questionnaire is to help TWSB ensure its projects are research based. It is important to measure and have substantive evidence to support the work we are doing. The bus questionnaire collects data on how far children are walking to school, under what conditions and specific examples of the challenges they face. After administering the first batch of questionnaires to students in grades 5 and 7 we have been blown away by the children's candor as they disclosed the issues they face walking to school. Disturbingly, these included foot injuries, being cold and hungry, being hit by vehicles and threatened by strangers! The curriculum team will be back at the school later this week to continue with this important work.
We are super excited about what we will be able to achieve tomorrow.